Ethical considerations of disruption — the role of engineers in a complex landscape (October 2017)

Green engineering art (October 2017)

Tomorrow’s engineers (September 2017)

Meeting with the Nordic Council of Ministers - one door opens other doors if you have a good network (August 2017)

UNI Europa P&M conference Future world of work (July 2017)

Forthcoming meetings: August-October 2017 (July 2017)

Our economic growth depends on more women in STEM (June 2017)

Engineers for the future society (June 2017)

Conclusions from the ANE 10 years’ anniversary workshop (May 2017)

Crowdsourcing-challenge – submit your best idea (May 2017)

Whistleblower protection – ANE contribution to the EU consultation process (May 2017)

The future perspectives for Nordic engineers in the new world of work (May 2017)

New ANE- coordinator from Sveriges Ingenjörer (April 2017)

Why Ethical Considerations should drive technological design? (April 2017)

Education where the individual is at heart (April 2017)

Forthcoming meetings: April – June 2017 (March 2017)

ANE Activity plan 2017 is adopted (March 2017)

ANE Board meeting, 9-10 March 2017 in Copenhagen (March 2017)

More Nordic STEM talents to remain competitive at global level (March 2017)

Report from the FEANI National Members Forum meeting (March 2017)

The change is the only constant: getting inspirations from India! (March 2017)


New President for the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers (November 2016)

FEANI General Assembly and National Member Forum meetings (October 2016)

ANE President goes on retirement (October 2016)

European study into University-Business Cooperation (September 2016)

FEANI Regional Group meeting in Copenhagen (September 2016)

ANE Board meeting (September 2016)


Ethical considerations of disruption — the role of engineers in a complex landscape. 
Engineering through its very essence intends to have impact on society, whether it is building bridges or creating social media platforms, the intention is to improve the status, grow the economy and protect people and the environment. The focus is often on achieving successful engineering outcomes. However, broader ethical considerations in the engineering profession are important and not new. Thomas Edison wrote, “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages”.

Across the engineering profession, there is increasing recognition that in a data driven, globally connected and aware world, ethical considerations need to be an explicit and integral part of engineering.

No need to look further than Google to see the development of corporate mottos tracking this evolution. Google introduced "Don't be evil" as its motto in its corporate code of conduct around 2000. By October 2015, Google's parent company took "Do the right thing" as its motto and opening of its corporate code of conduct. However good, a short corporate motto does not address complex and sensitive issues such as gender diversity or privacy where individual, corporate, regulatory and societal interests intersect.

The aim of the Engineers views on disruption – threats or opportunities panel debate on 13 September in Copenhagen was to explore the role of engineers in this complex landscape. 

During the discussions, Trond Markussen, President of ANE and NITO set out that ethics should be an integral part of corporate cultures. “Engineers are improving our lives, they take on responsibility for the future of our societies and such responsibility is ethical as much as it is technical.” Trond further proposed that ethics should be embedded in the education systems and that engineers should adhere to a kind of Hippocratic Oath.

This is an appealing suggestion. However, it is commonly accepted that innovations can be used in a multitude of ways beyond their original research or design purpose. So how beneficial would this change be when others will make use of the result? Sara Hermansson, Director for Customer projects in Northvolt AB questioned the balance of responsibility in a corporate setting. "Just putting the responsibility on the engineers will not work, the whole system of management layers should be accountable”. She further suggested that Trond's proposal will only partly address the issue. "Is it right that we lay all the responsibility for ethics on individual engineers and ignore the regulatory dimension?"

On the one hand, we acknowledge that regulatory frameworks can easy become outdated and new policies take time to respond to innovation. However, these frameworks are also assets and part of the baseline within which engineers operate. Irina Schklovski, Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen noted: “Legal systems are here to stay and can help us to manage interoperability, and how to integrate old systems in new ones”. Irina further agreed that there is an urgent need to look into the legacy, and that it is not just a responsibility of a single engineer or an individual, it is an organizational responsibility. 

This approach recognizes that engineering solutions, whether disruptive or not, are developed within the context of organizational and business models. The issues that disruptive platforms, such as Uber, face are not just about the direct impact of the engineered solution. They are more about the business model within which the engineering solution is implemented and how ready society and government is to adapt to changes.

Six Silberman, Researcher at IG Metall, noted that ethical issues were affected more by the goals and beliefs of management and corporate governance structures than by what engineers thought. In addition, he also connected the development of economic business models to data collection. “A huge amount of data is collected every day. Everybody voluntarily contributes to this collection and somebody earns a huge amount of money on this. We need to ask honest questions such as: What are business models being developed to exploit?”

The fact that many engineering solutions are rapidly scalable to be global solutions once they have shown viability poses additional risks, both for assessing the impacts of new business models on society and also for data privacy issues. 

There was broad agreement from the panelists with Irina Schklovski‘s argument that engineers need space to experiment. “Experimentation requires us to fail, engineers need to innovate in safe spaces”. 

At the same time panelists felt that there is a need to ensure that a group is in place to think through the ethical and social implications in a more integrated way. The integrated ethical considerations of data, privacy, business models, as well as the technical solutions require more than just engineers to be ethical in their professional judgement.

