Tag Archives: geology

Episode 60 — Social License

socialGeological engineer Pamela Rogalski shares her insights about using social license to enact change in organizations and communities during this episode of The Engineering Commons.

  • Adam notes that bureaucracies seem rather opposed to the concept of change.
  • Our guest for this episode is Pamela Rogalski, a licensed professional engineer from Canada who has worked as a manager, strategist, educator, negotiator, and executive level adviser for geotechnical engineering and power generation firms in her home province of British Columbia.
  • Pamela notes technology can be viewed as having both beneficial and deleterious aspects, a theme widely reflected in literature and the arts, as well as in engineering reasoning.
  • The conflict between humans and machines is woven into Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the D’Urbervilles,” in which the author expresses discomfort that people would “serve” a mechanical thresher he calls the “red tyrant.”
  • Pamela’s technical degree is in Geophysical Engineering, which maps the earth’s subterranean properties by analyzing how electrical, magnetic, or seismic waves propagate through the subsurface.
  • Geotechnical engineering investigates structural properties of the earth’s subsurface.
  • Both Geophysical and Geotechnical Engineering are subfields of Geological Engineering.
  • While still a student, Pamela joined Engineers Without Borders.
  • Our guest believes engineers can be much better at communicating how technical solutions align with organizational priorities.
  • Getting engaged in the “procurement conversation” is a method Pamela recommends for increasing an engineer’s organizational influence.
  • A social license is a community‚Äôs consent to a project or structure existing in their local area.
  • Pamela co-founded the Engineering Leadership Council, a non-profit organization that works with technical professionals to advise companies and communities in addressing social and environmental concerns as they implement infrastructure projects within Canada.
  • Brian mentions the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository as a project that failed to acquire social license from the local communities.
  • It’s nearly impossible for “social impact” to win a direct fight with financial interests, according to our guest.
  • A community of practice allows for shared learning among individuals with a common area of interest.
  • Pamela feels that change management is an important aspect of bringing about innovation within an organization or community.
  • A change curve attempts to map personal and organizational reactions to new situations and technologies.
  • Pamela describes the ADKAR change model, detailed in the book “ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government and our Community,” by Jeffrey Hiatt.
  • Jeff asks about similarities between the change curve and the adoption curve.
  • Pamela enjoys managing volunteers, but notes that “high-capacity” volunteers deserve a lot of support.
  • In her spare time, Pamela enjoys mountaineering.
  • Our guest encourages engineers to work in line with their personal values, and to seek ways for nudging their organizations into actions that are consistent with those values.
  • Pamela can be reached via email: progalski ++ at ++ engleadership.org. There is also a “contact” page on the Engineering Leadership Council website.

Thanks to JD Hancock for the photograph titled “Social.” Podcast theme music by Paul Stevenson.