Infrastructure leadership summit gets underway with big-picture view of global challenges

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FIDIC president Tony Barry speaking on stage at the first ever Global Leadership Forum Summit in Geneva.

First ever Global Leadership Forum Summit opens in Geneva with a keen focus on developing solutions to infrastructure challenges facing the world.

In what is being seen as a first for the international infrastructure industry, the inaugural Global Leadership Forum Summit, organised by international engineering federation FIDIC, got underway today in Geneva, Switzerland.

Back in September 2021, FIDIC announced the formation of the Global Leadership Forum (GLF) with the aim of discussing the key issues and challenges facing society and the wider infrastructure sector and mapping out strategies address those challenges. This first ever exclusive summit for 50 of the world’s most senior leaders in the infrastructure sector brought together members of the GLF to enable collaboration and discussion with a view to solving some of the biggest challenges facing the global infrastructure sector.

Welcoming attendees to the event, FIDIC president Tony Barry, said: “As firms have grown and become truly international, their perspective on critical issues has become more and more important and who better from whom to hear their views than the CEOs and C-suite executives? Members of the GLF have been selected based on their key position, knowledge and expertise of the construction, infrastructure and related sectors and we are delighted to have you all on board.”

Barry said that the GLF was established with the understanding that industry leaders and the international firms and experts working in them are vital to bringing the best minds and the greatest influence to bear on the global challenges facing the world and the industry. “Being able to address these challenges in real time, with the urgency required to create momentum for change, is fundamental to achieving FIDIC’s objectives,” he said.

“Challenge each other and yourselves, leaving your ‘competitive heads’ at the door, to come together for the good of the sector, industry and society itself,” said FIDIC CEO Dr Nelson Ogunshakin speaking at the GLF Summit in Geneva.

FIDIC has big aspirations for the GLF and is looking to use the summit to build on the progress it has made so far. Barry said that he wanted to hear from summit attendees on their views on those aspirations and plans in order to map out a strategy for building the influence of the GLF in the future.

“Over the next couple of days, I hope that we will be able to take a bigger picture view of the challenges we face as an industry and as a society. Chief amongst those challenges is of course tacking climate change and we will be talking about that at length during this summit. But not just talking, we will also be working out workable solutions around which we can all coalesce around as businesses and as an industry,” said Barry.

Addressing summit attendees, FIDIC’s CEO Dr Nelson Ogunshakin said that he was keen to encourage a spirit of collaboration and partnership, as that was the best way to help to develop workable solutions to the world’s infrastructure and societal challenges.

“We are fortunate to have gathered a small, intimate group of industry leaders to discuss the key issues that matter, and we really want to make the most of that,” he said. Speaking directly to all those present at the summit, Ogunshakin said: “We hope that you will all challenge each other – and us – leaving your ‘competitive heads’ at the door, so that we can all come together for the good of the sector, the industry and indeed society itself.”