Ida Auken, Member of the Danish Parliament, called for a broader more integrated debate on technology and use of data. “Data is the fundament for future societies – but we still need engineering of data to be able to use them fully and in way we can all accept. An idea would be to get inspiration from the environmental movement on how to regulate data and privacy of people, enterprises and society”. Ida‘s view is that engineers play a vital role, and should be invited to take part in the debate about ethics, at the same time they also need to embrace and tame changes. 

Sara Hermansson and Six Silberman felt that social partners have responsibility to play an active role to remedy issues where there is a fear factor and also to mediate with engineers in relation to ethical dilemmas.

Irina Schklovski further supported this taking the example of privacy: “Privacy is dead. What we once enjoyed is gone, but we still need it. We will create it. Engineers will create it.“

In drawing the panel discussion to a close, concluding remarks focused on the responsibility of social partners to urge relevant stakeholders to reflect on ethical dilemmas. “Visionary unions should go hand in hand with visionary politics,” was a final statement from the panelists.

The panel debate was organized in the framework of the European services workers union, UNI Europa yearly conference: Future world of work for Professionals and Managers. The conference was hosted by ANE and took place in the premises of the Danish Society of Engineers. This article is a combination of the statements from the panelists and personal reflections, including contributions from Tim Haigh.
In addition to ethical considerations, the discussion also touched upon gig economy. More on this can be found in the article produced by my colleague from the Danish Society of Engineers, Morten Scriver Andersen: 

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Green engineering art
“Engineers strongly believe that technology will solve many of the environmental challenges we face. Many advancements, including in artificial intelligence, can provide us with a good analysis of how we use resources in the best possible way”, - said Trond Markussen in presenting the report "Green Engineering". The report is an important part of NITO's efforts to promote the role of engineers and technologists in the green shift.
The report outlines concrete climate and environmental measures that can be implemented in different sectors in Norway. In addition, it presents engineers and technologists views on the important societal areas, which require to become more sustainable.

The report in Norwegian can be downloaded here:

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Tomorrow’s engineers
The fancy automated gadgets and smart technological advances that have been taking their places in our lives are the creations of innovative engineers’ minds. Some of them are welcomed as a relief in our busy daily life, whilst some are met with suspicion, and seen as a threat. Discussion about these technological developments are not helped by a tendency to polarise opinions. From one side we have fervent advocates of the gains, from the other , warnings about losses. These technical creations are regarded as disruptors of our business models and labour markets, and they are also the ones to take accountable for creating a new world of work. 

While some professions question their sustainability in the future, engineers seem to be in high demand. They are sitting in the driving seat of technological transformations, and by fostering innovation, create new opportunities. Could their knowledge and creativity also be useful to guide discussions about the impact of transformations on society and helping us choose appropriate pathways? What is the role and responsibility of an engineer in shaping a sustainable future society? What challenges will be facing tomorrow’s engineers?
These are the questions, the Association of Nordic Engineers will address at the panel debate: “Engineers views on technological disruptions: threats and opportunities“, taking place Wednesday 13 September. Ida Auken, Danish Member of Parliament, Six Silberman, Researcher from IG Metall, Trond Markussen, President of NITO and ANE, Irina Shklovski, Associated Professor from the Danish Technical University and Sara Hermansson, Director Customer projects in Northvolt AB will share their views about the role of engineers of tomorrow.

Ethical considerations will be also in a spotlight during the discussions. ANE is striving to bring the discussions about the ethical, moral and legal responsibility of automated systems on the political agenda in the Nordic Region. ANE is also advocating the idea of establishing the Hippocratic Oath for engineers and embedding ethics in the education programmes from an early age. These ideas were captured by the Danish newspaper Politiken in an article published on 7th September. 

The panel debate is organised in the framework of the European services workers union, UNI Europa yearly conference: Future world of work for Professionals and Managers. The conference is hosted by ANE and takes place in the Conference Centre of the Danish Society of Engineers, 12-13 September. 

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Meeting with the Nordic Council of Ministers - one door opens other doors if you have a good network
To initiate discussion on exploring expectations and cooperation possibilities was the main objective of the meeting between the Nordic Council of Ministers, NCM and the Association of Nordic Engineers, ANE held 14 August in Copenhagen.
To fuel this discussion, ANE has developed proposals in the three areas:

  1. Life-long learning and the need for Nordic cooperation on digital competences, where ANE has put forward an idea of establishing a Nordic knowledge hub on research within ICT and digital competences,
  2. Artificial intelligence, where ANE, drawing on the work of the SIRI Commission (Danish initiative), has proposed to establish a Nordic expert group (think-tank) to discuss the impact of autonomous systems on the Nordic society,
  3. Role of engineers in achieving the sustainable development goals, especially as regards the sustainable cities.

