Project Management Institute (PMI) today announced the top 50 influential projects of the past 12 months on its third annual list of Most Influential Projects. The list, which made its debut in 2019 in honor of PMI’s 50th anniversary, highlights compelling projects around the world and across industries that achieved significant milestones and impacted our society.
Projects are the primary way to turn ideas into reality, and an idea is only an idea until we make it real through a project. The 2021 Most Influential Projects list demonstrates how project managers and changemakers have found resourceful ways to bring projects to life amid global disruptions, including the continuing pandemic.
“As a for-purpose organization, PMI is dedicated to supporting and uplifting those who are enabling change around the world,” said Michael DePrisco, Chief Operating Officer of Project Management Institute. “Our 2021 list of Most Influential Projects proves how creativity, collaboration, discipline, and determination can turn the boldest of ideas into a reality and change the world that we live in – even during the most challenging times.”
The main list of the 50 Most Influential Projects includes innovation in transportation, renewable energy, architecture, technology, and more. Some of the top-ranked projects include mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines, 2022 Winter Olympics, and the Crew-1 Mission. Additionally, PMI released 30 lists recognizing the Top 10 most influential projects in a variety of regions and industries. In total, the lists include more than 250 breakthrough efforts across a wide range of industries.
Members of the project management community—including experts, volunteers, academics, and industry leaders from across the globe—provided input and nominations for this year’s list. The pool of candidate projects, which numbered in the thousands, was then vetted by a PMI® thought leadership team. The final list represents PMI’s vision of projects, and the project professionals and changemakers behind them represent the creative spirit shaping how the world collectively reimagines a new future, makes ideas and dreams reality, and, as a result, change the world.
Honorees include momentous triumphs such as creating a framework to futureproof the world’s ocean economy; taking commercial spaceflight to a new dimension; and fast-tracking the long-simmering shift to more flexible work arrangements; in addition to highly impactful, but lesser-known victories such as the Mumbai Metro and the Museum of the Future. The top-ranked project on the top 50 list is the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines created in under a year by companies Moderna, Pfizer, and BioNTech.
To view the complete list of projects and industry- and region-specific “Top 10” lists, visit pmi.org/most-influential-projects-2021. The list is also featured in a special edition of PMI’s award-winning PM Network® magazine.
The Top 50 Most Influential Projects*
mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines – For fast-tracking coronavirus vaccines
The Great WFH Experiment – For fast-tracking the long-simmering shift to more flexible work arrangements
Give it 100% – For creating a framework to futureproof the world’s ocean economy
COVAX – For acting as the world’s conscience on global vaccine equity
Sand Dollar – For establishing the first government-backed digital currency
2022 Winter Olympics – For going green
Riyadh Metro – For introducing the power of public transportation to Saudi Arabia’s largest city
When You See Yourself NFT – For taking nonfungible tokens into the musical mainstream
Energy Island – For revolutionizing renewables—yet again
Crew-1 Mission – For taking commercial spaceflight to a new dimension
Regenerate Australia – For protecting an iconic ecosystem with a future-proofing climate plan
Perlmutter – For mapping the universe at warp speed—and that’s just for starters
Mumbai Metro – For digging deep to make transportation safer in one of the world’s most populous cities
Atala Prism – For using blockchain to improve educational outcomes—and drive positive socioeconomic change
Andes Renovables – For building a sustainable energy source and powering up the local economy
Trojan Shield – For outsmarting some of the world’s most sophisticated criminals with a simple app
Mineral – For cultivating next-gen tech to feed the world
Al-Nouri Mosque Complex Reconstruction – For using architecture to help rebuild a community emotionally and economically
Tiangong Space Station – For building a space station for the future
Al Dhafra SolarPhotovoltaic Plant – For helping the UAE diversify its energy—and its economy
Clubhouse – For unfollowing the leaders in the social media space
Expo 2020 Dubai – For working around COVID-19 to make a megaevent even bigger
Perseverance – For heading back to Mars—helicopter in tow
Maldives Floating City – For boldly shoring up a more resilient future for coastal cities
Bridgerton Costume Design – For outfitting a global pop culture phenomenon
Propel Center – For challenging systemic racism by fueling next-gen thinking at Black universities
Burberry Social Retail Store – For creating a tech-forward retail space, complete with social currency
Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions – For giving big business its own climate collective
National Wildlife Census – For generating hard data to save Kenya’s animals—and its tourism sector
Voyager Station – For taking space tourism closer to reality with an out-of-this-world luxury hotel in low Earth orbit
Project Earth – For reinventing retail through sustainable shopping
Microsoft Game Accessibility Testing – For leveling up on inclusion in video games
Wasteless – For helping supermarkets waste less, while giving shoppers a good deal
Tulsa Race Massacre Excavation – For helping bring closure to a community rocked by racial violence
PlayStation 5 – For literally changing the game
Multi-Node Quantum Network – For taking another step closer to an unhackable internet
Galapagos Islands Rewilding – For restoring delicate ecosystems while developing sustainable economies
Daylight – For listening to LGBTQ+ customers—and then delivering a banking experience for their needs
Hot Heart – For pioneering an AI-powered renewable energy solution that doubles as an urban playground
Edo Museum of West African Art – For creating a space to welcome home long-dispersed artifacts
Overture – For taking supersonic flight to new heights
Atal Tunnel – For moving mountains to improve transportation in the Himalayas
Aeson – For bridging the gap between heart failure and a transplant
Wufengshan Bridge – For combining high-speed rail and road transportation
Museum of the Future – For embedding its future-focused purpose into its next-gen design and construction
Pandora Brilliance – For taking lab-created diamonds into the mainstream
Airlander 10 – For promising premium air travelers a smoother, eco-friendly upgrade
Thinking Hut v1.0 – For trying to end educational inequalities with a school that can be built in under a week
Tokyo Toilet Project – For giving public restrooms a much-needed makeover
Operation Hijab Design – For creating a hijab that improves job performance—and boosts inclusion
Visit the Region-Specific Top 10 Most Influential Projects Lists
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About Project Management Institute (PMI)
Project Management Institute (PMI) is the world’s leading association for those who consider project, program or portfolio management their profession. Through global advocacy, collaboration, education and research, we work to prepare more than three million professionals around the world for The Project Economy: the coming economy in which work, and individuals, are organized around projects, products, programs and value streams Now 50 years in the making, we work in nearly every country around the world to advance careers, improve organizational success and further mature the project management profession through globally-recognized standards, certifications, communities, resources, tools, academic research, publications, professional development courses and networking opportunities. As part of the PMI family, ProjectManagement.com® interactive website creates online global communities that deliver more resources, better tools, larger networks and broader perspectives. Visit us at www.PMI.org, www.projectmanagement.com, www.facebook.com/PMInstitute and on Twitter @PMInstitute.