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The Summit

The RICS World Built Environment Forum Summit reconvenes in London in 2018. These two days of cutting edge debates will focus on the commercial strategies needed to harness the enormous potential of the 21st century’s people and places.

MON 23 APR 2018
08:00 - 17:00
Event ends on 24 April 2018
InterContinental London — The O2, 1 Waterview Drive, London, SE10 0TW

Under the programme title of ‘Our Changing World — Urbanisation, Innovation and Civilisation’, this Summit looks at the three driving forces of industrial transformation, urbanisation and digitalisation, and their profound impacts on the planet’s natural and built environment.

Key themes:

  • How development of collaborative infrastructure, trade and knowledge networks can generate inclusive wealth and wellbeing and inspire deeper regional economic co-dependencies
  • The nature and scope of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the role of intelligent technology in driving productivity across both deindustrialised and industrialising global regions
  • Competition and co-operation between cities and regions in pursuit of greater prosperity and economic versatility, enhanced public health and welfare, and improved levels of liveability and environmental sustainability

This two-day programme, developed in collaboration with internationally renowned and respected industry figures, will explore the transformative impact of digitalisation on business models and the consequences for cities and the regions around them.

Programme: Monday 23 April 2018

  • 08:00 Registration and refreshments

  • 09:00 Summit opening: Global Voices from the RICS Survey of Built Environment Leaders

    The RICS Survey of Built Environment Leaders ranks the issues at the forefront of leaders’ minds, from the unique perspective of the built environment sector. We highlight their priorities and reasons for optimism or concern, with contributions from our sponsors, chair, and RICS President John Hughes FRICS.


    • James Chau, Broadcaster


  • 09:30 Keynote address - People, Place, Possibility: The Story of the Century to Come

  • 10:15 The Networked World: Digital Innovation, Inclusive Infrastructure and Structural Economic Transformation

    What are the likely impacts of digitalisation on a developed world undergoing deindustrialisation, and on developing nations as they industrialise? This session will explore how emerging technologies are influencing national and supranational economies; the connection between transnational infrastructure, automation and economic output, the impact of improved physical and digital connectivity on global trade and labour markets; and the ethical and practical questions posed by artificial intelligence and machine learning.


  • 11:30 Networking refreshment break

  • A shift from automated production to automated decision making processes characterises the fourth industrial revolution. These breakout sessions will consider the fundamental economic realignments underway across the globe.

    12:15 Cities in the Changing Ecosystems of Industry and Commerce

    As entire industries are reshaped in the fourth industrial age, successful cities must adapt. Businesses are significantly less reliant on the location of natural resources and mass labour than at any point in the last two centuries. New economic and business models can help cities address growing pressures on space, resources and vital services. Reflecting on the benefits and costs of  on-demand, peer-to-peer, shared and circular economic models, the session will consider the implications for employers and employees of decentralised production and service delivery models, and how cities should respond.


    • Rohan Pradhan, Vice President, Deliveroo and Global Head, Deliveroo Editions
    • Karuna Gopal, President, Foundation for Futuristic Cities
    • Chris Choa, Vice President and Global Principal - Cities and Development, AECOM
    • Jalak Jobanputra, Founder and Managing Partner, Future Perfect Ventures

    12:15 Clustering to Compete: Nurturing Innovation for Prosperity and Security

    This panel will assess how clusters and specialisation hubs can boost regional economic prosperity. How can urban design, local skills bases, and public policy combine to establish optimal conditions for clusters that are attractive to investors? How can clusters accelerate the innovations needed to address the most pressing issues facing the built environment?



  • 13:30 Lunch: Infrastructure for Growth; Growth for Infrastructure (invitation only)

    Moderated by:

    • Andrew Carter, CEO, Centre for Cities

     13:30 Networking lunch and exhibition (summit participants)

  • 14:45 Remaining Relevant: Anticipating and Harnessing Disruptive Change

    By 2014, 52% of Fortune 500 companies active in 2000 had been either liquidated or acquired by competitors. This session will challenge participants to imagine the scope and nature of disruption both in a developed world and emerging economies context. How will businesses remain relevant and what business models risk obsolescence?


  • 15:30 The Trillion-Dollar Question: Global Investment Risk Landscape

    Ten years on from the onset of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), join senior investment figures from around the globe for an interactive discussion on the current conditions and possible scenarios in investment markets. This panel of expert practitioners from RICS’ Investment Risk Forum is the only group of its kind, bringing together Chief Investment Officers and Chief Risk Managers from leading institutional investors, responsible for more than US$1tn of assets under management.


