No return to old ways post-Covid, say construction’s young leaders

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Outgoing FIDIC Future Leaders advisory council chair, Adam Białachowski, speaking in Geneva on 11 September 2022.

FIDIC conference event provides a platform for industry’s emerging leaders to have their say.

There must be “no return to the old ways of working and weak management” was the siren call from a meeting of engineering and construction industry young leaders at a FIDIC Future Leaders symposium session held before the official opening of the organisation’s Global Infrastructure Conference in Geneva on 11 September 2022.

Promising his audience frank speaking and hard-hitting commentary on the state of the industry, outgoing FIDIC Future Leaders advisory council chair, Adam Białachowski, said that notwithstanding the global pandemic, he had enjoyed enormously his period as chair and had made life-long friendships and during his time at the helm of FIDIC’s group for emerging industry leaders.

Białachowski urged attendees at the event to study the latest Future Leaders Booklet publication, just launched this week, which was full of insights from FIDIC Future Leaders on some of the key issues facing the industry and also solutions to the big business challenges facing companies working in the engineering and construction sector.

The booklet contains articles on sustainability, contract risk, new ways of working, management best practice, rethinking consulting engineering, the challenges of working in developing countries, making public sector projects work better and much more.

A number of the article authors from the booklet, were present on stage at the Future Leaders session. One of them, construction contracts specialist Latoya Ouna, highlighted the need to de-risk construction contracts to deal with the specific challenge of climate change. “We can achieve climate-resilient contracts through innovation and adaptation. Engineers should remain at the forefront of that innovation, developing climate-resilient building materials and technologies that reduce our carbon footprint,” she said.

Incoming FIDIC Future Leaders advisory council chair, Rodrigo Juarez from FOA Consulting in Mexico, said that it was crucial that the views of young professionals was heard at high-profile industry gatherings like FIDIC’s annual Global Infrastructure Conference. “Having the voices of upcoming and young engineers is important as they bring new and innovative points of view towards project delivery and the development of wider infrastructure, which in the next decade will be instrumental in determining the global trajectory towards net zero,” Juarez said.

He was backed up by Michael Walker from Associated Engineering in Canada who said that young professionals have a completely different lens through which to address issues and challenges and “solutions were being taken out of the box” if the industry didn’t take advantage of the diversity of people and thought at its disposable. He also urged companies to be more honest in their approach and the way they promote themselves, especially in the area of sustainability.

Click below to download the FIDIC Future Leaders publication, FIDIC Future Leaders . . . leading the way 2022.

FIDIC Future Leaders Booklet 2022