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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.

MON 13 MAY 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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Investing with impact | Profit and purpose

In an industry constantly looking to adapt, lead and grow, we invite you to help 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, investment decisions are increasingly complex and active risk management demands ever greater agility. How will new technology impact real assets and how might it help to maximise returns?

Technology is transforming every aspect of our lives. Big data, blockchain and cryptocurrencies are just some of the tools that will help shape the built environment and contribute to the creation of smart, liveable and resilient cities. As we begin to explore the possibilities of intelligent buildings, our workplaces could fundamentally change, along with their value proposition to investors, developers, owners and occupants.

Key themes explored, in the context of investing in the built environment include: 

  • 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 Opening keynote address and panel discussion

    Details to be confirmed

  • 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 distinctly old fashioned. 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 resources.

    12:15 Breakout topic B – Renewing the construction industry through innovative technology and investment models

    Construction and infrastructure growth is essential to our economies, and yet the industry has been notoriously slow to adopt transformative digital, automated and artificially intelligent technologies. Across many sectors, the spirit of the fourth industrial age is driving efficiency gains, streamlining project delivery, and improving levels of financial transparency. How can the construction industry harness this spirit for the maximum benefit of all its stakeholders, and what might be the consequences of continued failure to do so?

  • 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 6 months of 2018 alone. New York City Economic Development Corp will open a blockchain resource centre providing a physical hub for the industry and 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 virtues of the technology, including immutability and greater transparency, to unlock capital for positive social 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 Maximising technology’s added value to asset management

    Goldman Sachs estimates the market for virtual and augmented reality in real estate at around US$2.6 billion by 2025. Multisensory and enhanced virtual viewings will make real estate assets more accessible to foreign investors, encouraging capital flows.

    How can the potential of artificial intelligence in real estate be fully realised? How can AI and big data help enhance understanding of occupier needs and preferences and how can improved understanding be monetised for maximum value?

  • 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

    One year on from the World Built Environment Forum Summit London 2018, our panelists will revisit the issue of global competition and connectivity between cities, to consider how good governance drives direct investment.

    The session will focus on the role of effective regional leadership structures in creating investible and resilient metro-economies.How are developers valuing placemaking in densely populated metropolitan areas? How is hyper-urbanisation challenging traditional understandings of public and communal space? How can industrial cities adapt to new, post-industrial realities? How can we regenerate the Tier 2 and 3 cities that investors often overlook?

  • 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 pipeline to 2030 currently valued at $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 The Trillion-dollar roundtable: Reputation, risk and reward

    Join senior investment figures from around the globe for an interactive discussion on the current conditions and possible scenarios in investment markets. The session will cover political risk insurance, corporate reputation management, data driven decision making, transparency and sustainability.

    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.

  • 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 Investing in India

    Looking forward to the World Built Environment Forum Mumbai Summit 2020, this session will look at the investment opportunities presented by India’s extraordinary rate of growth. The session will consider how responsible, long-term and socially conscious investors are helping India become a 21st century economic powerhouse.

  • 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.

Progressing the debate

Ahead of the 2019 Summit, we take a look back at the London Summit where innovators and global influencers arrived in one place to determine the future direction of the built environment.

A leading world city, iconic capital and the venue for the 2018 World Built Environment Forum Summit, London welcomed more than 1000 industry professionals from 40 different countries at an event attracting the very best minds in a sector looking to constantly adapt, lead and grow.