Project Management Institute has unveiled the 2020 edition of the Most Influential Projects, which highlights 259 efforts, each a distinct masterclass in how to navigate change and deliver results. The projects demonstrate many pivots born of the global pandemic, but also shifts in response to pre-coronavirus forces, from sustainability to quantum computing.
The honorees—an overall Top 50 as well as Top 10s in 30 categories—represent the creative spirit shaping how the world collectively reimagines a new future. What’s more, they describe an emerging playbook for impact and success in a world that will never be the same. Four key elements of that playbook are summarized in “Why Projects Matter More Than Ever”:
The Most Influential Projects offer a unifying theme: the ability to turn bold ideas into a new reality. As Melati Wijsen, the 19-year-old co-founder of UpLink member Bye Bye Plastic Bags put it: “We don’t look at today’s challenges as a burden. We look at them as an opportunity.”
You can explore the entire list, including Top 10 lists in 21 industries and nine regions, here, the home of the Most Influential Projects 2020. And the No. 1 Most Influential Project of 2020? It's the US$125 million COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, which aims to identify, accelerate and scale potential COVID-19 treatments by coordinating R&D efforts.
Have you checked out the latest Projects of the Week from PM Network’s new home for digital content? From a sustainable, semi-autonomous economic hub in Honduras, to a fleet of balloons providing internet access in Africa, to a resuable top-grade mask for healthcare workers, these ongoing projects promise to make a positive difference in the world.
In Africa, where internet usage is the lowest in the world, high-flying balloons will act at floating cellphone towers to try to close that digital divide. The Loon-led effort leans heavily on machine-learning algorithms. And as the project expands, it could be a life-saver for countless communities that haven’t been reliably connected to emergency services—not to mention the possibilities for remote education, telemedicine and much more.
In the U.S., a team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has developed a new face covering designed to work as effectively as the top-grade N95 mask—but it can be used over and over again. The iMasc is cost-effective, scalable and, according to healthcare workers who tested it, comfortable.
And off the coast of Honduras, hopes are high that an adaptive residential complex known as Roatán Próspera will strengthen and diversify the local economy. The joint public-private partnership leans on modular design and traditional building techniques to boost sustainability and increase integration with Caribbean customs and culture.
All three of these efforts lean heavily on project management, creative problem-solving and direct stakeholder engagement. They address immediate, real-world challenges. They help people and communities. And by making a positive impact in 2020 and beyond, they’re inspiring others along the way.
Project Management Institute and PM Network have recognized 50 ‘next generation’ leaders transforming our world through inspiring projects.
Project Management Institute has announced its first annual Future 50 list, which features 50 next generation leaders who are creating, building, and transforming the world through notable projects.
The 50 young standout project leaders highlighted in the specially dedicated July/August issue of PM Network® magazine represent a wave of change and talent around the globe—a “youthquake” that will reshape the future and accelerate innovation in the here and now.
Honorees include groundbreaking achievements from people across a variety of industries and countries, including director Greta Gerwig, Laura Jones from the Special Olympics, and Miishe Addy from Jetstream Africa.
According to PMI’s recent Pulse of the Profession® report, only 40 percent of organizations say they prioritize attracting and hiring the young generation of project professionals. But what the Future 50 list highlights is that this next generation will be crucial to driving value for businesses and society now and in the future.
“As a new generation of leaders rise around the world we are seeing them have additional guiding principles and motivations when compared to earlier generations,” said Sunil Prashara, president and CEO of PMI. “Organizations are already rethinking how they can attract, retain and help foster this generation of talent. This next generation of project leaders are deeply committed to driving change across the world—from having a deep sense of social responsibility and improving the environment to driving diversity and inclusion.
“The 50 individuals featured on this list are some of the biggest change makers of their generation. They exemplify the power and transformative change that can happen through projects.”
As part of the July/August issue of PM Network, PMI interviewed this year’s Future 50 winners and other seasoned professionals around the globe to uncover ways to encourage this next generation of talent. The issue also outlines six rules to harness the power of these future-focused professionals, including igniting a learning culture; picking up the pace of development; a flatter, more communicative leadership team; more purpose-driven work; and constant, iterative feedback.
To identify this year’s Future 50 honorees, PMI reached out to hundreds of experts and stakeholders across the globe for nominations. A special committee vetted the rising project professionals and narrowed the options. Finalists were then individually researched and/or interviewed to create a list that represents the full spectrum of regions, industries and achievements in The Project Economy – where work increasingly centers around executing projects both large and small. While some honorees are Project Management Professional (PMP) credential holders, others would not even describe themselves as project managers.
What unites the Future 50 is a commitment to project work as the foundation of positive impact, for today and tomorrow. Get to know these 50 young leaders and their amazing work at PMI.org/Future50.
The 2020 evolution of PM Network continues this month with the launch of expanded, exclusive digital content on PMI.org.
In times of crisis, we need art more than ever to connect and inspire us. How timely that the world’s largest digital art space opened last month in Bordeaux, France—a 2020 project that even COVID-19 couldn’t shut down, though it certainly dictated some additional requirements and innovations.
Known as Les Bassins de Lumières (The Pools of Light), this impressive project offers an encouraging example of what the future of immersive public art experience can be. Read more at PM Network’s new and improved home for digital content, where this success story is our current Project of the Week.
While you’re there, check out other exclusive digital content from the PM Network team, including “Pandemic Pivots”—a quick look at five 2020 projects that are helping people navigate our new global reality, from drones that disinfect, to no-frills ventilators, to the Premier League’s Project Restart. Goooooaaaaallll
We could all use some inspiration in our information, and it's this kind of content that offers a much-needed reminder: project teams throughout history have delivered strategic solutions to difficult problems. The pandemic is no exception.
On that note, how about that other (not unrelated) existential global challenge in need of exceptional project management? Next to all this exclusive content, you will also find the digital edition of PM Network’s “The Climate for Change” issue from May/June. It presents a number of “bold projects for a better planet” and engages the project professionals who are leading them. Talk about essential work!
So stay safe. Stay informed. And stay in touch for the latest inspiration from the project management front lines.