By Cyndee Miller
Talk about ending with a bang. On top of the amazing Ted Talks (read about those here), PMI closed out Global Conference unveiling its ranking of the 50 most influential projects of the past 50 years.
Thousands of projects were considered, but only 50 were chosen: the icons, the innovators and the game-changers that transformed our world. As an editor on PM Network, I’ve spent some quality time with these picks. Many of them—International Space Station, Google Search, the iPod, the euro—aren’t necessarily big shockers. They’re fundamental to the way we live, work and play today.
Just consider the number one project, World Wide Web. I mean, sure, I survived without it. But life with the web makes me infinitely more connected, arguably a lot smarter—and definitely more amused.
Yet part of the fun in being a reporter is ferreting around for hidden gems, the stuff not everyone knows. So while Google Search seems like an obvious top 50, I’ll bet you didn’t know the company added its image search function after people melted the internet trying to track down J-Lo’s now-legendary, barely there Versace green dress.
And there are plenty of projects on the list that may be a bit of a surprise. Some we covered in PM Network back in the day, not knowing just how much they’d change up the landscape. When we first covered M-Pesa, for instance, we were intrigued. But few have guessed how the team would use basic SMS tech to kickstart a banking revolution in Kenya—and then across other emerging markets.
On a personal note, I was over the moon about Harry Potter making the cut—and not just because I’m a diehard Potterhead. J.K. Rowling may not have a Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, but the author did have a mighty team behind her that knew how to build buzz. We’re talking an intricately planned, top-secret rollout with £10 million in security measures.
After the big reveal, conference attendees got a chance to mix and mingle with several of the companies that made the list, including Riot Games, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Wikimedia Foundation, Changi Airport Group, Bechtel, WeChat, IBM, Boeing and Wärtsilä Corp.
It was quite a closer for conference, and that’s a wrap for our events coverage. But fear not: We’ve got PMI EMEA Congress coming up 14-16 June in Prague, Czechia and the 2020 conference next October in Seattle, Washington, USA.
In the meantime, I gotta know: What do you think of the list?