UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


How to Change the World

How to Change the World is a unique hands-on training programme that equips rising engineering talent with the skills to develop creative and technically robust solutions to 21st-century challenges

Each year, STEaPP delivers this two-week programme to engineering and management science students from 11 UCL departments. HtCtW is part of UCL's Integrated Engineering Programme.

About the programme

How is the programme structured?

Teams of students are presented with a broad, open-ended societal challenge, ranging from issues such as supplying energy services to rural African locations, to finding solutions to congested transport systems in urban centres. All challenges are focused on real-world topics and are created in partnership with external experts, from policy, industry and the third sector.

In facilitated workshops, students engage with the social, political, and economic dimensions of the problem and use frameworks that enable them to narrow the scope and produce innovative design concepts, whilst benefiting from feedback and input from external partners. 

On the final day, students display their work at an Innovation Showcase and pitch their concepts to a panel of experts.

Key benefits of scenario-based learning

Throughout their degrees, students are taught the key technical skills they need to be leaders in their field. How to Change the World aims to teach students the skills they need to apply this knowledge to specific real-world problems in a meaningful way through scenario-based learning.

Students work on open-ended problems, considering social and cultural contexts, and the different ways business and governments are motivated to engage with these changes.

Students learn to:

  • harness their technical capabilities to help solve grand societal challenges
  • scope out and design socially, politically and economically feasible design solutions.
  • respond creatively and quickly to tough challenges
  • communicate effectively with their peers and experts from industry and policy
  • engage directly with global industry and academic experts and benefit from direct feedback.

Professional education

STEaPP now offers How to Change the World to as a professional education programme. The course can be tailored for a range of experience levels, from early to mid-career engineers.