The vision of the Nordic Council of Ministers is to become the most integrated region in the world by investing in strengthening the cooperation via a good network, common infrastructure and trust in people. On this background, the two organisations discussed how to co-operate. 
Other doors will be opened in the future. And ANE will continue its dialogue with different stakeholders in the coming months.
In addition, you can also read the article published by NITO:

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UNI Europa P&M conference Future world of work
ANE will host the two-day UNI Europa Professionals and Managers conference: Future World of work, 12-13 September 2017 in Copenhagen. As host organisation, ANE will organise a panel debate to explore the engineers’ view on the technological disruption.
The conference will shed lights on the opportunities for P&M trade unions in the new world of work and the ways to meet the changing demands at a time where artificial intelligence will be an important part of digital transformation. The conference will also be an opportunity to meet the UNI Europa P&M Steering Group to discuss the work programme for the year ahead as UNI prepares for its World Congress in Liverpool in June 2018.
For more information, please see:

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Forthcoming meetings: August-October 2017
ANE will meet with the Nordic Council of Ministers, 14 August in Copenhagen to explore cooperation possibilities. Nordic engineers play a vital role for innovation and can contribute to finding right solutions when it comes to the technological and sustainable development. The meeting will closer look at the opportunities, where both organisations could join efforts in order to deepen the Nordic cooperation and profile the region in the world.

The purpose of the meeting between ANE and the German Association of Engineers, VDI on 18 August in Copenhagen is to explore avenues for the joint project proposal on the continuous training for engineers. The overall objective of the project proposal is to identify the future needs for engineers’ competences and propose solutions for the continuous training programmes in order to ensure engineers employability. 

The yearly gathering of Nordic Engineers’ associations, Nording will take place in Reykjavik, 20-22 August. The main topic of the event is Artificial intelligence - threats or opportunities for engineers. ANE participates at the event on regular basis, and this year ANE will present its new strategy and priorities.

In the framework of FEANI activities, ANE will contribute to the discussions on the future strategy at the FEANI North Regional group meeting, 23 August in Reykjavik. The representatives from ANE will participate at the FEANI National Member Forum, 31 August in Hamburg to prepare the considerations for the General Assembly to take place, 5-6 October in Vienna.

A joint meeting between ANE and Nordtek (Network of the Rectors and Deans of the Technical Universities in the 5 Nordic countries) is scheduled on 4 September in Copenhagen to identify cooperation possibilities. Both organisations would like to join efforts in order to secure better education and employability possibilities for future engineers. 

Back-to-back with the UNI Europe P&M conference, the UNI P&M Nordic network and UNI P&M Europe Steering group will hold the meetings on 11 September in Copenhagen. The main topics for the discussion will be to agree on the priorities and joint positions towards the Liverpool world congress.

The next meeting of the UNI EU Affairs Working Group will convene on 20 September in Brussels. This working group was established to share information on EU Policy developments and plan joint lobbying campaigns. The discussions on the key strategic priorities for 2017 and the current EU policy debates will be in focus for that meeting. ANE joins these discussions to be up-to-speed on the EU processes and pinpoint the priority areas of importance for the engineers.

The next IN (Industrianställde i Norden) coordination meetings is scheduled 10 October in Copenhagen. This is a forum for exchanging information and aligning positions among like-minded countries as regards the policy influencing in the IndustriAll committees and working groups on matters, such as industrial policy, white collars, and organising. ANE participates at the meetings to ensure a coordinated and timely approach towards influencing the policy processes.

The second meeting of ANE Policy departments will happen on 24 October in Stockholm. On the agenda of that meeting will be the decision on the 2018 work plan, engagement in the project activities, organisation of the joint ANE Boards seminar in April 2018 and evaluation of 2017 accomplishments.

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Our economic growth depends on more women in STEM

Even after more than 100 years since the first wave of women’s movement, the job in reaching gender equality is not yet close to being done. While the debate on gender equality is of transversal nature, the STEM Gender Equality Congress, held 8-9 June 2017 in Berlin, tried to disclose gender equality challenges related to this one concrete segment.

According to the recent 2017 Accenture research: Getting to Equal, the demand for STEM professionals is expected to be greater than what the market can provide if men alone are considered for the growth in STEM positions. Data from Cedefop indicate that demand for STEM professionals is expected to grow by around 8% by 2025, much higher than the average 3% growth forecast for all occupations. A report from Accenture further underlines that if governments and businesses can double the pace at which women become digitally fluent, gender equality could be achieved in 25 years rather than in 50 years. So, economic growth and technological progress are dependent on enabling women to take leading roles in STEM. In order to secure this outcome, there is also a need to invest in women, create right working conditions for them and stimulate interest in STEM careers, thus also helping to bring the gender equality outcome that we want to see happen.

Where do we start? Educate our children at early stage. Be role models for our children. Support, motivate and encourage diversity. Plant the seeds for the interest in STEM professions and influence the change in the development of gender stereotypes related to professions. Get inspired from good examples and share best practices, such as the Redraw the balance film from the Inspiring the Future project in Australia.

We need right responses and incentives at all level, we need balanced engagement and inclusion of both genders in the debate and we need awareness raising. The institutions, be it private companies, public authorities or academia should build processes that stop gender bias and act as a switch if discrimination is detected. Some good examples already exist, such EDGE Certified Foundation, Athena SWAN charter and MARC – Men Advocating Real Change initiative. We also need strong role models, both male and female representing different ranges of professional interests and advocating for equality and benefits of diversity. 

