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Staying positive despite the hottest week on record

PMI Belgium

Author: Stuart Thorp

In my last 2 monthly newsletter articles (in May & June), I have talked about "the weather".

It was not my original intention to make this a regular feature, however such clear evidence is emerging of Climate Change driven weather events, that I could not ignore this.

Unfortunately, this is again the case in July as we have seen global average temperature records tumbling, on successive days.

Whilst the Climate Crisis is very much with us, it is important to stay positive and purposeful in addressing the Climate Crisis through action.


On 6 July, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, stated that: "Climate Change is out of control. if we persist in delaying key measures that are needed, I think we are moving into a catastrophic situation."

At the time of drafting this article (13 July), much of Italy has been suffering from anticyclone Cerberus:


Extreme temperatures in UK coastal waters are a further cause for concern.

With the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) moving from La Niña into an El Niño phase - we are likely to see even greater extremes in global weather conditions.

The Climate Crisis is impacting us in Europe but the impact in the United States has also been severe and unprecedented. USA is among the largest global economies in terms of high per-capita carbon emissions, so this impact is striking where the potential for impactful action is also very high.

In previous articles I referred to my online studies on Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact delivered by Climate guru Michael Mann. Michael is currently getting very high-profile coverage in USA (and worldwide) with his clear, science-based observations on the impact, for example: 


I highly recommend following Michael on this topic.

Climate Fresk copia1

As part of the PMI European Chapter initiative to tackle the Climate Crisis, we invited PMI European Chapter Presidents and Climate / Sustainability representatives to a call on 3 July to discuss the positive outcome from our Climate Fresk pilot workshops and to explore next steps towards rolling out Climate Fresk on a wider basis.

11 European Chapters were represented in the call including PMI Belgium and PMI Northern Italy Chapters.

PMI UK Chapter have started Climate Fresk workshops (with the first one held 1 July.)

For some of the attendees on 3 July, it was their first briefing on Climate Fresk, so it is understandable that they want to find out more before committing their Chapters to additional activities on top of their plans for 2023.

Hence, we have arranged 2 workshops for PMI European Chapter leadership (planned for 20 July and 3 Aug 2023) so that they can experience the workshop at first hand and position the initiative in relation to other Chapter priorities.

We are also suggesting that Chapters carry out their own "pilot" to confirm the relevance and level of interest in their Chapter:








I'm sure that all PMI Belgium Chapter members will have PMFAIR 2023 (13 Oct 2023) in their diaries! (Here is the Link to learn more and register)

I'm really looking forward to meeting up with many of you and for the opportunity to present on the subject of:

The Climate Crisis needs "Everything, Everywhere, All at Once" - this will require Gymnastic Project Management - but most of all our commitment.

I will be sharing my thoughts on how we, the Project Management community, have the key skills to deliver the seemingly impossible request from UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. 

There are wonderful opportunities for us all to develop our talents into a more sustainable direction.

We're also exploring having a "stand" at PMFAIR 2023 presenting Climate Fresk. This will be an opportunity to get a "taster" for this initiative and sign-up for one of the fun, interactive 3-hour workshop sessions to gain a fuller understanding of the latest climate science from the IPCC reports.


Preparations are progressing well for Sustainability Summit 2023 (save the date: 8 November 2023).

The overall aim of the event is to recognise the importance of what we in the Project Management community can do to address the Sustainability challenge in general (and the Climate Crisis in particular).

We are targeting a pan-European audience including Project Professionals, Business, Academia & Students, NGOs as well as lobbyists & thought leaders.

To reach this audience effectively, the event will leverage the platform already successfully used by PMI-UK for online events such as the “PM4TheWorld” event of 29-30 March 2023 in support of the Turkey / Syria Earthquake Disaster as well as the “International Women's Day” event on 8th March 2023.

We also aim to encourage Chapters to augment the online participation with Chapter specific "face to face" activities.

The event committee is meeting on a weekly basis to drive forward the various elements of preparation.

My role in this committee is to be bring a Climate Crisis perspective and to leverage my contacts in this domain.

We aim to share more specific details of Sustainability Summit 2023 end July 2023.

pic8 PMI Hours for impact

The preparation of the Sustainability Summit is contributing towards PMI Hours for Impact.

Hours for Impact supports the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to better people’s lives and the planet, now and in the future.

pic9 copia

Maybe you know of an initiative that could also contribute towards the SDGs via PMI Hours for Impact?

Nature as a source of optimism

I must confess that, knowing the strength of the science and the often-under-estimated impacts, it would be easy to feel pessimistic about the future.

My personal route to optimism is through the collective action we are starting to mobilise, together with taking small actions, on a daily basis, to engage with Nature.

A daily walk in my local woods:

pic10 copia

time spent in the garden growing fresh food:

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...and supporting biodiversity:

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As always, feedback welcomed.

Talking is also important, so if you'd just like to talk about the Climate Crisis - don't hesitate to reach out.

Stay positive and enjoy the Summer.

Stuart Thorp


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