Ashitha Ganapathy

Looking back at the history of work provides us an opportunity to understand how work as we know it today transformed over the years. With the pandemic disrupting work norms, we now have an opportunity to redesign old practices and reimagine other aspects. Such a task is complex. As we journey through the past, we can see the impact of work on social, technological, and environmental systems. Keeping this in mind, it may guide us in better understanding present complex challenges, to create a future of work that places values at its core.

Looking at origin stories allow us to reflect on how some of the older practices, rituals, and assumptions influence how we design our futures. The nature of work plays a significant role in defining a civilization, its culture, the relationships of the worker with themselves, their workplace, their employer and their society.

Who had the power to make prominent decisions that influenced work? Who were the beneficiaries of those decisions? How did different technologies get introduced into work? What values did they embody and what was their impact on various systems?

         Ashitha Ganapathy

With rapid advancements in technology, systems are becoming more complex and there is an underlying focus on making systems more self-reliant and autonomous. With increased autonomy, benefits are most often coupled with risks. An overarching goal of the new branch of engineering (NBE) that is being brought into existence at the 3A Institute is to build a safe, sustainable and responsible future. It is imperative for practitioners of the NBE to develop skills and gain knowledge to align to the larger goal. One approach to critically examine a system or a part thereof is to use systems thinking. This report uses simulation, a method from the Systems Engineering field of inquiry. The focus of this report is to explore simulation as a method to evaluate autonomy in an animal monitoring drone. Leveraging the history of simulation and using concepts related to causation, the advantages, and limitations of using simulation as a method in relation to autonomy and as a part of the NBE are drawn out. The key recommendation emerges around the theme of methodological pluralism. Blending aspects of other methods in the simulation process would make it more collaborative and improve the quality of the models being produced.