Sydney skyline

The virtual panel-led debate earlier this month saw the chief executives of leading regional powerhouse architecture, engineering and environmental consulting (AEC) firms address the major challenges and opportunities in a COVID-constrained world. 

They discussed how remote working and digital connection trends might shape the future of the industry and its collaborative relationships, as well as how their own firms are planning for the upturn across Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and the rest of the globe.

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Download the full 4-page pdf Insight Briefing here

The 90-minute webinar recording is freely available to watch on demand here.

With thanks to the host and moderator, BST Global director Eileen Canady, and panelists:

  • Greg Lowe, group chief executive, Beca, HQ New Zealand  
  • Heang Fine WONG, group chief executive officer, Surbana Jurong, Singapore 
  • Ashley Wright, chief executive officer, GHD, Australia   
  • Javier Baldor, Executive Vice President, BST Global, US

Comments from the panel included:

  • "The pandemic response plan triggered 8 out of 10 major enterprise risks we’d never thought about dealing with simultaneously, which quickly brings you to a new way of thinking."
  • "We’ve gone from seeing the virus as affecting our operations over a six-month time period to an 18 month one; although the economic impact might well exist beyond that."
  • "This may be provocative but don’t forget that sometimes ‘out of sight means out of mind’ so I think there is an impact on productivity."
  • "The main challenge I see is that we’ll have an increased amount of flexibility [in staff working arrangements], but not so much that we can reduce our committed office space."
  • "The pandemic is highlighting the need for change in the way we do things, but there is a need to ensure we are embracing technology not for technology’s sake, but for the sake of great data insights and knowledge for us and our clients."
  • "We’ve broken through the trust barrier, so everything is possible; if we trust and adapt, we’ll thrive."