austrian-national-library-buaVm0Yy7-U-unsplashAs project managers, you may subscribe to the idea that actions speak louder than words. We’re used to project managers simply getting on with the task in hand, rather than stopping to talk about it. Of course, that may be all very well when you know what it is you are trying to deliver and you’re clear on how you’re going to do that.
When it comes to sustainability, on the other hand, we’re not sure exactly what it means – particularly when you translate it into the behaviour of nations, organizations and citizens – nor do we really know how best to deliver it.

The World Café organised jointly by the Major Projects Association and IEMA (Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment) on 21st May – Putting the Sustainable in Major Projects is designed on the compelling premise that if we learn how to talk to other people from our industry as well as to people from other industries, then we will improve our own understanding and our own capability to deliver. Shared conversation and self-expression lie at the heart of problem-solving and improvement. This is the medium by which we negotiate to a shared agreement with other individuals or organizations and equally the medium by which we learn to recognise and decipher patterns of our own behaviour in the context of therapy.

The value seems to lie, both in the ideas that you are expressing or visualising, and in the social process of shared communication and learning.

We’ve chosen to tackle three different challenges during the cafe:

  • 10 ways to embed sustainability in major project planning and delivery.
  • 10 ways citizens can drive sustainability.
  • 10 ways professional associations can push the sustainability agenda.

And the sharing has a simple but significant process underpinning it. Allowing five minutes for delegates to share their ideas in silence on the communal MIRO board before encouraging them to discuss and rank what they have shared into a list of 10, we ensure that everyone has a ‘voice’ and prevent the conversation from latching onto the first idea and following that down a rabbit hole. The ranking process when they get to it enables everyone to then test the individual ideas and reflect on what is really important to them.

Of course for the mix of delegates attending from across the two Associations this is not just the opportunity to articulate and imagine the future but also a chance to make new friends and grow your professional network.

Major Projects Association and IEMA members may both register for the event via our website. We’ll be inviting eight or ten people from across the two organizations to act as the group facilitators and providing a facilitator coaching session to help you hone your skills. Anyone interested in trying their hand at this role, then drop a line to Suzy Firkin suzy.firkin@majorprojects.org or Jonathan Norman jonathan.norman@majorprojects.org.

Please do sign up for the event today and help us start the process to the world.