Sydney: seven complex infrastructure challenges

Sydney turns to emerging talent to tackle complex infrastructure challenges

Smart Seeds, a global innovation program powered by GHD and partners, has launched in Sydney to connect young talent with current leaders for its fourth consecutive year. With a focus on cross-sector collaboration, capacity building and design thinking, the program ignites a new approach to tackling complex infrastructure challenges.

The launch workshop kicked off at GHD in Sydney on 6 March 2018, bringing together 42 early-career professionals from private industry, government agencies and state departments.

Workshop facilitator Micah Clark said “there was palpable enthusiasm among the participants. You can’t manufacture the kind of passion young professionals bring to the program – there’s a real buzz around the room.”

Unveiled at the workshop were seven complex infrastructure challenges, each collaboratively defined by industry and community leaders from participating organisations across government and private industry.

What challenges are being tackled?

  • How can digital technology be applied in response to a skills shortage in construction to increase quality, improve safety, reduce cost and speed up delivery?
  • How can investors in housing construction be better assured that their building has been built ethically and to the agreed specifications that underpin the long-term value of their investment?
  • How should future urban environments be designed to support the advancing yet relatively unknown technology and expectations of the future?
  • How can we improve the customer experience, increase comfort and bring order to the mobility chaos of our city?
  • How might we repurpose and prolong the lifecycle of our transport assets to provide greater value to community?
  • How can Australia take advantage of existing and emerging sectors in the space industry to become a global leader?
  • How can the infrastructure industry attract Gen Z talent and best utilise their skills to solve the problems of the future?

Drawing on the diverse skills and strengths of participants, multidisciplinary teams formed around each challenge with the support of inspiring mentors experienced in innovation and influencing change.

Kathryn Farnell, Caltex Head of Talent & Development, said “I am really looking forward to mentoring my team and encouraging their creativity and ability to influence others – key skills for the future of work”.

Over the coming weeks teams will deep dive into the challenge context and drivers and testing ideas they see creating value for community.

Jacyl Shaw, GHD Digital Innovation Leader, said “I am very proud that Smart Seeds can enable diverse teams of brilliant and engaged young professionals to tackle complex problems in ways that are provocative and fresh”.

Teams will pitch their final concepts in front of a live audience of industry leaders at the Sydney Showcase Event on 2 May 2018.

Who is participating in Sydney?

Hannah Dawson  – GHD | Hannah Urwin  – GHD | Chloe Sullivan – GHD | Robert Ventura – GHD | Darren D’Souza – GHD | Thomas Darley  – GHD | Michelle Stark – GHD | Allison Mahlberg – Landcom | Biljana Stanic – Landcom | Dominic Vertoudakis – Landcom | Katrina Lim – Landcom | Mark Albert – Landcom | Steve Zhou – Landcom | Toni Breeze  – TfNSW | Robert Blanch  – TfNSW | Marie Castro  – TfNSW | Aadit Singh  – TfNSW | Bianca Lao  – TfNSW | Patrick Murphy  – TfNSW | Meghan Holden  – TfNSW | Ella Somerset  – TfNSW | Janinda Perera  – TfNSW | Jameel Dorrah – TfNSW | Christian Bigeni  – TfNSW | Sub Mukherjee  – CBA | David Darjani – CBA | Sam Struthers – CBA | Annie Mak – Holcim | Morgan Pauly – Sydney Water | Benjamin Harris – Sydney Water | Michael Walz – Veolia | Jake Kelly – Lendlease | Andrew Carter – Lendlease | Rachel Zhang – Lendlease | Sindhu Alavelu – Lendlease | Yen Dao – Lendlease | Jessica Davis – Lendlease | Rob Ward – Lendlease | Jade Caldwell – Caltex | Josh Grunfeld – Caltex | Ashleigh Hyland – Caltex | Hamish Sinclair – NSW Gov – Planning |

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