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Responsible project management webinar

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This webinar was held on 12 May 2020. Projects impact society and the environment. Project managers increasingly have a responsibility to reduce harm, restore natural and social resources and to maximise the benefits to society of their projects.

Responsible Project Management is a new concept that is emerging from collaboration between researchers and practitioners. Responsible Project Management aims to develop new competencies and support project managers in advocating for beneficial project outcomes.

This was originally planned as a branch event and was taken online in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This turned out to be highly beneficial, because 448 members registered for the event, and there were well over 300 attendees from across the UK and abroad who engaged with the event in real time. The event was equally suitable for novice and experienced project managers, apprentices and students of project management.

Responsible Project Management events are usually highly interactive because development of this new concept has been, and continues to be, an on-going journey of social learning, involving a wide range of project practitioners. Our usual approach was adapted for the large online audience to include polls that captured audience beliefs and assumptions about project management. We began by exploring the emerging concept of Responsible Project Management, the work done to date and identified some practical actions that project managers can take. We then shared our current road map of activities and invited attendees to join the various work groups. Activities include a collaboration with the UK Major Projects Knowledge Hub to provide virtual internships, developing a new syllabus to introduce social and environmental responsibilities early in project management education, and plans to declare 2021 as the International Year of Responsible Project Management: the year project management comes of age.

Dr Karen Thompson is a Senior Academic in Project Management and member of the Environment and Threats Strategic Research Group at Bournemouth University. She is an innovative educator and a Fellow of Advance Higher Education. Karen is passionate about transforming project management practice and education through research. In 2017, she received the APM’s Herbert Walton Award for her PhD research and in 2019 was the recipient of the PMI (UK Chapter) Teaching Excellence Award. Her current research explores the creative and ethical dimensions of projects. With Dr Nigel Williams she collaborates with professional bodies and a range of businesses on developing the new concept of Responsible Project Management. In 2019 the Responsible Project Management Team won the Innovation in Project Management Award and the Social Good Award (Community Advancement) both from PMI (UK). Before joining academia, Karen led ICT projects and strategy development in local government, financial services and the voluntary sector.

Dr Nigel L. Williams, PMP is the Reader in Project Management in the Organisations and Systems Management Subject Group at the University of Portsmouth. Before joining academia, Nigel worked for 15 years as a Manager and Business Consultant for enterprises in the Caribbean Region. He holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of Cambridge. He also holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and an MSc in Marketing from the University of the West Indies. Since joining academia, he has linked education, research and professional practice. His research has examined stakeholder interactions using social network analysis, project capacity of organisations in post conflict countries and the evolution of project capabilities in organisations. More recently, he has worked with Dr Karen Thompson and professional associations to develop the area of Responsible Project Management (

Karen and Nigel have very kindly allowed their presented material to be made available for viewing. The webinar recording on YouTube is now available in our APM resources area and also embedded below for reference.

This webinar is suitable for professionals with any level of experience.

Previous presentations and webinars can be viewed on the APM Slideshare and YouTube channels. Follow @APMEvents for upcoming event information.


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