By Mónica González



On the occasion of the first global virtual conference on Sustainability in Project Management, organized by Ron Schipper and Gilbert Silvius, early this year, I had the honor to deliver the presentation The Legacy: Project Management for Peace. Nobody discusses the tremendous social, environmental and economic impact of the violence

To put in simple numbers, the economic effects of violence on the global economy was $14.3 trillion USD in 2014, which represents 13.4 percent of global GDP. This amount is equivalent to the combined economies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. From the social point of view, the number of refugees and internally displaced persons –IDPs- numbers has increased substantially to over 50 million, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), the highest number since the end of World War II. Related costs increased by 267 percent to US$93 billion dollars since 2008. The most important and transcendent data is if global violence were to decrease by ten percent uniformly, an additional $1.43 trillion USD would effectively be added to the global economy each year. This amount is more than six times the total value of Greece’s bailout and loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank (ECB) and other Eurozone countries combined. (Institute for Economics and Peace, 2015)

In the context of sustainability and global challenges, the following words regarding the project management discipline are as valid as ever. “As project, program and portfolio managers, we cannot be indifferent; quite the contrary be sensible, receptive and take an active role, that is, be change agents for a better world with inclusive growth, social equity, and progress, between other goals” (González, 2013)

On January 1st, 2016, Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) went into effect replacing the expired millennium development goals (MDGs) as a new universally adopted agenda with the aim of mitigating climate change, advancing human rights, gender equality, empowerment of all women and girls, and peace and justice to name a few. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environment (ESG governance)

Project management, a discipline synonymous with change, must evolve and adopt sustainable methods to support the needs of the new corporate strategy paradigm and contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals. These goals are intended to inspire action in areas of significant importance for humanity and the planet.

Regarding Sustainable development goal 16 which states “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”, business can make critical contributions to Peace. According to the Business for Peace initiative, in its Peace and Business report, (United Nations, 2015) there is a spectrum of engagement for companies that operate in conflict affected contexts.


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About the Author

ónica González


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Mónica González
, MBA, PMP, GPM/GPM-m, is an Industrial Engineer, Master in Business Administration and holding three International Certifications: Project Management Professional (PMP®) from the Project Management Institute and Green Project Manager (GPM® and GPM-m®) from the Green Project Management Organization. She has over 25 years of experience in Electrical Companies, in both public and private sectors, specifically in Electric Power Transmission in High and Medium Voltage.

In the past 16 years, she has worked as a Project Manager, involved with developing, establishing, implementation and maintenance of Organizational (and Integrated) Management Systems according to the International Management Standards, like ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems – Requirements), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems — Requirements), ISO 26000 (Guidance on Social Responsibility), OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Standard) and the Argentinean Resolution ENRE 057/2003 Public Safety for Electric Power Transmission in High and Medium Voltage.

From 2002 to 2004, she was part of Communication Committee and Environmental and Sustainable Development Committee of Electricité de France (EDF) Branch America along with colleagues from France, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. As PMI member Monica is a founder of the PMI Nuevo Cuyo Argentina Chapter, as a volunteer (2008-2013), she has served as Marketing and Communications leader, issuing a monthly newsletter among others.

In addition to integrate the PMI Global Sustainability Community of Practice Council (May´2010-Dec´2012) and support PMI Educational Foundation as a Liaison in Nuevo Cuyo Chapter (2011-2013), she serves as a committee member for the PC/ISO 236 Project Committee: Project Management; and for the ISO/TC 258 – Technical Committee: Project, Program, Portfolio Management.

Professor of CSR and Sustainable Development at GSPM, University for International Cooperation –UCI- Costa Rica, in both languages Spanish and English (since 2013).

From October 2012, Mónica is a member of the Green Project Management Executive Consortium. Currently, she is the Executive Director for GPM Latin America. Monica can be contacted at [email protected]