Episode Archive

SCP E240 Inspiring and Empowering Future Leaders in Smart Communities, with Felicity Furey

Hi #smartcommunity friends! In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I have such a great conversation with Felicity Furey, an engineer and award-winning entrepreneur who now works with high-performing teams to give leaders the skills they need to ignite new possibilities in business, education and STEM. Felicity starts by telling us about her background and how she came to be a civil engineer, as well as her passion for leadership, creativity, business engineering and women in STEM and how these led her into the education space. Felicity then shares with us what a Smart Community is to her and we discuss how important creativity and diverse skills are so important in the engineering industry. 

She then tells us all about her three businesses; Power of Engineering, Maths in Real Life and WeAspire, and the amazing work they are doing with students and future leaders to inspire through education, before we discuss how STEM fits into the Smart Communities space. We then discuss the link between engineering and leadership and the importance of good communication in engineering to effectively communicate ideas to the people you want to sell them to. 

We finish our chat discussing the emerging trends of more complex problems communities are now facing, how the community is now involved in the solutions and decision making processes as well as the need to be able to solve these problems ahead of time. As always we hope you enjoyed listening to this episode, as much as we enjoyed making it! 

Listen here: 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Felicity’s background as a civil engineer 
  • Her passion for business engineering and women in STEM
  • How her passion for leadership, creativity and desire to see more women in STEM lead her into education and the Smart Communities space 
  • What a Smart Community is to Felicity 
  • How creativity and diverse skills is so important in the engineering industry 
  • Felicity’s not-for-profit, Power of Engineering and the work they do to educate school students about engineering 
  • Felicity’s startup, Maths in Real Life, and how it incorporates real life elements to teaching maths to year 9 and 10 school students 
  • Her latest venture, WeAspire which aims to unlock future leaders in young people and accelerate their careers in engineering 
  • How STEM fits into the Smart Communities space and acts as a foundational tool to unlock the power of cities and Smart Communities 
  • The link between engineering and leadership and the potential to make a difference when paired together 
  • The importance of good communication in engineering to communicate your ideas effectively to people 
  • The emerging trends of more complex problems arising that need to be solved and how the community is now involved in the solution and decision making process, and the ability to solve these problems ahead of time 

Quotes:

“I think a Smart Community to me is one that is engaged and connected. And it could be through really basic technology, it can be through some fancy technology.“ 

“I see a Smart Community as someone that’s leveraging those social networks and leveraging that capability. But I think that really starts with connection.”

“I think we need people who think differently, we need creative people in engineering, we need all kinds of perspectives. In engineering, it’s really, really critical for us to be able to solve some of the really big challenges that we’re working on.” 

“People talk about STEM versus STEAM. So the STEAM is adding in the Arts, but I think it should just be STEM, because every part of STEM is creative anyway, it’s kind of like a hidden or unseen characteristic of the profession.” 

“One area for improvement is mathematics classrooms. And there’s some crazy stats, like 40% of teachers in school are not trained in that discipline of teaching math. So if they’re not trained, it can be really tricky to get excited about something and have your students be confident in that area.” 

“If you have a really great idea, if you have this awesome invention, as an engineer, it’s not going to go anywhere, if you can’t actually communicate your idea, if you can’t sell it, if you can’t influence, and if you can’t actually get the community on board.” 

“It was amazing to be at Brisbane City Council, and they actually took on board what the community had to say. And I thought when I started there, it wouldn’t be like that, that it would be like an exercise as part of the process, but they really took it on and I was super impressed by that.” 

“Now the challenge with those [complex] problems is we’re now working in this massive system. And once you start to affect one thing over here, it can have an unintended consequence somewhere else. And I think that’s another piece [engineers] need to be mindful of when we’re addressing these challenges, that we’re not making other problems down the track. So I’d love us to be proactive in our problem solving.” 

Links:

Episode201 with Michael Holmstrom 

Royal Academy of Engineering 

FelcityFurey.com 

Connect: 

Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community 

Connect with Felicity via LinkedIn 

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community  

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital.

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