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2015 ACEC Summit to explore transformation

Lindsey Cole
2015 ACEC Summit to explore transformation

This year’s Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada (ACEC) Leadership Summit will feature forward-looking discussions on how the profession, sector and world are transforming, states President and CEO John Gamble.


"This year we’re really talking about transformation; how do we transform our business and our sector and by extension how do we transform the world in which we practice?" he explains.

"Where do we have to be headed as an industry to be relevant and to be profitable to be successful in the future? Are we prepared to rip up the rulebook and do it differently if that’s what being relevant demands of our industry?"

Taking place from June 11 to 13 in Niagara Falls, Ont. the summit aims to tackle the key issues of today and tomorrow, states ACEC, and contains several sessions with speakers discussing a variety of topics from global and market trends to exploring models of professional practice, to name a few.

"The sessions are built along that track, of where are we heading and are we set up the right way to get there," Gamble says.

"The fact of the matter is, certainly from the perspective of our industry, the world has changed dramatically in the last several years and it’s accelerating and that doesn’t seem to change. We need to have a frank discussion too about who’s going to lead this change. Are we bringing the right people into our industry? Once we have them in the industry, are we giving them the tools they need?"

The keynote speakers for the summit include Rudyard Griffiths, a CBC business commentator, and author of bestseller Who We Are: A Citizen’s Manifesto. He is an expert on a variety of topics, states the association, from the future of the Canadian economy to the big political and social debates shaping this country.

Kyle V. Davy, president of Kyle V. Davy Consulting, lectures frequently and has published numerous articles on project management and other aspects of the A/E industry. He is a principal faculty member of ACEC-US’s Senior Executive Institute (SEI), ACEC states, which is the pre-eminent leadership development program for professionals in the design and construction industry. He is also the author of Value Redesigned: New Models of Professional Practice.

Lastly, Paul Smith, president and founder of The Flywheel Effect, a Toronto-based boutique management consulting firm, will also be presenting. The firm believes "that smart, hardworking business leaders deserve to be profitable and less stressed but don’t always have the right tools to get there on their own," ACEC explains.

"We’re going to see a number of thought leaders both from within the industry and external to the industry. I think that’s very important that we get those varied perspectives," adds Gamble, stating the role of firms is changing.

"We’re finding more and more consulting engineering firms are offering other professional services, whether it’s architecture or land use planning, economics, project management and I think we’re going to see more of that. What are the game changers out there that are going to really require us to rethink how we offer consulting engineering services?"

The summit also includes ACEC’s Annual General Meeting and the Chair’s Gala Dinner. Entertainment for the gala will be Greg Frewin, an international grand champion of magic, who will present a Las Vegas-style magic show.

Gamble says this year’s theme of transformation is a fitting backdrop, as next year the summit may be structured differently.

"The summit has evolved over many years and it’s time for us to revisit how we offer the summit," he states.

"Keeping with the theme, starting in 2016, we’re going to actually be reinventing the summit to make it more relevant. So watch this space as they say."

For now, however, Gamble says this year will be valuable to attendees, leaving them with some food for thought.

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