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New York | May 2019

Innovators and global influencers will reconvene in New York City for the RICS World Built Environment Forum Summit 2019.

LUN. 13 MAI 2019
09:00 - 18:00
Event ends on 14 May 2019
Conrad New York, 102 North End Avenue, NY 10282, USA
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The future of investment in real assets

In an industry constantly looking to adapt, lead and grow, we invite you as industry leaders to shape the world we live in, create positive change and be a part of the world’s most important discussions.

In an ever-changing geopolitical landscape, we need to know how to make informed investments in the world we live in and manage future risk. We need to know how to future proof the urban and natural environment against resource scarcity and climate change, and how to navigate the circular economy.

How will technology aid and inform decision making to limit economic risk? Big data, blockchain and other technologies will have a role to play in the future of the built environment and help us to create smart, liveable and resilient cities. It will change the workplace as we know it: the buildings we work and live in could become more educated than their residents.

In the context of investing in the built environment, our summit will explore:

  • The changing nature of work and workplace
  • The impact of algorithms and tokenisation
  • The real-world outcomes for cities and citizens
  • New finance models for energy and transport
  • Investment risk allocation

Programme: Monday 13 May 2019

  • 08:00 Registration, networking and refreshments

  • 09:15 Connectivity, competition and capital: The new landscape for investors

    “The global system is characterised by certain megatrends that are so robust they have withstood every obstacle, every conflict, every financial crisis and every plague in history.”

    For bestselling author, scenario-based strategy advisor and summit keynote speaker Parag Khanna, the 4th Industrial Revolution does not mark a departure from history, but its repetition: the previous 75,000 years of civilisation provide a blueprint for prosperity in this age of disruption. The session will centre on three pivotal observations: 

    • The central role of cities and megacities in international commercial activity
    • The paramount importance of interconnectivity in driving competition and co-operation between cities
    • The emergence of the global supply chain as a geopolitical priority.

    What does China’s Belt and Road initiative mean for long-established transatlantic trade relationships? Can globalisation weather the apparent crisis of faith in the markets that most benefit from it? How vulnerable are the global infrastructure chokepoints on which we depend so heavily?

    Join “one of the most influential people of the 21st century” to consider how the global system’s long history of resilience can inspire confidence in its future

  • 10:30 Opening panel discussion

    The defining demographic development of the 20th century was the 400% increase in the global population. Projections suggest that the defining demographic development of this century will be the mass migration of the world’s people to urban areas. At a macro level, how can built environment professions, in partnership with policymakers and international institutions ensure our metropolitan regions are resilient and economically vibrant?

  • 11:45 Networking refreshment break

  • 12:15 Breakout topic A – New work, new workplaces: How technology and changing human habits are reshaping commercial real estate markets

    What makes commercial real estate investible in the 21st century? In an age of rapid, tech-driven cultural change, the traditional “bricks, mortar, walls and windows” perception of buildings is out of date. Considering shifting patterns of work and leisure, this session will assess how popular expectations of the built environment have evolved, and what this means for buildings as viable, revenue-generating assets.

    12:15 Breakout topic B – Building for the future: Modernising the construction industry

    Global economic prosperity is heavily reliant on the construction industry, a sector that has yet to futureproof itself for the demands of the 21st century. Exploratory funding falls markedly short of levels seen in comparable industries, with estimates suggesting that less than 1% of global construction revenues are reinvested into research and development. Disruptive technology poses a stark choice to the construction industry: modernise or become obsolete. With 13% of global GDP and 7% of the world’s workforce in question, the significance of the challenge, and the scale of the opportunity, is great.

  • 13:30 Networking lunch and exhibition

  • 14:45 Tokenisation and next-generation investment in real assets

    Over $1.3bn was invested in blockchain-related companies in the first six months of 2018. New York City Economic Development Corp’s blockchain resource centre will provide a physical hub for the industry, delivering on the city’s ambition to become the world’s blockchain capital.

