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Annual CCPPP conference provides pulse for P3 sector now and post-COVID

Angela Gismondi
Annual CCPPP conference provides pulse for P3 sector now and post-COVID

Those who attend this year’s Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) conference will hear from the “movers and the shakers of the industry” about what they are seeing and what they want to see, says Andrew Koolsbergen, vice-president of strategy and stakeholder engagement.

“A lot of our panels are addressing the issues that are front and centre in the industry right now. I think that’s what’s really unique about the conference and what we were able to put together,” said Koolsbergen. “If you are looking to get a feel for the pulse of the P3 sector in Canada and North America this conference will do it. You will come out of this conference knowing what’s going on.”

The 29th annual conference will take place Nov. 16 to 18. Given the uncertainty around hosting large scale, in person events, organizers decided to host the conference virtually once again this year but are still expecting record attendance from delegates around the world.

“As is always the case, the safety of the people attending the conference is our top priority and even with the possibility that in person events could take place we wanted to make sure that we did this in the safest way possible,” Koolsbergen explained.

While there is no set theme for this year’s conference, innovation will be a focus as will emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and what role P3s play in helping to get shovels in the ground quickly to boost economic recovery.

“What’s very interesting about our conference is that there are so many different topics that are ongoing in the industry that it’s actually very difficult for us to pick a theme,” Koolsbergen noted. “A lot of our panels are dealing with how the industry has adapted to COVID during and post-COVID as we emerge from it. I would say innovation, which, is a core component of P3s to start with is certainly front and centre but is on a wide array of topics.”

The keynote speaker on day one of the conference will be Howard Ashcraft, an author, academic and partner at Hanson Bridgett LLP. He will present A Global Look at Major Projects: What does history and experience tell us about best approaches for the future?

The keynote on the second day will be Aecon founder John Beck presenting on P3s — The Fundamentals and the Future.

Some of the topics in the general sessions include: Top CEOs Share Vision for How to ‘Build Back Better’; The Procurement Toolkit: Examining Traditional P3 and Progressive Models to Choose the Right Tool for the Right Job; How Governments are Turning the Tide on Canada’s Infrastructure Needs; and Agency Heads on Implementing Ambitious Government Infrastructure Plans.

Breakout session topics include Black Swans and Boom Times: A look at project construction risk analysis post-COVID; The Inclusive Potential of Major Infrastructure Projects; How will Canada’s Hospitals Adapt and Innovate after COVID-19?; Challenges and Innovations in Delivering Canada’s Transformational Wave of 21st Century Transit Projects; Increasing Innovation and Collaboration with Municipal P3 Environmental Infrastructure Projects; The Connectivity Divide – State of the North American Market; and District Energy: Challenges and Opportunities.

“We have a lot of panels addressing the needs that we’re seeing in the P3 sector: municipal wastewater, broadband, net-zero, the role of Indigenous people, climate change, hospitals,” said Koolsbergen.

The first two days will be mostly North American and Canadian-centric and the third day will focus on international content. Presentations will be available for attendees to view 90 days following the event on the virtual platform.

Networking is always an important part of the annual P3 conference. Organizers have added the ability to conduct one-on-one video or text chats on the platform for all attendees, speakers, trade commissioners and sponsors attending.

“We found people weren’t using chatrooms, so instead we’ve really driven people towards the member directory, the attendee directory that basically allows people to reach out and interact with people directly,” said Koolsbergen. “We’ve seen that’s a big driver. People are going to look up people they want to talk to and reach out directly.”

For more information visit P3 2021 Annual Conference.


Follow the author on Twitter @DCN_Angela.

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