GII 2021 SUMMIT
Since 2012, the Global Infrastructure Initiative Summit has convened many of the world’s most senior leaders in infrastructure and capital projects to identify ways to improve the delivery of infrastructure and get more out of existing assets. Our seventh GII Summit took place virtually, in Montréal, from April 6-8, 2021, and focused on realizing the “project of the future” in a post-COVID-19 recovery.
Global industry trends—such as digitization, industrialization, vertical and horizontal consolidation, and rising technology investment—are poised to dramatically change all stages of the project life cycle. The project of the future will forego siloed project stages and operate as a single production system integrated by technology from design, procurement and planning through to construction, commissioning and operations.
Moreover, the project of the future will require all members of the value chain to deploy technology-based solutions, new materials, collaborative practices, and agile ways of working to deliver resilient projects faster, at lower cost, and with improved schedule predictability. Notably, this will necessitate new skill sets and cultures to meet the emerging needs. Leaders who attended the 2021 Summit addressed the fundamental industry challenges and explored practical and scalable solutions.
Our 2021 program was organized around the following four content pillars:
DIGITAL AND ANALYTICS TRANSFORMATION
The industry has recognized the massive productivity gains that can stem from digitization and the application of analytics. To move beyond pilot projects and experimentation, organizations must undertake comprehensive transformation efforts at both the enterprise and project levels. This pillar explored best practices in how to create change at both levels while embracing the most promising use cases across digitization, automation, IoT, and analytics.
COLLABORATIVE PROJECT DELIVERY
Major capital projects come with built-in tensions that often discourage trust-based cooperation and can result in claims and variations that bust budgets and deadlines and compromise productivity. Increased collaboration can help align stakeholders, inspire innovation, and establish outcome-focused measures of progress. This pillar explored best practices in establishing financial incentives, risk-sharing structures, collaborative contracts, and a learning culture to prepare for the anticipated shift toward an integrated and digitally-enabled approach to project delivery.
LEADERSHIP AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Modern infrastructure and capital projects demand new skill sets in every phase—and by every actor involved. Industry transformations are not likely to succeed without a focus on leadership, culture, organizational structures, and talent. Therefore, fresh perspectives, which come from cultivating a diverse workforce, will be essential to long-term success. This pillar explored best practices in how contractors, industry bodies, and governments can attract and train workers as well as build new cultures and diverse capabilities at scale.
Emerging technologies are advancing faster than initially expected, and complex risks—from cybersecurity to climate resilience—continue to intensify. Ensuring infrastructure projects deliver their intended benefits, whether economic, environmental, or social, requires analyzing potential future states in the planning processes, designing and building flexible assets that can serve multiple uses, and identifying diverse revenue streams over an asset’s life cycle. This pillar explored best practices in tackling the processes that must be implemented to deliver resilient infrastructure.
In addition, we held sessions that cut across the four pillars and focused on improving infrastructure governance, capability, and delivery systems to enable institutional change.