The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


UCL and IPMA launch The Megaproject CEO Global Keynotes

22 June 2021

megaproject ceo

The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction and the International Project Management Association (IPMA) have launched the IPMA-UCL Megaproject CEO, a series of global keynotes from leaders delivering megaprojects around the world. Coordinated by UCL’s Dr Juliano Denicol, Global Head of the IPMA Megaprojects SIG, the IPMA-UCL Megaproject CEO will invite a stellar group of leaders that are at the forefront of megaproject delivery practices. The Megaproject CEO builds upon the growing interest on leadership practices and recent research that recommends an emphasis on building and leading collaborations to advance our understanding of megaproject delivery.

The global keynotes will bring together 12 CEOs across two years to share some of the most advanced practices that are influencing the delivery of megaprojects around the world. Each keynote will feature one megaproject and explore how the CEO inspired teams through practices from their successful trajectory in managing complex projects globally.

Dr Juliano Denicol commented: “I’m delighted to announce this partnership between UCL and IPMA and to launch The Megaproject CEO Global Keynotes. We will invite influential megaproject CEOs to share their management and leadership practices, creating a legacy of strategies at C-Suite level over the next years. I’m delighted to welcome Mark Thurston as our inaugural CEO, who is leading a fantastic team and several strategic initiatives to deliver High Speed 2, the biggest megaproject in Europe.”

Register here for Mark’s keynote on the 1st of July at 1pm.

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Megaproject CEOs are experienced individuals with several decades of work dedicated to challenging projects, including previous exposure to different levels of complexity. Megaproject CEOs need to have the ability to challenge the practices at all levels based on their previous experience, managing expectations of different actors within and increasingly outside the project landscape.

The global keynotes will go beyond the technical complexity of megaprojects, exploring the characteristics of the organisations that design and coordinate the relationships with a large supply chain of partners. Megaproject CEOs are strategists with a vision to transform the organisational environment of megaprojects. These leaders are architects of collaboration and designers of multiple teams that cut the boundaries of many organisations.

The leaders will provide insights on the challenges of acting as the CEO of temporary organisations, where there is a constant evolving system with many dimensions affecting the project. The leadership ingredients to develop the individual and collective ability to navigate different environments, from the technical and commercial to the political and environmental.

The CEOs will reflect on the nature of the industry going forward and how megaprojects can contribute to advance the project management profession. The trends that are shaping how megaprojects are delivered around the world and the potential disruptive practices that will transform the megaproject management world. A journey through the most urgent topics affecting our societies, such as the implications of delivering megaprojects in the context of climate change, the exponential role of digitalisation, and cyber-security challenges.

The global keynotes are designed to create a rich database of reflections to inspire future generations of project managers, directors, and CEOs. The inter-organisational enablers of megaprojects, the thinking behind the structures, the minds behind a team of strategists that are designing the solutions to move the megaproject and often the industry forward. All these perspectives and questions will inform our discussions with the minds leading megaprojects in different continents.