As engineers who were born in India, we have a unique place in history. Understanding our historical identity and pondering our place in today’s global scheme of things is very critical. This paves way for how we are remembered, and what legacy we leave behind for engineers who graduate much later than us.
We must recognize our historical relevance and our unique role in shaping the world. Delving into our past achievements, struggles, and wisdoms offers insights into our heritage. We are not a small group. Since the early 1990s, we have been adding up to the global pool of engineers with such intensity.
We must ponder what our place should be in history and demand a fair spot for ourselves. History is an essential element of our journey, and being aware of its significance at an early age can lead to a more profound impact on future generations.
I am currently transitioning to 40. I had not given history much thought. I used to think history is never something we should bother about. Unless we actively take part in interpreting our collective relevance in history, we are doing our identity a great injustice. By actively considering our place in history, we are legitimizing our place in the world, why we existed, and why we mattered.
We do matter a lot.
Photo by Omkar Pandhare: https://www.pexels.com/photo/ethnic-person-looking-out-of-train-window-3732475/
Crafting Our Legacy
Our legacy lies in the light and mellow contributions we make, striving to give our best in whatever work we do.
We aim to offer something valuable for the younger generation to ponder—a philosophy, a point of view distilled from life experiences since the 1980s.
As a collective, we are not the brash and loud group of people who do a little and talk a lot. We may even look like we don’t care much about the world, or what happens around us. Yet, in every technology revolutions that has been mushrooming around the world, the quiet Indian engineer has been providing his services like the unknown soldier.
Creating designs, solving bugs, jumping to action often ignoring his personal needs or the needs of his family, he is devoting his life to his craft. His art is his engineering services, and he is busy getting the paintings of his employers and his investors like an obedient servant. Sometimes, painfully not even invited to the launch parties of the great products that he helped to develop, the sense of sacrifice and selflessness of the Indian engineer cannot be ignored.
Addressing Global Challenges
As engineers from India, we recognize the challenges faced by the world today, such as global warming, climate change, poverty, and homelessness. Reports like the Global Competitiveness Report from the World Economic Forum shed light on the imperatives for a future economic transformation. By transforming the enabling environment, human capital, markets, and innovation, we can shape a more sustainable and inclusive future.
In the grand scheme of history, engineers have played crucial roles in shaping the world. The creation of history is often intentional, requiring proactive contributions and interpretations of our struggles and wisdom. While historical narratives have often been influenced by ruling factions and religion, it is essential to create our own history that highlights our positive impact on humanity.
By learning from successful examples of smaller nations, engineers from India can contribute to a greener, more inclusive economy. This involves significant investments and development in digital infrastructure, energy upgrades, and a focus on long-term investments. Implementing progressive taxation systems and expanding public services are pivotal for strengthening stability and inclusion. Embracing diversity and incentivizing research and innovation can drive the creation of future markets.
As engineers, it is crucial to understand the imperatives driving a future economic transformation. Recent reports have identified four key areas that can lead to revival and progress:
- Transforming the Enabling Environment: The world must prioritize improving public service delivery, managing public debt, and expanding digitization. In the long term, embracing more progressive taxation, upgrading utilities, and building greener infrastructure are recommended. These initiatives can foster a conducive environment for economic growth. Engineers such as our kind could really develop the infrastructure for these environments. Our unique wisdom and logic in developing these systems will go a long way in transforming the world.
- Transforming Human Capital: Gradual transitions from furlough schemes to proactive investments in new labor market opportunities are vital for driving recovery. Additionally, scaling-up reskilling and upskilling programs, and implementing safety nets can empower the workforce. Updating education curricula, labor laws, and adopting new talent-management technologies are key for long-term human capital development. Since we are so hands on with our technologies and know deeply how the levers of economics could be changed with algorithms and code, our knowledge of these systems could be a key catalyst in great innovations.
- Transforming Markets: While financial systems have become more stable, inclusivity remains essential. Addressing growing market concentration and barriers to goods and people movement is crucial. Encouraging sustainable and inclusive investments by introducing financial incentives to companies can foster a more equitable economy. Updating competition and anti-trust frameworks can ensure fair market practices. Our business acumen and knowledge that we have gained from long years of intense practice will definitely come handy for these tranformations.
- Transforming the Innovation Ecosystem: Boosting entrepreneurial culture is essential for breakthrough technologies and services. Countries need to invest in research and development (R&D) and encourage private sector participation. By supporting the creation of “markets of tomorrow” and fostering diversity in firms, creativity and market relevance can be enhanced in the long term.
Photo by Ko Aung Min Htoo: https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-waiting-on-railway-platform-15553717/
The key insights from observing smaller nations’ successes are enlightening:
- Digital Infrastructure Investments: To transition to a greener and more inclusive economy, significant investments in infrastructure, particularly digital networks, are essential. Countries like Denmark, Estonia, Finland, and the Netherlands are leading the way in this regard. We could learn a lot from their implementations and be helpful in transforming the global economy.
- Greener Economy: Upgrading energy infrastructure and transportation networks, along with commitments to environmental protection, are vital for driving economic transformation. Denmark, Estonia, Finland, and the Netherlands are exemplary in their efforts. However, countries like Russia, Indonesia, Turkey, and South Africa still have work to do. We can analyse the gaps and address them effectively.
- Longer-Term Investments: Directing financial resources towards long-term investments in the real economy can strengthen stability and expand inclusion. Countries like Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, and Austria are relatively well-prepared in this aspect, while the United States still faces challenges. We understand investment strategies from the several startups we have been working in, and offer the wisdom we gained to the larger world structures.
- More Progressive Taxation: Implementing progressive taxation systems is a key driver of economic transformation. Countries like the Republic of Korea, Japan, Australia, and South Africa lead in this area with well-balanced and progressive tax structures. This problem with numbers, percentages, and ranges is not unknown to us.
- Expanded Public Services: Ensuring future-ready education, labor laws, and income support are crucial for expanding the social protection floor. Countries like Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have made progress, while others, including South Africa, India, Greece, and Turkey, have room for improvement.
- Incentives for the Markets of Tomorrow: Encouraging patient investments in research, innovation, and invention can create new markets and drive growth. Countries like Finland, Japan, the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Sweden are leading the way in this aspect, while Greece, Mexico, Turkey, and the Slovak Republic have room for advancement.
Understanding these imperatives and key insights empowers engineers to become active participants in shaping a sustainable and inclusive future economy. By adopting these strategies, we can work towards a world that is equitable, innovative, and responsive to the challenges of tomorrow.
In conclusion, engineers with roots in India must embrace their historical relevance and the potential to shape a brighter future. By acknowledging the importance of history, crafting a meaningful legacy, and addressing global challenges, engineers can leave a lasting impact on the world. With a collective effort towards sustainability and positive change, engineers from India can become catalysts for a brighter, more prosperous tomorrow.