New Council Poised to Carry Forward ASCE’s Global Strategy

August 21, 2015
A bicycle-driven wagon rides through the streets near Kolkata, India. ASCE leaders recently traveled to India for a pilot program aimed at fostering new partnerships.

Now comes the fun part.

ASCE’s new Global Strategy Council represents an exciting pivot between the Society’s international achievements up to now and those to come. The council will put into action several high-level goals set by the Global Strategy Council Task Committee, applying comprehensive plans for achieving each.

“We were becoming global organically, but we didn’t have a plan. We didn’t have a strategy,” said ASCE Past President Randall (Randy) S. Over, P.E., Pres.14.ASCE, who has been instrumental during his time on the Board of Direction in advancing a global strategy. “Now we’re going to start looking at propelling specific opportunities and relationships. Now we go about the business of really being strategic about what opportunities we need to keep pursuing and new ones to start pursuing.  It’s right on that cusp of moving between strategy and tactic. That’s what’s so exciting.”

The Board of Direction approved creation of the Global Strategy Council and a supporting Global Staff Council at its July meeting. The councils will work together along with Institutes and ASCE’s Committee on Technical Advancement’s Technical Divisions toward implementing the action statements specified in the Task Committee’s “Steps to Achieve” document. As stated, these include:

• Global Image–Global Voice
ASCE continues to develop its global image as the respected voice for the entire civil engineering profession.

• Global Footprint
ASCE takes a leadership role in global issues.

• Reserve a Seat at the Table
ASCE expands global engineering networks to allow greater opportunities for civil engineers to participate in the solution of global issues, ideally through activities brought to them by ASCE.

• Expand ASCE Products and Services
ASCE provides appropriate extensions and adaptations of ASCE products and services for other countries, in various stages of development, to better disseminate the civil engineering body of knowledge.

ASCE members gather for a meeting of the Asian Civil Engineers Coordinating Council in Delhi, India.

ASCE members gather for a meeting of the Asian Civil Engineers Coordinating Council in Delhi, India.

ASCE has been working on a global scale for many years. In 66 countries, ASCE has 82 agreements of cooperation with national civil engineering societies and other engineering organizations. ASCE’s International Region 10’s Board of Governors oversees 19 Sections and 15 Groups. The Society has more than 20,000 international members hailing from 177 different countries.

Through the Institutes and Technical Divisions, ASCE organizes and participates in many international conferences. The Environmental & Water Resources Institute has organized eight annual International Perspectives on Water Resources and the Environment conferences in nations including India, Thailand, Singapore, Morocco, Turkey, and Ecuador. The 2016 conference will be held Jan. 4-6, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Continuing education is another way ASCE is extending its reach, including webinars and online on-demand courses.

“The key now,” Over said, “is growing all of those programs while maximizing their impact. How do we pick what are the most impactful opportunities for us as an organization, for our members? How can we support our members in their global practice of engineering?”

In many ways, all that’s the mandate of the new Global Strategy Council. Among the possibilities are developing new education delivery models, new partnerships with aligned organizations, and expanding the sharing of innovative engineering methods worldwide.

The Executive Committee, during its August teleconference, approved the charge and responsibilities for the Global Strategy Council, as well as the membership upon their acceptance of the appointment. Soon it the GSC will hold an inaugural meeting to begin the work of prioritizing the steps to be taken to engage ASCE entities to bring the Global Strategy to fruition.

“This is where we’re going. Engineering is global,” Over said. “Are we domestic? Are we international? To me, it’s not either-or. It’s and.”

  • Avatar Robert R. Bullard, P. E.

    The success of the global strategy may well be enhanced considerably by the ASCE, once again, itself obeying the Law of the Land by reinstating without reservation Policy 119, SI conversion of the US system of weights and measures in commerce. Presently, the US shares with only Liberia and Myanmar the broad use of an antiquated system of weights and measures; all other countries that the US hopes to benefit with its new global strategy are SI. There is no excuse. Canada did it 25 years ago; let’s use their process.

    Robert R. Bullard, ASCE Life Member

  • Avatar José Ochoa-Iturbe

    To me Engineering somehow has allways been global. Everywhere there is a major and challenging work there is allways an engineer applying new technics . As far as I know it was a prívate or local initiative. I congratulate ASCE for making it moré institutional

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