Ove Arup's Key Speech

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Required reading for everyone who joins Arup, our founder’s 1970 talk sets out the business principles we’ve followed ever since.

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The Key Speech is required reading for each person who joins Arup or who wants to be reminded of what we are all about, and for those who want to learn about us.

On 9 July 1970 Ove Arup spoke to a meeting at Winchester, UK, of his partners from the practices around the world bearing the Arup name. His talk was in response to the collective desire to continue working together, despite the changes that would take place as the founding partners progressively retired and gave up ownership, handing over control to the successors they would choose for these practices.

The pre-natal name of 'key speech' for this talk has endured, in recognition of the fact that in it Ove both states the aims of the firm and analyses in his very distinctive way the principles through which they may be achieved. From time to time we have asked ourselves whether what he said in 1970 remains valid for us, despite the fact that inevitably some specifics about the firm's organisation and individuals’ roles therein to which he refers in passing have changed over the years. On each occasion we have found that it does, and thereby reaffirmed our commitment to these principles.

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