My cynosure of the Congress was Natalie Haigh (13years), an outspoken advocate for gender balance. When Natalie saw the advertisement for the congress, she wrote to the organisers asking for sponsorship to cover the conference fee. But this was not enough to secure her participation at the event. To pay her flight ticket to Berlin, Natalie sold her own baked muffins. I had a chance to talk with Natalie and reflect on the conference interventions. I hold her enthusiasm, motivation and convictions in high esteem. And even if Natalie doesn’t consider her academic and professional future in STEM, she is an inspiration. This kind of proactiveness and determination needs to be more than just encouraged!

Short snapchat on Natalie's motivation and reflexions:

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Engineers for the future society
Creativity and entrepreneurial mindset with the focus on the purpose rather than the products is what is needed to create game changers and find solutions to big societal challenges, - was the overall conclusion of the NORDTEK conference, which gathered the deans  and students from the Nordic technical universities on 16th June in Espoo.

The 4th Industrial revolution is the entrepreneurial revolution, which requires agile responses and creative approach to foster innovation. While almost 15% of all jobs will disappear, the new opportunities will arise, and the entrepreneurship is the key to seize the new opportunities. We should stop supporting silos of learning, and instead support our students in acquiring multidisciplinary skills and entrepreneurial methods, which should be embedded in different fields of studies. We should promote flexible learning spaces and collaboration.

The conference voiced also the views of the young generation. According to student representatives, communication skills and ethical questioning disclosed in group works and interdisciplinary projects are of outmost priority. Having a hands-on experience and being a part of concrete problem solving cases is the way to secure their engagement and connection to the real world of work. Please see their presentation here

Aalto University, the host organization of the conference, is a pioneer in providing the right environment for students to unfold their creativity. The Aalto Design Factory is a physical and mental working environment for product developers, enabling interaction between students, researchers and professional practitioners. Startup Sauna – accelerator for top-notch tech early-stage startups and Slush – tech startups yearly event: were born in this factory.

Trond Markussen, President of ANE in his speech underlined the important role that universities play in preparing the next generation of engineers. The higher education systems need modernization and new approaches to teaching. In parallel to this, the interest for STEM studies should grow to secure the supply of engineers in the future.  The engineer the future project was mentioned as an example to engage youngsters through awareness rising campaigns. In conclusion, Trond stressed that in order to truly understand students, we must continually turn to them, ask them about their experiences and support them in becoming game changers. 

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Conclusions from the ANE 10 years’ anniversary workshop
The key messages and highlights from the workshop: The future perspectives for Nordic engineers in the new world of work are summarised in the Memory book, which can be downloaded here.

A nice recapping of the day is also available in the short movie, produced by Kristoffer Moene Rød from NITO.

In addition, two articles summing up the discussions on learning from existing practices and the debate between the presidents of each organisation and young generation were produced by Christina Gulbrandsen, editor-in chief of NITO Refleks. The articles in Norwegian language are accessible at the magazine’s website: 
Background documents and presentations can be found here

Photos from the event, taken By Kristoffer Moene Rød, are also available online and can be downloaded here

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Crowdsourcing-challenge – submit your best idea
In the framework of the project “Automation and digitisation in Nordic manufacturing companies”, a challenge to collect ideas on how to improve the skills of the regional business service providers will be launched on 1st June 2017.
Publicly supported business service providers play an important role in enhancing the level of digitisation and automation within the manufacturing industry, e.g. by identifying and motivating relevant manufacturing companies to initiate (new) projects on automation and digitisation. On the other hand, by identifying areas (processes and functions) within the company where implementation of automation and digitisation is relevant and has the greatest potential. Preliminary research has revealed that Nordic business service providers apply different approaches and methods when advising manufacturing companies on these matters. 
The challenge will seek out new ideas on how to upgrade the competences of public business consultants in all Nordic countries, which will hopefully enable them to service and guide companies in the right direction as to automate and implement digital solutions. The challenge will be launched at and run for 1 month. The best innovative solution will receive a prize.
The project “Automation and digitisation in Nordic manufacturing companies” was implemented by the Danish Business Authority and financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers. 

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Whistleblower protection – ANE contribution to the EU consultation process
Whistleblowing is a fundamental right of freedom of expression, and therefore workers who expose the wrongdoing should be protected. 
While the EU commission has decided to include measures on whistleblowing in its work Programme 2017, a comprehensive EU legislation on the matter is needed and should be put in place. ANE together with many other stakeholders supported the call for whistleblower protection, by 
signing the petition on the platform hosted by Eurocadres: and by contributing to the EU public consultation on whistleblower protection. The ANE contribution is available here.

