Project activities impact society and the environment in ways that create challenges for project managers that go beyond delivering defined results for specific customers. Project managers now need to develop new competencies to deliver projects informed by knowledge of sustainability issues and the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This project is intended to develop researchers and practitioners in the area of Responsible Project Management.

Manifesto for Responsible Project Management

This is a call for project professionals to expand their roles by advocating for beneficial change.  

This Manifesto aims to help facilitate conversations that value:

  • Conscious awareness over ignorance of project impacts
  • Regenerative and circular  approaches over consumption, damage and waste
  • Collaboration and engagement over competition and control

While we recognise that projects programs and portfolios need to deliver outputs, outcomes and benefits, unless we all look after the natural world and human communities, projects will contribute to the destruction of humanity.      

The signatories to this Manifesto are developing and applying ways of managing projects that delivers social, environmental and economic value without preference.  


Ten Principles

1. Purpose. Identify and understand the purposes underpinning projects from different perspectives.

2. Awareness. Raise awareness of possible impacts and consequences of projects.

3. Engagement. Engage with a wide range of stakeholders and promote common interests.

4. Curiosity. Be curious, uncover and address ethical complexity, conflict, and unintended outcomes.

5. Uncertainty. Recognise uncertainties and encourage clarity and sharing of new knowledge.

6. Anticipation. Anticipate changes, evaluate options and promote informed decision making.

7. Creativity. Understand needs for creativity and innovations: make space for imagination.

8. Transparency. Foster transparency and sharing of visions, thoughts, and feelings among stakeholders.

9. Stewardship. Encourage stewardship of human and environmental resources and ethical considerations.

10. Balance. Seek balance between the needs of people, planet and profit; short, medium and long term.

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Competency Development for Responsible Project Management

The Project Management domain to date has taken a supporting role in the sustainability narrative and existing work focuses on developing sustainability indicators for project activities. Project managers are encouraged to provide quantitative data that can guide decision makers and measure the performance of projects.  The ability to work across organizational and disciplinary boundaries can enable Project Managers lead sustainability conversations in project and introduce concepts and approaches at the conceptualization stage, shaping the project realization process. This project seeks to identify approaches for developing these competencies in Project Managers.

A guide to Responsible Project Management

2019 Guide here: RPM_web_booklet_FINAL

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