Patrick Gaincko

Patrick Gaincko

Presentation: The transformation of a university in a complex environment: how sustainability driven project management is helping

Today, higher education institutions are going through tremendous transformation. Traditionally their functions included teaching, the socialization of students, and research activities. Now, they strive to shift to international functions with research-education international projects, innovative functions with innovation labs, and entrepreneurial functions with MBA programs. They have identified this shift as a solution to alleviate financial pressures. For an Africa-based, globally renowned higher education institution dedicated to agricultural sciences, forest management and biodiversity conservation, that transformation has a higher degree of urgency and complexity. Two top reasons: 1. Tropical rainforests continue to disappear quickly, 2. To local businesses, partnering with higher education institutions is a novelty. My presentation is an examination of how gymnastic project management is in the process of helping transformation at a university in a complex environment; intersecting sustainability, graduates’ employability, business & finance and driving change in the organizational culture.

Learning goals summary:

  • What approach is best fit for transforming large-size, traditional, not-profit institutions.

  • How gymnastic is the project manager is this case.

  • What are the challenges and opportunities for project managers post transformation.


Patrick Gaincko crafts and delivers learning and development programs, helps build workplace cultures, and develops projects; leveraging the experiences, techniques, and lessons he learned and upgraded in his unique, rich, ever-expanding work experience. He has travelled in 58 countries, worked in 6 European countries, with/in 8 industries, incl. manufacturing, transport, education, healthcare, entertainment, hospitality, energy, and consulting. As a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP®), Patrick creates projects supporting companies and industries in their advancement or transformation. In various corporate environments and contexts, he has delivered high performances in HR, including hiring cost savings, succession planning, Candidate Net Promoter Score, First year turnover rate, and impact on organizational performance.