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The future perspectives for Nordic engineers in the new world of work 
To mark the 10 years of cooperation, the Association of Nordic Engineers, ANE organises the workshop: The future perspectives for Nordic engineers in the new world of work on 15th May in Stockholm. 
In the new world of work and evolving environment, innovation competences are essential for graduates and professionals to be successful. The disruption caused by automation and development of new technologies challenges the education systems, polarises the labour markets and affects our lives. The emergence of new sectors and growing impact of the artificial intelligence demand new skills and competences, and call for the modernisation and agile responses in all sectors. Innovation is one of the driving forces in each society, and engineers play a crucial role in contributing with their creativity and knowledge. The engineers, like all other employee categories should prepare their mindsets for responses to the disruption created. 
The workshop will engage participants from the three founding organisations in the knowledge sharing on the best practices and discussion on the new requirements for skills, diversity in the workplace and impact on engineers’ work, as well as the role of engineers in ethics standards.
More particularly, the participants will discuss how their organisations can help their members to remain competitive and secure their employability in these times of constant change. In addition, the following questions will be further explored: How can the organisations secure a decent and safe working life for their members in the future? How to ensure that each engineer prioritises ethical considerations in the design and development of autonomous systems?
Gunnar Karlsson, Professor at The Royal Institute of Technology, Malin Rosqvist, Project leader for the PROMPT project at Mälardalen University, Sverker Janson, PhD, Director of Computer Systems Laboratory at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Irene Mandl, Head of Unit, Employment, Eurofound and Gry Hasselbalch, ThinkDoTank: DataEthics are the prominent guest speakers at the event.
The programme of the workshop can be downloaded here.

On the occasion of the 10 years’ anniversary, a brochure: Sharing the knowledge makes a difference, describing the vision, mission and objectives of ANE, was produced and can be downloaded here

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New ANE-coordinator from Sveriges Ingenjörer
ANE is delighted to welcome Jenny Grensman as new ANE-coordinator from Sveriges Injenjörer. Jenny will take up her new duties in May 2017 and will replace Laila Abdallah, who will continue her professional path in the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations. 
Jenny is a journalist with 20 years’ experience from daily newspapers, corporate magazines and organizational press. Currently, she is working as Editor-in-Chief of the magazine Ingenjören, and previously hold the position of the advisor at Brussels Office of Swedish Trade Unions.
Jenny has a particular interest in digitalization, and especially the future of journalism in the digital age.

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Why Ethical Considerations should drive technological design?
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEA and its Standards Association held a webinar on 19th April to inform about the work of the association and its involvement in the Global initiative on the ethical considerations in artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.  
“In order to benefit from the potential of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems (AI/AS), there is a need for aligning these technologies to humans in terms of moral values and ethical principles. There is also a need to ensure that every technologist is educated, trained, and empowered to prioritize ethical considerations in the design and development of autonomous and intelligent systems,” stated Kay Firth-Butterfield, Vice-Chair of the IEEE Global Initiative and Executive Director of AI Austin. 
This world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity with over 400,000 members in more than 160 countries serves as a platform for generating ideas in order to create a global code of ethics. 
Last year the organisation has published the first version of the Ethically Aligned Design, available on the website: The comments, as well as the contribution to various working groups established to progress on the subject, are being currently accepted.  The involvement into this work is open for everyone and the organisation welcomes new insights and new multidisciplinary expertise.
“Transparency, traceability and accountability are the foundational principles while developing new ethical standards. It should be always possible to find out why an autonomous system made a particular decision, this is a prerequisite before even starting the development. It would be unethical to build an autonomous system, if this condition is not met,” said Alan Winfeld, Professor from Bristol Robotics Laboratory. Mr. Winfeld is also a chair of the working group on Transparency in Autonomous System, which aims at developing a standard that sets out measurable, testable levels of transparency so that autonomous systems can be assessed and levels of compliance determined. The standard will provide designers of autonomous systems with a toolkit for self-assessing transparency and recommendations on how to assess transparency hazards.
Another important work is curried by the working group on Algorithmic Bias Considerations, which for objective has the identification and mitigation of non-operationally-justified biases of algorithmic systems. This group will provide methodologies for accountability and clarity around targeting, assessing and influencing of users and stakeholders of algorithmic systems.
“There is no doubts, ethics become the new green for algorithmic enterprise, - a new way for business models where innovation process prioritizes ethical considerations for their systems processes and product development,” concluded John Havens, executive Director of IEEE. 

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Education where the individual is at heart 
7th University Business Forum, 6-7 April 2017, focused on the extent to which qualifications meet the skills employers need, the role of higher education in regional development and its importance for innovation, topics closely related to the EU Commission's upcoming modernisation agenda for higher education. The forum brought together representatives of academia and business as well as policy-makers from across the EU and beyond. The main messages taken from the Forum are as follow:

