The National Academy of Engineering published a list of fourteen Grand Challenges which fall into four cross-cutting societal themes: sustainability, health, security, and joy of living.
INCOSE’s Vision 2025 describes a framework coupling societal needs to systems challenges, then to gaps in the capabilities of Systems Engineering. “Global trends include changes to both socioeconomic conditions and changes in our physical environment. These global changes impose new demands on the types of systems that are needed, yet are often impacted by the very technology and system developments meant to satisfy the human needs. For example, increased population growth and urbanization impose new challenges on transportation, health, and other modern infrastructures, while at the same time, systems solutions and technology itself can adversely impact air and water quality.”
Vision 2025 continues: “Large and often complex engineered systems are key to addressing the Grand Challenges and satisfying human and social needs that are physical, psychological, economic and cultural.” Grand Challenge themes should address a scope which covers all aspects of the system outcomes whoever they are delivered by. Enterprises must consider the balance of finite resources and trade-offs across the full scope; how to set the necessary level of human and technical integration; and the need to remain viable within environmental factors and possible threats. All decisions must consider what is acceptable within the social context in which they sit.
With this in mind, this panel will highlight the intersection of grand challenge areas, particularly with respect to human and social needs.