Resilience is required at every level — from individual to international — as the economic impact of COVID-19 evolves, write Engineers Australia National President Chris Champion and CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans.
We talk about resilient cities, resilient economies and resilient infrastructure, as well as about resilient people, businesses, environments, systems and supply chains.
Resilience is understandably coming more into our consciousness as we consider how we should respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19. At Engineers Australia, we are working to support resilience in its many forms, now more than ever.
Personal and professional resilience is emerging as an important characteristic for engineers in the current environment. This can include looking at how to build and develop new skills and contacts.
For individuals, Engineers Australia can offer ways to build resilience through access to professional networks and events, an ongoing connection to engineering news and developments, and opportunities to use any downtime for professional development or Chartered credentialing.
For businesses, Engineers Australia is looking at how best to use our policy and advocacy efforts.
To inform our engagement and advocacy with government, we’ll be holding a series of online roundtables with CEOs over the next three months.
These will be an opportunity for CEOs to discuss the challenges for their businesses, how they’ve responded so far and how Engineers Australia can most appropriately support organisations and the profession more broadly.
We’ll also be discussing how we can prevent this economic downturn from leading to a future skills shortage, and how we can use the challenges of COVID-19 to drive innovation.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that we’re all interdependent — and that we rely on resilience in our global supply chains, as well as domestic industry, to have a stable and functioning economy.
As we all work to embrace new ways of working, with virtual team meetings becoming the norm, we can see the importance of social cohesion in responding to challenges.
And it is heartening that, in the instance of COVID-19, Australians young and old have found common cause and respected the importance of our social compact by cooperating with each other and with the authorities, and paying heed to scientific expertise.
We hope that same respect for independent expertise and informed decisions can extend to future investments in infrastructure that provide the most community value and benefit, and to addressing what remains the biggest resilience challenge of them all: climate change.