  • Investing in people is the way forward to break barriers
    It is not enough to build bridges between universities and business; those bridges do not guarantee the cooperation. The cooperation only happens when people get to know each other better and have trust in each other. There should be more networking opportunities and places for people to interact. The importance of people as knowledge careers should be at heart of each partnership. Investment should go for best people, best ideas and not institutions.
  • 21st century skills – don’t be afraid to fail and be different
    Creativity, innovation, adaptability, critical thinking should be part of the curriculum, students should understand that the versatility is a key strategy and intellectual agility is timeless in the four dimensional education. The four dimensional education, which allows staying relevant in these exponential times, includes: 1) knowledge: what we know and understand; 2) skills: how we use what we know; 3) character: how we behave and engage in the world, and 4) meta-learning: how 
    we reflect and adapt. 
  • Dual studies, entrepreneurial mindset and smart specialization 
    The universities need to adapt to new societal and economic challenges. Higher Education institutions should fit for the future and provide relevant education. Entrepreneurship should be a mandatory part of the curriculum and embedded across the teaching offer. This will provide an opportunity for students to learn in classrooms and in work places, and will allow innovation to flourish through both formal and informal interactions between faculty and students with local firms. At the same time, the high education institutions have a role to play in the design and implementation of the regional smart specialization process, the key EU policy instrument to boost innovation in the regions.
  • Big differences in motivations
    Universities want new insights and time for contemplation, while business wants new knowledge and high speed of delivery. While universities are motivated by research, the businesses are after new discoveries and innovation. For higher education institutions funding for cooperation and lack of resources are seen as the biggest barriers for the cooperation, whereas in the business world, the cultural differences are considered as the biggest obstacle. Even though the motivation for cooperation differs, the key drive for the cooperation for both sides is the trusted relationship.
  • Check your entrepreneurial potential
    As part of the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan, the European Commission, in collaboration with OECD, developed a framework and on-line self-assessment tool, HEInnovate, to address the need for guidance and greater clarity on what constitutes an entrepreneurial higher education institution:

The presentations are now available online:  You can access them by clicking on the PDF icon in front of the speakers’ name.

Video footage of the event ( and the attendance list ( are also available on the site.

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Forthcoming meetings: April – June 2017
On the agenda of the first UNI Nordic P&M Network meeting, taking place 4 April in Oslo, are the guiding principles and the way forward of the network, work programmes 2017 covering the European region and global level, and strategic policy discussion on the protection of whistleblowers.  The aim of the network is to ensure stronger coordination at Nordic level and better policy handling at both European and global level. ANE attends the meetings to raise the voice of engineers and contribute to the development and implementation of UNI P&M policies. 

7th University Business Forum, organised by the European Commission 6-7 April in Brussels, will bring together representatives form education institutions, large companies and local authorities to address topics as skills in modernisation and innovation, state of university business cooperation and smart specialisation in regional development. ANE will attend the forum to get inspirations and take part in the networking events. For more information about the event: 

The next IN (Industrianställde i Norden) coordination meetings are scheduled 19 April (tele meeting), 10-11 May in Vilnius and 1 June (tele meeting).  This is a forum for exchanging information and aligning positions among like-minded countries as regards the policy influencing in the IndustriAll committees and working groups on matters, such as industrial policy, white collars, and organising. ANE participates at the meetings to ensure a coordinated and timely approach towards influencing the policy processes. The IN Executive committee and Nordic Forum will take place in Reykjavik, 27-30 June. On the agenda will be the election of the members for the Executive committee and debate on populism

UNI Europa EU Policy Making Working Group will meet 3 May in Brussels. This working group was established to share information on EU Policy developments and plan joint lobbying campaigns. The discussions on the key strategic priorities for 2017 and the current EU policy debates will be in focus for that meeting. ANE joins these discussions to be up-to-speed on the EU processes and pinpoint the priority areas of importance for the engineers.

The next UNI Europa P&M steering group will convene 8 May in Brussels. The meeting will mark the launch of the work plan for the next years, with particular focus on the Future World of Work. The aim of the organsiation is to become a strong voice for P&Ms highlighting existing challenges and potentials. ANE contributes to the discussions, and this year is hosting the UNI Europa P&M conference on the Future World of Work 12-13 September in Copenhagen.

IndustriAll Europe Executive Committee will take place 7-8 June in London. IndustriAll European Trade Union is a federation of independent and democratic trade unions representing manual and non-manual workers in the metal, chemical, energy, mining, textile, clothing and footwear sectors and related industries and activities. The organisation is also a member of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and partner of IndustriALL Global Union. ANE and its affiliates always participate at the ExCom meetings, as well as they take active participation in influencing the work in different committees.

STEM Gender Equality Congress to be held 8-9 June in Berlin will address gender equality in STEM through policy, practice and collaboration. Attended by leading researchers, policy makers, equality staff, the private sector and NGOs, the congress offers a perfect opportunity to learn about gender equality in STEM. ANE will participate at the event to get inspiration from pertinent case studies, networking and knowledge collaboration. For more information:

NORDTEK (network of the Rectors and Deans of the Technical Universities in the five Nordic countries) organizes the conference: “Engineers for the future Society: Do we educate game changers for the grand challenges?” to be held 14–16 June at Aalto University Finland. Trond Markussen, ANE president will participate as key speaker and give the perspective on the requirements for the engineers in the future world of work. For more information: See the programme 

ANE Board meeting will take place 21 June in Oslo. On the agenda of that meeting will be the revision of ANE statutes, decision on the follow-up of the recommendations from the ANE workshop and strategic decisions on the implementation of the ANE work plan during the second half of 2017.

