Virtual Event “Think Differently: Redefining Diversity In Projects”

What is it? A five-day virtual event featuring sessions on thinking differently about organizations, people, projects, and women in project management.

Keynote speaker: Pete Cohen – Expert in Human Behaviour and Performance

4 September 2020 – Think Differently: redefining diversity in projects is a new five-day virtual event taking place between Monday 21 September and Friday 25 September and aims to promote diversity of thought, creative problem-solving, and new ways of working, to enable businesses and individuals to deliver ever better benefits to society through projects.  The event is being hosted by Association for Project Management (APM) and sponsored by Fujitsu.

The event will take place online, with different themes being explored each day through live sessions delivered by handpicked speakers, sharing a wealth of creative ideas, experiences, and practical tools. In addition, there will be virtual networking sessions for project professionals of all backgrounds and experience levels and a virtual exhibition area where delegates can interact with sponsors and take part in activities.

The event will also include APM’s Women in Project Management (WiPM) virtual conference, which will tackle some of the most relevant topics affecting project professionals today.

Speakers include:

Think Differently about Organisations

  • Keynote speaker: Pete Cohen – Expert in human behaviour and performance. 
  • Nichola Clark – Head of Project Management Global Professional Community, Fujitsu. As Head of Fujitsu’s Project Management Global Professional Community with accountability for all large Programmes in North-West Europe, Nichola is passionate about enabling the benefits of diversity to create high performing teams.

Think Differently about People

  • James Lea, Project and Programme Manager (Session: How a diverse project team can bring extra benefits (and how to get them) 
  • Kay Sanders, CEO, CITI Limited (Session: Diversity of thought in project teams). A highly experienced consultant specialising in bringing together the behavioural, technical and commercial elements of project and programme management, organisational and cultural change. Kay has an outstanding reputation within the learning and development community with over 20 years’ experience working with organisations and their leaders
  • Sophie Coulthard, Principal consultant, Judgement Index (Session: How wellbeing is the key to unlocking performance). Sophie works with organisations to support the selection, development and wellbeing of staff using the Judgement Index assessment. She is passionate about improving culture and creating positive working environments that support individuals and teams to thrive.
  • Elizabeth Harrin, Director, Otobos Consultants Ltd. (Session; Think differently about stakeholder engagement: Five skills to boost your relationships at work). Elizabeth Harrin has over twenty years’ experience in leading IT, business change and process improvement projects in the UK and France, across financial services and healthcare. She’s a mentor and the author of 5 books. Elizabeth runs a company providing copywriting services to project-related businesses. Elizabeth is the award-winning blogger behind
  • Paul Avins, CEO – head of the team transformation, Team Dynamics Global (Session: How to Tap into Team Diversity to Deliver Successful Projects). Paul Avins is an award-winning business coach who is known as one of the most sought after team building experts in the UK today. He is also the founder of and the co-founder of the Team Profiling Tool Contribution Compass.

Think Differently about Projects

  • Patricia SchwerzelAccount leader global health, Mott Macdonald (Session:  Adaptable management during COVID-19 in fragile settings). Patricia is an experienced global health expert with 30 years’ experience of working in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors and lived 22 years in East Africa. From 1987 onwards, she worked as a Team Leader in public health and HIV/AIDS in Kenya and Uganda. Her professional focus then broadened to working as a senior health consultant on more than 100 technical missions across Africa, with a focus on health sector support, strategic reviews and design, institutional and organizational development, capacity building, transition processes (between public and private providers) and resource mobilization across a wide range of donors.
  • Jenny McLaughlin, Project Manager, Heathrow Airport (Session: Systematic inclusion – design no barriers).  Jenny has worked within the airport industry for over 18 years, first at East Midlands airport as an Environment and Safeguarding officer achieving ISO14001. At Heathrow, she has delivered a number of business changes, from new aircraft de-icing process, introducing new IT applications, to building a remote coaching gate in the middle of a live terminal.  Jenny is the Lead for Heathrow’s Disability Network and brings that to her work as a project manager, advocating that each person should have an equitable seat at the table and creating a safe environment to challenge and improve the way we interreact and build the world around us.

Think Differently about Women in Project Management

  • Amy Morley, PMO Director, HS2 (Session: Barriers to Chartered Project Professional, ChPP).  Amy is currently the project management office (PMO) director at HS2, with responsibility for setting enterprise-wide standards for project controls and project management. Amy joined HS2 in 2014 as the head of the project controls delivering the Phase One Hybrid Bill and subsequently spent three years as chief of staff supporting the CEO and wider executive to deliver key program and organizational priorities.
  • Alix Craig, Project Manager, Everton FC (Session:  My journey as a PM for Everton FC).  Alix’s project management skills see her playing a key role in the Club’s Bramley-Moore Dock stadium development and Goodison Park Legacy Project. Alix previously project-managed the refurbishment of the Goodison Park lounges and the Club’s move to their Royal Liver Building HQ. Alix also leads the Club’s Everton for Change environmental project group – which among other things has seen the introduction of reusable cups at Goodison Park, which is estimated to prevent approximately 75,000 single-use plastic pint pots from polluting the environment per season.
  • Anita Phagura, Project Manager and Founder, Fierce Project Management (Session: Embracing the misfit to make a difference: how we can switch the message to create cultures of belonging)
  • Keynote speaker – Crystal Richards, Principal and Owner, Mosaic Resource Group (Session: Choose Your Own Adventure: You’re the Star of Your Career Journey).  Crystal is the Principal and Owner of Mosaic Resource Group, a talent development consulting firm with a focus on helping overwhelmed teams improve their project management skills so they can lead projects with clarity, courage, and confidence. She has 20 years of experience in healthcare management and project management working with private- and public-sector clients.

The final day of the Think Differently event will feature digestible summary sessions to clarify key takeaways and messages from the week.  

Debbie Dore, APM’s chief executive, said: “Whether responding to the global pandemic or the climate change crisis, it’s essential for organizations and individuals to embrace new ways of working, new people and new thinking.

“Now is the time for a change, but we recognize change also brings challenges. This event will look at what ‘thinking differently’ truly means for organizations, individuals, and projects to inspire people to embrace and celebrate the kind of diverse thinking that will result in greater project success and better outcomes for society.”

Registration for APM Thinks Differently Week is open now. Individual members of APM can register for free. Employees of APM Corporate Partners can register for £15. Non-members can register for £25, which includes access to the full five-day event.

To see the full program and further information about the speakers and register visit

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