Virtual Ambassador Blog #3 by Antony Faughnan

Antony Faughnan – GS2018 Virtual Team Ambassador for Team 1 – Amsterdam

Who are you and what is your role within Arcadis?
I am Program Director for the Technology and Transformation Alliance at Thames Water and honoured to be part of the leadership team for our Water, Energy and Environmental business in Arcadis UK. I have been with our business since March 2002 and still get a buzz from the great people, projects and clients we work with and from the positive differences that our collective efforts make.

What is your experience of the virtual ambassador role and working with the Global Shapers?
It is my privilege to work with Team Amsterdam and their passion and commitment is great to see. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I started the journey with them however that apprehension soon dissipated as the team formed and quality outputs were delivered. I think of it as ‘time zones, ozone’s and not being alone.’ Time zones reflecting the catch-up and review calls that we have as a group (early morning, midday, late evening; ensuring that we can maximise attendance and meet our goals); Ozone’s as we consider environmental and sustainability impacts in all that we do and ; not being alone, by getting to know each other and really building-up our network and sense of team. We also have great team leadership that encourages engagement and fun through the myriad of activities. Individually there is so much talent and potential and when combined as a team it feels like there is no limit to what can be achieved. Having our colleagues from CRTKL and AMP join was also fantastic and seeing what the other groups have already produced I expect Boston to be a hot bed of ideas, great work and great networking. I hope that the US is ready!

My take on #futurecities and mentoring early career professionals
Innovation requires an aim to be realised and targeting our combined efforts at #futurecities gives us that aim. Across the globe we see the focus on cities and initiatives around improving mobility, utilising technology and data, housing, clean air, well-being and a myriad of other areas taking account of the triple bottom line impact of People, Planet and Profit. We see the interdependencies, the inter-connectivity and the need for collaboration to realise the ambition of citizens, civic leaders and other stakeholders towards improving quality of life. The work that we have already seen shared around smart cities, sustainable cities, regenerative cities and resilient cities gave us a small insight in to just some of the capability and insights that we have across our business and a quick snap shot of just some of the areas where Arcadians are already making the difference. #Futurecities allows us to shape the future, to reinvent, to reimagine and to reconsider what is important. It allows us to utilise all of the skills, ideas and know-how that we have today with the knowledge that we are going to need to continue to grow, develop and embrace emergent technology, and to work with others to truly deliver world class outcomes. We will need the full breath of our talent and ecosystems to realise that ambition. I see our Global Shapers and our wider Global Shapers community playing key roles in assisting us to evolve and adapt in this ever changing environment.

“It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.”

Building networks is important both to access knowledge and to connect with others. I was reminded recently of the great Epicurus quotation that says: “It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.” When we take time to build trust, to share knowledge and to work together the returns can be truly amazing. I welcome the chance to mentor knowing that it is as valuable to me as it is to the mentored; a learning journey that we are both on towards realising our potential. It is a great opportunity to give back and to pay forward the support that I have enjoyed throughout my career.

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