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ANE Activity plan 2017 is adopted
In 2016, the Association of Nordic Engineers (ANE) has developed its new strategy for the next three years. The implementation of this strategy depends on the strategic planning and future vision of each organisation, which lies in the Policy departments. A regular dialogue is needed to facilitate knowledge building and sharing across ANE organisations in order to implement the ANE strategy in a joint effort. 
The first meeting of ANE Policy Departments, held on 1st March 2017 in Oslo, has provided an opportunity to kick-off strategic discussions and agree on the way forward. During the meeting, the Activity plan 2017 was finalised. Among many other activities, it features the ANE workshop: “The future perspectives for Nordic engineers in the new world of work”, taking place on 15th May 2017 in Stockholm. This is an internal workshop, which will engage participants from the three organisations in the discussion on new demands and opportunities in the working life of engineers. 
The next meeting of the ANE Policy Departments will be organised on 24th October in Stockholm.
The Activity plan 2017 can be viewed here.

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ANE Board meeting, 9-10 March 2017 in Copenhagen
The ANE Board convened for its first meeting in 2017 to continue its strategic discussion with particular focus on evaluation of participation in the partners’ organisations and preparation of the ANE 10 years’ anniversary workshop to be held in Stockholm, 15th May 2017. At the meeting, the Board received an exhaustive update on the carried activities during the first months of 2017 and agreed on the follow-up process. During the strategic discussions, the ANE strategy 2017-2019 was finalised and the budget 2017 approved.
A separate meeting with ANE-coordinators and Administrative Directors was organised before the ANE Board meeting and mainly covered administrative and day-to-day operational matters.
The next Board meeting will take place on 21st June in Stockholm.

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More Nordic STEM talents to remain competitive at global level 
The ANE STEM stakeholders meeting, held on 3rd March 2017 in Copenhagen, was organised as a platform to map opportunities and share expertise in developing national STEM strategies in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. 
“If we are not able to attract talents, we will not be able to ensure the technological development in Nordic countries”, was the introductory remark by Charlotte Mark, Managing Director from Microsoft Development Center in Copenhagen, at the meeting. “65% of students today will have jobs that don’t exist yet, such as virtual habitat designer and cybernetic designer, showed the Microsoft Research from 2016. As a society, we should prioritise continuous learning for all, upskilling for teachers, influencing parents and including computational thinking and programming in early education”, further stressed Ch. Mark.
According to Thomas Damkjær Petersen, President of the Danish Society of Engineers, to create a suitable supply of educated STEM professionals in one country, if the rest of Scandinavia kept lacking STEM-candidates, would not be a viable solution in a long-term. Therefore, the three countries should cooperate to close the shortage of engineers and people holding a degree in science, which is expected to reach 13.500 individuals by 2025, and make sure that the education systems respond to the business’ technological needs.
“Teachers’ and parents’ influence on young peoples’ study choices and attitude towards STEM are important factors to be closely looked at. In addition to this, the correlation between interest and achievements, diversity, motivation, perception of school science and education quality are elements to work on to change the negative stereotyping of the scientist”, stated Anders Jidesjö from Linköping University.  
At the meeting, participants had a chance to learn from the existing best practices, such as the Engineer the future project from Denmark and Jet-net initiative from the Netherlands, and the work carried out in Denmark and Norway in developing national STEM strategies.
The meeting was organised in the cooperation with the EU STEM Coalition, which is a network of national STEM platforms that was formally launched in 2015 by the STEM platforms of Denmark, The Netherlands, Estonia and Belgium. 
All background documents and presentations can be accessed here

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Report from the FEANI National Members Forum meeting 
The future strategic orientation of the organisation was on the agenda of the FEANI NMF meeting, held on 2nd March in Brussels. The discussions were structured around the policy paper prepared by the specially established Task Force as a result of the decision at the General Assembly meeting in October 2016.
The Nordic Regional group met prior to the meeting to discuss the status and gather the Nordic opinion on the aforementioned policy paper.
Both meetings were chaired by Trond Markussen, President of NITO and ANE.
The report of the meeting can be downloaded at FEANI.

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The change is the only constant: getting inspirations from India!
The Association of Nordic Engineers, ANE travelled to Bangalore to get inspiration and exposure to innovative ideas emerging from the “Silicon Valley” of India.
The visit to Bangalore (30th January - 2nd February 2017) provided a weeklong deep dive into learning and knowhow sharing. 
“There is a great opportunity for Nordic Council of Ministers to promote the Nordic engineers globally and for Nordic engineers to get inspiration and share their knowledge with the country they can’t ignore anymore,” underlined T. Markussen, President of the Norwegian Society of Engineers and Technologists, and President of ANE. Read the full article here.

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New President for the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers
On Tuesday, 15th November 2016, Ulrika Lindstrand (43), an engineer at the pharmaceutical company McNeil in Helsingborg, was elected unanimously as the new President of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers.
Ulrika was the member of the Board since 2010 and the last four years fulfilled the duties of the first vice-president. She is succeeding Ulf Bengtsson, who retired from his functions in October this year.
Modernisation of the association, members interests and education are the priority areas according to Ulrika. She further underlines the important role of engineers in fostering knowledge, innovation and leadership in business – the areas that should be in focus to drive Sweden forward.
ANE is very happy to welcome Ulrika as new member of the ANE Board and wishes her a lot of success in the new role.

