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Future Proofing – A Step Into The Future For Projects

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APM’s annual conference held in the historic setting of Central hall in Westminster focused on the theme of ‘future proofing. A range of high quality speakers and sessions (copies of which will be available on the website in coming days) captured the enthusiasm of a profession at the heart of change and transformation.

This comes at a time when the visibility and importance of project professionals is becoming increasingly apparent to those outside our profession. APM’s newly acquired chartered status provides a real impetus to this – as the enthusiasm and expectation of members and other attendees at the conference visibly showed.

The conference sought to bring future themes together to help give the profession a starting point for a cross-professional conversation about what the future holds and how we can shape it and, in turn, understand how it will shape the programmes and projects landscape.

APM president David Waboso signalled the intent saying, “I believe our emergent chartered profession is well placed to face the challenge of embracing and managing change and evolving to meet the new demands of tomorrow’s economy and society”. 

Keynote speaker Rohit Talwar, a futurologist, set out a fascinating insight into short and longer-term mega-trends and setting out some ideas of how any organisation whatever the size can try to make sense of what is coming and get themselves in good shape to meet these challenges. The chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, Matthew Taylor followed this with an analysis of change particularly in the field of work, and how we all needed to “think like a system but act like an entrepreneur”, and offered some challenging insights and examples. His ‘creative communities with a cause’ maps well across to the profession with a Royal charter! Streamed sessions went into the detail of futureproofing: mega-trends, projects and people, before we concluded with Hannah Fry’s fascinating insights on how to apply the growing amounts of data to explain behaviours and predict patterns to use data smartly.

All good stuff but this is just the start. Future conferences and other activity will take these themes and to develop a debate across the profession and organisations on how future trends and the changing environment will impact the profession and on the projects of the future.

I hope you will all be part of this ongoing debate.

Tim Banfield, APM conference chair


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