    The increase in tokenisation of property on blockchain is one of 2018’s most notable trends. How do we maximise the benefits of the technology, including immutability and greater transparency, to unlock capital for positive impact? How do we respond to the challenge of disintermediation, and what does tokenization mean for asset valuations?

  • 16:00 Networking refreshment break

  • 16:30 Responsible investment in a complex risk landscape

    Be part of an Investment Committee meeting, in which senior investment figures from around the globe analyze the interconnected and yet distinctive risks of competing commercial real estate investment propositions. In an extended investment cycle and a backdrop of geopolitical uncertainty, what are the best strategies for institutional investors to achieve satisfactory risk-adjusted returns while acting responsibly on their clients’ behalf?

    The 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 worldwide.

  • 17:45 Chair’s summary and day one close

  • 19:00 Networking dinner and drinks reception

Programme: Tuesday 14 May 2019

  • 08:00 Registration, networking and refreshments

  • 09:00 Chair’s opening remarks

  • 09:15 Global cities: Common future agendas

    Summit partners, 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) defines urban resilience as ‘the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.’ This panel session will focus on proven approaches to building resilience infrastructure in cities.

    With over half of their member cities having already completed resilience strategies, panellists will discuss structuring a resilience infrastructure fund to assess potential projects against both financial viability and resilience criteria. Participants will include 100RC network cities, 100RC’s infrastructure and finance partners, and members of 100RC’s technical project development teams.


  • 10:45 Networking refreshment break

  • 11:15 Breakout topic A – Alternative energy infrastructure investment

    Global energy demand, driven partly by rapid growth in developing markets, is set to rise by 40% against current levels over the next 20 years. With energy security threatened by geopolitical uncertainties, the challenge of accelerating flows of capital into energy innovations is pressing. To what extent do new technologies promise the democratisation of energy generation and provision, and how are the market’s established players responding?

    11:15 Breakout topic B – Transport infrastructure investment

    With the global infrastructure funding gap to 2030 estimated at US$57tn, competition for investment is fierce. At the same time, rapid innovation in transport could render new and costly infrastructure projects obsolete before they can begin to return dividends. With governments continuing to favour infrastructure renewal as a means of stimulating sustainable growth globally, this session will question how investors can prioritise public benefit without compromising on yields. Further consideration will be given to the potential of obsolete infrastructure to reverse the decline and disappearance of the urban public realm.

  • 12:30 Networking lunch and exhibition

  • 13:30 Real assets in the 21st century: What we mean when we talk about value

    How will enhanced automation in valuation re-shape the CRE appraisal landscape over the next 3-10 years? Our panel of leading banking experts will discuss the pros and cons and the variables and risks in automating the valuation process.

    Will predictive analytics shift the emphasis of valuation from current to future value? What does this mean for the next generation of professional appraisers, and how will that impact more complex real estate landscapes such as Manhattan?

  • 14:45 Networking refreshment break

  • 15:15 A time for action

    As human behaviours and investment decisions are increasingly shaped by technology, how do we assure city leaders and their citizens that investments are made responsibly? Can algorithms ever be transparent and do they magnify human biases? Does their innate amorality in pursuit of optimisation lead to extreme actions? How can real estate investors effectively collaborate in the consistent and coherent regulation of crypto-currencies, to the benefit of the real estate investment community?

  • 16:15 An investable future

    Looking forward to the World Built Environment Forum Summit 2020, this session will look at global investment priorities, opportunities and challenges. Delegates will be invited to consider how responsible, long-term and socially conscious investors are driving economic sustainable development in developed and developing markets.

  • 17:00 CEO’s closing remarks

    World Built Environment Forum Summit New York 2019 in summary.

  • 17:15 Summit close

Venue directions

Conrad New York is set in the heart of Lower Manhattan and offers excellent transportation to and from New York’s three international airports. Enjoy easy access to all the best sights, attractions and activities that New York has to offer.

Sponsors and partners

Platinum sponsor
Platinum sponsor
Summit partner