Preview video of BIG FIXES

What BIG FIXES is about ? A message from Garry Bowditch

The devastation of COVID, the impact of lockdowns helped to confirm what many people, businesses and institutions had been quietly concerned about for some time. That society needs to lift its game in making wiser choices and aspire to leave a better legacy to the future.

In essence, we the citizens, the customers and institutions that now have such an over-sized impact on our lives all need to adopt a bigger perspective on the consequences of our choices, be more accountable for them and to strengthen our resolve to building bridges to an inclusive future. That means finding better ways to run the economy so we are mindful of future generations, for society to nurture and enhance respectful social relationships and be front footed to keeping the planet safe.

BIG FIXES speaks to the reasons why we need to rebuild trust – especially between people and institutions – and the importance of having more bottom-up solutions that nuance and target real community and customer needs. My argument is that infrastructure is an excellent starting point because of its unique long term characteristics and its profound impact on quality of life.

For me, writing BIG FIXES was about a philosophical reflection of working in infrastructure for the past 20 years and distilling, being clear-minded to what is precious for our longer-term wellbeing; making sure we can recognise them, be compelled to protect and expand them. Most of all BIG FIXES is a call to action to leave none of these to chance for future generations. We must avoid ever breaking the chain of benevolence from once generation to the next, because once broken, it is never easily fixed.

Book Endorsements and Reviews

 

 

D.J. Gribbin, Former Special Assistant for Infrastructure to the President of the United States of America, The White House

“BIG FIXES should be on the shelf of any professional who cares deeply about infrastructure.  The book’s thoughtful view of infrastructure policy pierces through the political obsession with how much should be spent and focuses instead on the foundational policies needed to restore infrastructure globally.  This first principles’ view is as helpful as it is refreshing.

Garry Bowditch provides an experienced and measured approach to reshaping our public institutions to allow them the ability to build public trust and develop the type of systems needed to create infrastructure that, in his words, “provides humanity with a means to an end.”

 

Sir John Armitt CBE, Chairman, National Infrastructure Commission, United Kingdom

As the world emerges from the shadow of Covid the need to invest in infrastructure to grow our economies is a common theme. Will these investments, public or private, result in real long term benefits to our societies. If we continue as in the past it is questionable.

BIG FIXES argues for the central importance that citizens have an underlying trust in the decisions of professionals, politicians and their policies. The need for openness and transparency in the debate of options, and costs which ultimately are born by the citizen, for collaboration between stakeholders, the use of reliable data and the wise use of land which once purposed is not easily repurposed. Whole life considerations, recognition of legacy, the risk of planning and designing for the short term and failing to recognise future technologies and their impacts.

As engineers, architects, planners and of course politicians we expect the citizen to trust us to develop infrastructure and systems which are completely reliable and resilient. Systems which recognise the complexity and interconnectivity and the potential of several risks happening simultaneously.

BIG FIXES is an important reminder of our responsibilities and a guide to enable better outcomes especially by putting foremost the end customer, listening to what good means for them not what simply creates a good business case.

Garry Bowditch does not pretend it is easy but if we can take on board half of his recommendations then we stand some chance of creating better infrastructure for future generations.

 

Ross Israel, Head Global Infrastructure, QIC

Infrastructure investors should heed the call of BIG FIXES. As fiduciaries of capital, the cross over to being owners of infrastructure is brought out by Garry Bowditch’s focus on the importance of stakeholder primacy and customer stewardship. 

In delivering resilience and future-proofing the infrastructure they own, long term institutional investors have a tremendous opportunity to make a difference to deliver lasting intergenerational legacies.

They are uniquely positioned in a world decarbonising, digitalising and decentralising to be active FIXERS, it’s a timely call to action!

 

Professor Ian Harper AO, Dean of Melbourne Business School, Melbourne, Australia

If your vision of infrastructure is roads, bridges, schools and hospitals, then your vision is too narrow. Let Garry Bowditch widen your perspective to think about infrastructure as the gift that current generations pay forward to future generations.

When we invest in infrastructure, we express hope for the future. We also create the future, since good infrastructure empowers human beings to trust and collaborate with one another, and this in turn unleashes human ingenuity and creativeness that literally fashion the future.

BIG FIXES will change the way you think about infrastructure but, more fundamentally, it will change the way you think about the future, and how to secure the hope of brighter and better things to come.

 

 

Governor Martin O’Malley, Fmr Governor of Maryland & Mayor of Baltimore

Societies improve the well-being of their people, not by locking money in a vault, but by distributing human solutions to human problems more efficiently, more sustainably, and more broadly.

“BIG FIXES,” is a clarion call to the deeper and more life-giving instincts of our humanity. It is a call not merely to rebuild the failing infrastructure of our past, but to build anew with a clear eye toward the further future.  

Garry Bowditch helps us understand that the success of our efforts — in these critical times of environmental and social change — requires “a more profound practice of reciprocity.”   It requires a way of building, living, and governing that strengthens our trust in one another and our faith in a better tomorrow.

 

Marion Terrill, Transport and Cities Program Director, Grattan Institute

There’s no shortage of reports, papers, books and analysis on every conceivable aspect of infrastructure. And yet, this one is different. Garry has stepped back from the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, and instead asked ‘why’. It’s a very personal perspective on infrastructure – what it’s really for, will it still be good in the future, and is the best way to get what we want and need from it. Well done, Garry.

 

Mike Mrdak AO

BIG FIXES and the principles of customer stewardship so well explained by Garry Bowditch shows us that our infrastructure not only drives our economic lives it shapes how we operate as a community.

A strong community is dependent on whether our investments actually provide the improved services we all need and are procured in the way we need them to strengthen our social bonds and goals.

Public policy professionals and all those planning and procuring the investments for the future should read this as part of their thinking about the responsibility they have for shaping enduring and positive legacies.

Gert-Jan de Graaff, CEO Brisbane Airport Corporation, Australia

Airports present the ultimate opportunity for customer-focused infrastructure development with connectivity and informed customer choice being its underpinning objectives.

Our vision of “Connect the World Create the Future” reflects the very same principles Garry Bowditch promotes in BIG FIXES for all public infrastructure including serving all through effective engagement, setting ambitious goals with inherent adaptiveness to meet the customers’ future needs of total network connectivity and the opportunity for customers, consumers, and stakeholders to make informed choices when visiting Brisbane Airport.