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FEANI General Assembly and National Member Forum meetings
The discussions at the National Member Forum, (NMF)  meeting, 13th October were structured around the statement produced by the Nordic Regional Group, which you can downloaded here
The statement underlined challenges related to the existence of the organization, common ground and the extending policy. These questions were debated in eight working groups.
At the General Assembly, the following day, and again on the proposal of the Nordic Group, it was agreed to:

  • ask the Board of Directors to develop and present a new Strategic plan for agreement at the next NMF in March 2017. This strategy should clarify the purpose and vision of the organisation, as well as outline the priority areas. This document should be sent to NMF four weeks in advance of the next meeting, and should take into consideration all input received at the October NMF meeting in Stockholm. The new Strategic Plan should be ratified at the next meeting of the General Assembly in October 2017, or via a special General meeting convened before.
  • appoint a working group with two representatives from each of the three regions. The members of the working group should not hold the position in the Board of Directors.
    In addition, the Nordic Group advocated against the proposal on common training principles for engineers and stressed the need for firm implementation of the provisions set in the paragraph S9 (non-payment of membership fee)

The Nordic Group will meet on 25th November to prepare the contribution to the aforementioned working Group. The next NMF will meet in March 2017.

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ANE President goes on retirement
After 14 years in duties as President of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers, Ulf Bengtsson has decided to step down from his function and to devote more time to his first grandchild and his hobbies. This also means that Ulf is leaving the ANE President position, which he held since the ANE establishment in 2007.
ANE wishes Ulf to enjoy his new wonderful phase of life and would like to thank Ulf for his dedication, guidance and experience. Ulf’s passion and tireless professionalism made Nordic countries recognisable at international level.
ANE wishes Ulf good luck with his new endeavours! 
Link to the article in Swedish:

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European study into University-Business Cooperation

The European Commission has commissioned a wide-ranging study on cooperation between higher education institutions and public and private organisations in Europe
The survey will be the most comprehensive one of its kind ever undertaken in Europe, involving all European universities and over 1,000 businesses. It will help inform appropriate policy making aimed at improving future partnerships between higher education institutions and external organisations.
To participate: complete the survey in the European language of your choice: 

The survey itself will take about 10 minutes to complete and all responses will remain anonymous. We kindly request that you complete the survey before 11/11/2016

If you have any queries about the survey, please contact

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FEANI Regional Group meeting in Copenhagen

The representatives of Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom, convened at the FEANI Regional Group Meeting on 14 September in Copenhagen, have discussed concerns related to the critical financial situation and the decrease in commitment from national members.
At the meeting it was concluded to task ANE and FEANI secretariats to produce one-pager to be tabled at the next FEANI General Assembly and National Member Forum meeting, scheduled on 13-14 October in Stockholm. This paper should outline the problem statement and possible options to structure the discussions.
The meeting was chaired by ANE Vice-President, Trond Markussen.

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ANE Board Meeting

The ANE Board has convened for its third meeting this year in Copenhagen on 13th September 2016. On the agenda were discussions about the future strategy for ANE, study tour to India and the ANE 10 years’ anniversary conference.
Since Inese Podgaiska took up her duties as new General Secretary in August, the priority was given to developing the new ANE strategy and vision. A series of visits and discussions were conducted with IDA, NITO and Sveriges Ingenjörer to reflect on the cooperation to-date and crystalize future priorities. The summary of these reflexions was presented and discussed in-depth during the Board meeting. Moreover, it was decided to table the strategy paper at the next Board meeting, with an idea of having the final version ready and adopted before the end 2016. 
At the meeting it was also decided that ANE will take on the study tour to India from 30th January until 2nd February 2017. This inspiration visit in Bangalore, known as India’s IT hub, will enable ANE a week long deep dive into learning and knowhow sharing. The programme will particularly focus on

  • skills needed for ICT technologies globally within the next decade,
  • visiting companies at the forefront of technology and innovation today, 
  • investigating on potential partnerships and business models that could serve as inspiration for new projects back home,
  • understanding the impact of global pressures and versatile workforce,
  • exploring engineers’ learning processes, competence development, hiring and innovation.

The study tour is organised in cooperation with the Innovation Centre Denmark.

Furthermore, it was agreed to hold ANE 10 years’ anniversary conference in 2017, which will be looking at the challenges and opportunities for the future work of engineers.
The conference will provide a platform to:

  • Inform stakeholders about the new ANE strategy,
  • Explore needs, opportunities and pressures, and what impact they may have on engineers in the future,
  • Showcase good practices of current responses,
  • Introduce European perspective on future roles for engineers,
  • Listen to the young generation and their recommendations.

The conference will take place on 15th May 2017 in the IDA Conference Center, Kalvebod Brygge 31-33, Copenhagen, Denmark.

In addition, the Board has looked at the need for restructuring the ANE website. The decision will be taken at the next Board meeting, scheduled for 26th October in Stockholm. 

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