Our Crisis Talks series explores how project managers are adapting and pivoting to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, Emma De Vita (editor of APM’s Project journal) speaks to Paul Hilton, programme director at global engineering, management and development company Mott MacDonald. Paul lives in Singapore and oversees the delivery of 13 Future Cities projects across nine cities in six countries in South-East Asia. The programme aims to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. It prioritises the needs of girls, women and the most excluded people in these communities and is aligned to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Paul began work on the programme when it kicked off in 2019, and has carried on leading it through the COVID-19 crisis while Singapore has been in lockdown and his local teams in the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia have been contending with the pandemic. The 13 projects range from a smart ticketing transport system in Ho Chi Minh City to an earthquake and tsunami warning system in Surabaya. Paul tells me about the challenges of managing the programme as the world heads towards a new normal, and how being an expat has made him more resilient to the trials of the COVID-19 crisis.

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