    • Nadja de Jager, Chief Investment Risk Officer, CBRE Global Investors
    • Russell Chaplin, Chief Investment Officer, Aberdeen Asset Management
    • Tony Brown, Chief Investment Officer, M&G Investment
    • Martin Brühl, Chief Investment Officer, Union Investment Real Estate
    • Phil Barrett, Managing Director – Global Head of Business and Investment Operations, PGIM
    • Christoph Geiβler, Chief Finance Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Capital BAY GmbH
    • Catherine Pfeiffenberger, Senior Vice President – Capital Markets, Skanska USA
    • Marc Mogull, Executive Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Benson Elliot Capital Management
    • Eric Cheah, Head of Investment Management Asia-Pacific, Union Investment Real Estate
    • Lu Li, Head of Investment Risk – Illiquid Assets, Aviva Investors
  • 16:45 Chair’s closing remarks and day one close


    • James Chau, Broadcaster
  • 19:00-21:00 Networking dinner and drinks reception

Programme: Tuesday 24 April 2018

  • 08:00 Breakfast, networking and registration (summit participants)

  • 09:00 Chair’s opening remarks


    • James Chau, Broadcaster
  • 09:10 Global Cities: Common Future Agendas

    Leading cities are increasingly defined in terms of their global connectivity. This session looks at the key attributes of those cities best-placed to succeed in the 21st Century.



  • 10:30 Networking refreshment break

  • 11:15 Smart, Open Source Cities: Enabling Infrastructure

    Smart, open source cities offer benefits to businesses and citizens through participation and collaboration in planning and managing urban environments. Smart cities in the developed and emerging world, must deal with wider access to technology, digital “leapfrogging”, and implications such as new models for delivering public services. Our panel of experts will also discuss strategies to mitigate systemic cyber vulnerabilities.


    • Filippo Rean, Managing Director – Real Estate Business Division, REED Midem


    11:15 Collaborating to compete: Cities as Growth Engines

    The world is urbanising rapidly. More and more people are moving to cities, and businesses are relocating back to urban areas and even investors are exclusively targeting cities. As a result, cities instead of countries are more and more seen as the world’s primary engines of growth and are increasingly competing with one another to attract investment and talent.

    Following globalising forces, this session will explore how cities can compete on a global scale. We will touch on the need to innovate and attract innovation businesses, smart densification and placemaking, social inclusion and technology, which altogether is a big list for any particular city to focus on. Therefore, it is key for cities to collaborate, so that they can focus on building complementary strengths, making them more attractive targets for international investment.


  • 12:30 Lunch: Green Securitisation: Raising our Game; Generating Greater Returns (invitation only)


    • Michael Sheren, Senior Adviser – Prudential Regulation Authority, Bank of England

    Pannelists will include:


    12:30 Networking lunch and exhibition (summit participants)

  • 13:45 Our Responsibility to Act

    What kind of civilization do we want? An interactive session that makes connections between the learning of two days of the Summit and asks how all actors in the built environment can jointly shape responsible commercial approaches to create the built environment that society needs.


    • Guy Perry, Vice President – Urban Planning and Design, McKinsey & Company


    • Martin Wolf CBE, Chief Economics Correspondent, Financial Times
    • Vivek Nanda, CEO, Hinduja Investment & Project Services and Board Member, UK India Business Council and Executive Director, Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development
    • Khoo Teng Chye, Executive Director, Centre for Liveable Cities (Ministry of National Development, Government of Singapore)
    • Lisa Picard, CEO and President, Equity Office
  • 15:00 Networking refreshment break

  • 15:30 Closing keynote: Urbanisation, Infrastructure and Digitalisation in 21st Century India

    Looking to the World Built Environment Forum: Summit Mumbai, this session will focus on the country’s extraordinary growth and the implications for its cities. The Indian government has pursued a policy of political decentralisation and continues to incentivise innovation through its Smart Cities competition. Against this backdrop, we assess the challenges and opportunities apparent in the task of transforming India into a leading 21st century urbanised economy.

  • 16:15 Chair’s closing remarks and conference close


    • James Chau, Broadcaster

Venue directions

The hotel is located on the Greenwich Peninsula, just 400m from North Greenwich Tube Station on the Jubilee Line, which now boasts a 24-hour operation.

Highlights from 2017

The 2017 Summit was attended by 700 professionals from 75 cities and featured 53 speakers engaging in agenda-setting debate sessions. Watch the highlights video to get a feel of the buzz at the event.

Platinum sponsors

Gold sponsors

Supporting partners

Media partners

For sponsorship queries:


Lory Paterson
t +1 (416)399 3431


Marcus Lim
t +65 6812 8192

South Asia

Anjali Shrivastava
t +91 124 459 5407

UK & Europe

Ian Christensen
t +44 (0)207 695 1759

For speaker queries:

Danielle Blair

For media queries:

Rebecca Hunt

For registration queries:

Sales and Service team
t 0207 695 1600