News from the Global Infrastructure Initiative—December 2019

November 2019

We are excited to publish the December 2019 edition of Voices, exploring the workforce of the future. Industry-wide shifts in digitization, industrialization, consolidation, and rising technology investment are changing the industry and will require a different mix of skills across the value chain. In this edition, we discuss what new skills and capabilities will be essential in a modern-day workforce tasked with shaping and delivering the projects of the future.

During the fourth quarter of 2019, we hosted five roundtables on a variety of topics. Our San Francisco roundtable convened over 80 leaders in the energy, infrastructure, and mobility sectors to discuss managing the significant disruptions resulting from environment, technology, and workforce changes. The Johannesburg and Houston roundtables focused on the potential of collaborative contracting to improve performance and predictability in major projects. Future-proofing infrastructure was the topic for our Paris roundtable, while Milan focused on unleashing the potential for advanced analytics in infrastructure. Visit our roundtable and innovation site visits pages for details on past and future events.

Momentum continues to build for our sixth GII Summit, taking place in Montréal on June 10–12, 2020. The theme will be the project of the future, and our program pillars will tackle fundamental industry challenges, including digital and analytics transformation, collaborative project delivery, leadership and workforce development, and future-proofing infrastructure. We are already more than 75-percent subscribed with global leaders and expect to reach capacity early in 2020. For more details, please visit our Summit page.

Looking ahead, our April 2020 edition of Voices will focus on the project of the future, coinciding with the GII Summit theme. We hope you enjoy this edition of Voices, and we welcome your thoughts on any of our GII programs. If you have comments or would like to subscribe a colleague to Voices, please contact us at


Advancing infrastructure projects means owners must protect people, projects, and performance. This will require adopting an agile posture, continually assessing risks, and adjusting operations.

Jim Banaszak, Roberto Charron, Jack Guevara, and Kevin Stokvis, McKinsey & Company

Standby agreements for major capital projects can help preserve relationships as well as shore up suppliers’ and contractors’ solvency during construction standstills.

David Metzger, Clifford Chance


Engineering, construction, and building materials have a vital role to play in a post-pandemic recovery of our communities and economies. Seven actions can help companies prepare for the next normal.

Jonas Biörck, Jose Luis Blanco, Jan Mischke, Maria João Ribeirinho, David Rockhill, Erik Sjödin, and Gernot Strube, McKinsey & Company

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