News from the Global Infrastructure Initiative—September 2020

September 2020

We are excited to publish this September 2020 edition of Voices, a collection of insights on the project of the future. In this issue, we explore how global industry trends are poised to dramatically change all stages of the project life cycle. The project of the future will forgo siloed project stages and operate as a single production system integrated by technology from design, procurement, and planning, to construction, commissioning, and operations. This edition emphasizes the essential qualities of future projects, discusses tangible actions taken on projects, and spotlights some of the emerging tools that will make long-term impacts—all while factoring in our new coronavirus reality.

Our seventh GII Summit will take place virtually on April 6–8, 2021. In addressing the project of the future theme, our program pillars will tackle fundamental industry challenges regarding digital and analytics transformations, collaborative project delivery, leadership and workforce development, and future-proofing the built environment. As this summit was originally intended to take place in Montréal, we will still feature the City, including virtual site visits to the most exciting infrastructure projects in Montréal. For more details, please visit our Summit page.

This issue was due to be published in April 2020, alongside the sixth GII Summit in Montréal. However, on account of the significant global impact of COVID-19, we postponed its publication and instead ran our June edition of Voices and our first GII Virtual Summit on the topic of resetting amid COVID-19. You can read our Outcomes Report, featuring the best ideas of 400 global leaders, here

While addressing COVID-19 remains inextricably on our agenda, we are also moving forward with our pre-crisis content. Over the next six months, we will be running a dozen virtual roundtables in different regions around the world. Please visit our roundtables and innovation site visits pages for details on past and forthcoming events.

Looking ahead, our January 2021 edition of Voices will focus on the topical theme of restarting economies with infrastructure finance and stimulus. We hope you enjoy this issue, 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


Despite promising early successes, collaborative contracts remain a tough sell, especially in the context of a pandemic. Best practices can help project owners transition to greater collaboration.

Jim Banaszak, Jeff Billows, Rudi Blankestijn, Matthieu Dussud, and Rebecka Pritchard, McKinsey & Company


Climate change poses serious threats to infrastructure systems and the human lives that depend on them. It’s time for industry players to begin building resilience.

Brodie Boland, Peter Cooper, Kimberly Henderson, Robert Palter, and Jonathan Woetzel, McKinsey & Company


Montréal’s Réseau express métropolitain (REM), a new light-rail network currently under construction, serves as a model for how investors can help build crucial infrastructure quickly and sustainably.

Macky Tall, CDPQ Infra

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