Authors: Adi Muslic, PMP & Martin Härri, PMP, PMI-SP, PMI-ACP, DASSM
Meeting 4'000 project managers in Las Vegas – the PMI Global Summit 2022
Awesome! Americans (over-)use that term for anything, but in this case, it was absolutely appropriate. The PMI Global Summit 2022 can only be described with this term, it was really awesome.
Close to 4’000 participants and chapter representatives from countries all over the world traveled to the Caesars Palace hotel in Las Vegas for PMIs annual global conference, which – after a 2-year break due to the pandemic – finally took place again. And it was bigger and better than ever, in fact, it had the highest number of participants of any annual PMI conference.
The summit started with a welcome by the new PMI President & CEO, Pierre Le Manh, who then handed over to Amy Webb whose presentation was entitled “Think like a Futurist”. Now you might think: “why invite a futurist to a conference on project management?” Well, projects are always about creating something for the future, but Amy explained that there is no such thing as “the” future. In fact, we pms need to learn to understand trends, and based on those understand what potential “futures” might be, so rather think in scenarios. Little fun fact: Amy distinguished between “trends” and “trendy”, and guess where she sees the much hyped “metaverse”? Right, trendy, but not a trend.
During the almost 3 days, about 140 presentations were offered on absolutely everything you can think of when it comes to project management: ESG, artificial intelligence, PMOs, Earned Value, Power Skills, stakeholder management, chapter topics, you name it. The only problems were to choose from that enormous selection, and to find your way from one room to the next one because the Caesars Palace conference center is awesomely huge.
But that was by far not all: there was also a large exhibition hall with various organizations active in the project management space, such as universities, training companies, tool providers, and of course PMI, which presented its various products, such as certifications, trainings, Disciplined Agile, Wicked Problem Solving, Organizational Transformation, Citizen Development, etc. Good news for the Switzerland Chapter: we used the opportunity to establish contacts with some key PMI people which committed to coming to Switzerland in 2023, so stay tuned!
Thursday the PMI Awards took place, which unfortunately had to be moved from the fantastic pool area to a conference room due to strong wind (there are some factors that even Las Vegas with all it’s artificialness cannot control), and Friday afternoon some offsite learning excursions (e.g. to the Hoover dam) were offered.
On Friday, we enjoyed a very inspiring keynote session by Beatie Wolfe, a PMI Future 50 honoree, who is Translating Data into Impact and Art. Beatie is a great musician, behind a number of sustainable future oriented projects and innovations, such as the world’s first bioplastic record or the raw space beam. At the summit she presented her stirring environmental art piece about human impact on the planet, built using 800,000 years of historic NASA data, “From Green to Red”, it's a must see.
The conference closed with an inspiring interview of Jessica O. Matthews, Founder and CEO of Uncharted, a sustainable infrastructure company with her father, who both created successful companies against many odds. A very inspiring conversation highlighting the impact that can be made when ideas, leadership, and empowerment of others come together.
Even though there were gambling opportunities everywhere we used the free time after the conference for a walk up and down the “strip”, the main street of Las Vegas, here are some impressions.
For anybody who is passionate about project management (and which PMI member isn’t), participating in a PMI Global Summit at least once in a lifetime should be on the “bucket list”. If you don’t want to travel so far, there are rumors that the European version of the annual conferences will soon start again. And if you cannot wait, the opening presentation and 11 educational sessions are available on demand for $165 from the Summit’s website.