Collaboration and partnership in focus at second global infrastructure summit

26 Apr 2024

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The second annual Global Leadership Forum Summit, organised by FIDIC which took place in Geneva this week, had a key focus on the world’s infrastructure leaders collaborating to address the key challenges facing the industry.

Leaders attending the two-day event from 25-26 April 2024 came together to discuss major issues including artificial intelligence (AI), sustainability and decarbonisation, the net zero transition, market intelligence and the key role of leadership in addressing them. Summit attendees received a new industry report on the use of AI in the infrastructure sector, as well as advanced sight of industry intelligence around project risk and carbon collaboration.

The two-day summit in Geneva contained a blend of keynote, panel discussions and breakout sessions where delegates engaged with one another and participated in what, unsurprisingly, given the engineering, construction and infrastructure leaders present, were lively and thought-provoking debates. “We haven’t always agreed during our discussions – and that’s very healthy – but we have conducted our deliberations in that spirit of collaboration that is so characteristic of the brilliant industry in which we all work,” said GLF advisory board chair Bill Cox, CEO of Aurecon, in his closing address to the summit.

Cox said that he was pleased and heartened by the collaboration shown at the summit, which he thought was “so encouraging for the future of our industry and the work that we do”. The theme of collaboration and partnership was echoed by FIDIC president Catherine Karakatsanis. “It is only when we can discuss freely and in a spirit of collaboration that we can really get to grips with some of the important and taxing issues that we need to address,” she told the summit, which was larger than the event held a year ago and which took place against a background of increasing global volatility, uncertainty and complexity.

Referring to the strides forward that the Global Leadership Forum had taken over the last 12 months, FIDIC’s president said that although the forum had exceeded its initial membership target the task now was to build the GLF’s influence and profile in the wider industry to make a difference on the key issues it had targeted for action.

“The GLF is all about providing a space for infrastructure leaders to discuss the key issues and challenges and work out plans and strategies to solve them,” said Karakatsanis. “We know we have much work to do, but building on last year’s inaugural summit, the work we have done over the past year and also at this summit has given ourselves an excellent platform to make further progress over the year ahead,” she said.

Singling out FIDIC’s staff for their hard work in organising the summit, Karakatsanis said that addressing some of the key issues facing the industry and indeed the planet was truly a team effort but that she was confident in the ability of the industry to make a difference. “I truly believe that we have it in our power to create the better, more sustainable world that we all want to see and the past two days have only confirmed that view,” she said.

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