Keynote: Change. Challenge. Opportunity. The United Nations Office for Project Services and its unique experience in the world of humanitarian projects

By Ricardo Vargas
Director, Infrastructure and Project Management, United Nations Office for Project Services

In this presentation Ricardo will discuss the experience of the United Nations Office for Project Services in the humanitarian and development context. In 2014 more than 1200 projects were developed by a group of 7500 employees and 300 project managers globally.

The numbers in the previous sentence are only a reference of how complex are the UNOPS challenges. Ricardo will provide dozens of examples about change, challenges and opportunities. This is what he and his team do every single day. They work in the most challenging and complex environments on earth.

  • Can you imagine what it is to play and execute a project aiming to destroy the chemical weapon facilities in Syria in the middle of the Islamic State? He and his team did it.
  • Can you imagine what it is to plan and execute the construction of 85 000 shelters in Haiti after the earthquake? He and his team did it.
  • Can you imagine what it is to put lights in 34 Internal Displaced Camps in the Kurdish Area in Iraq for 600 000 people in few weeks? He and his team did it.

These examples are just the beginning. Ricardo will make a very open and honest presentation about what it takes to be a project manager in this environment and how he and his team deal with change, challenges and opportunities in this kind of context. Every talk or presentation which Ricardo makes is different and unique because every day they have new cases and stories in this extremely dynamic environment.

The full presentation