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Building a Smarter Future Conference




We are delighted to be working with Ambition Broxbourne on 'Building a Smarter Future Conference' taking place on Monday 26th June 2017 10.00-15.00 at Lee Valley White Water Centre, Station Road, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, EN9 1AB.

Smart and sustainable building techniques and inclusive communities all enable  people to live healthy and happy lives. This event seeks to showcase some of the very best examples of innovation and creativity in the built environment to inspire designers, specifiers, planners, constructors and developers in both public and  private sectors with new ideas and learning.

 The speakers will offer expert insight and inspire debate around the following themes:

  • Future house and building design
  • Ambitious and bold planning
  • Innovative master planning for communities
  • Energy-efficient building
  • The affordable housing dilemma

Tickets for this conference can be purchased here.

We are delighted to announce our key note speaker for this conference, Michael Pawlyn.

 Michael was one of the lead architects behind the incredible Eden Project in  Cornwall. Treating nature as a blueprint, he believes there are huge gains to be  made by learning from how the natural world works.

 For every problem we face, from generating energy to manufacturing materials,  there are examples from nature to give us inspiration. Importantly, these solutions  are often more proļ¬table than traditional approaches, as well as radically reducing  the impact on the environment which you can find out more at this informative event. 

As well as advances in architecture, design, engineering and materials, Michael takes a broader

look at innovation and the future. Given the fundamental importance of everything from office
design to manufacturing technologies to transport for any business, Michael also considers the
changes specific industries might face.
Michael Pawlyn represented Grimshaw as a Founder Member of the UK Green Building
Council and is a member of The Edge, the environmental think tank. He has also founded his
own architectural practice specialising in sustainable and biomimicry projects and written the
book Biomimicry in Architecture. 
 We will be joined by Richard Potter, Director of Innovation at Sopra Steria who we are  delighted to have as our Facilitator for the Conference. 
 Richard advises business leaders in the UK and Europe on a range digital  transformation  challenges. However, it is building innovative enterprises that is his real passion. As well  as leading Sopra Steria’s own global innovation programme, Richard works with  customers helping them turn ideas into results. Richard lives in the UK but travels  extensively throughout Europe.


 We are also delighted to announce guest speaker Russell Beck.

 Widely acknowledged as a thought leader in Talent Management, Russell  brings an unrivalled level of passion and i insight to everything he does.    Having worked globally and with an unrivalled depth of experience across  many industries, Russell thinks differently, challenges norms and envisages  better ways of working.  A charismatic, inspirational and motivational public  speaker Russell is at home considering broad strategic trends impacting the future of work and how we can future proof our businesses and careers; the business case for and how to enhance employee engagement; the challenges of managing a multi-generational workforce; appraising the appraisal process.  He considers wide-ranging issues impacting the world of Talent, bringing a depth of insight and thought provoking challenge.  Connecting the dots in a meaningful way, Russell works with the senior leadership teams of companies of all sizes from FTSE100 to SMEs practically helping them better manage their most important asset, their people. 

 Amongst others, Russell has been the key note speaker at the ACAS HR Leaders conference, at the launch of the Government sponsored Design Business skills initiative in Ireland, CIPD conferences, Talent Leaders Connect, Chamber of Commerce events, Royal Society of Chemistry annual conference and pro-Manchester.

In the words of an attendee to one of his keynote speeches: “Russell Beck is one of business's influential speakers, having seen him speak several times I can honestly say I come away from his seminars filled with ideas and motivation. Russell knows his stuff and his delivery of his talks is second to none reaching all levels of his audience. His way of thinking challenges yet simplifies things - if you ever get a chance to work with or see Russell speak I urge you to as you will not be disappointed!”


 Stephen Stone, Chief Executive of Crest Nicholson will also be joining us.

 As a chartered architect Stephen Stone started his career working at a number of London  based architectural practices before joining Countryside Properties in 1983. 

 In 1995 he joined Crest Nicholson and since this time his experience, knowledge and  breadth of understanding of the sector, combined with his visionary design aspirations, has  seen him rapidly climb the career ladder. He wasappointed to the Board of Crest Nicholson  in 1999, subsequently becoming Chief Executive in 2005.

In 2011 he was also appointed to the House Builders Federation (HBF) Board.

Throughout this period he has continued to champion Crest Nicholson’s reputation as a driving force in the sector, questioning conventional thinking and positioning the Group decisively to lead in the complex and challenging process of delivering environmentally sensitive, high quality, sustainable communities. 

Despite the challenges of the economic climate, Stephen has never lost sight of the Group’s award winning core values of innovative design, sustainability and customer service.

Ant Wilson MBE FREng, Director of Building Engineering UK and AECOM Fellow

 Ant is recognised as one of the UK’s most influential building services  engineers with considerable experience in low and zero carbon systems,  façade engineering and green measurement tools. Ant Graduated in  Building Engineering from the University of Bath in 1979 and was  awarded the MBE for services to Building and Engineering. He is a  Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Chartered Engineer and  a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers  (CIBSE), the Energy Institute, AECOM and the Society of Façade  Engineering. He is also a Member of the Society of Light and Lighting.  Ant has received a number of prestigious industry accolades: He holds a  silver medal for his contribution to CIBSE, has been recognised by the IMechE for outstanding contribution to building services and construction and named the first ever winner of an Engineering Ambassador award from the Association for Consultancy and Engineering.

Ant has worked on a wide range of construction projects and software development. He is an experienced speaker, facilitator, chairman, trainer and above all passionate about his job.

Dr Deborah Pullen MBE CEng FIMMM FCIOB, BRE Group Research Director

Deborah is the BRE Group Research Director, responsible for the Research Strategy and the current research and learning Programmes delivered by BRE, its strategic research partnerships and University Centres of Excellence. This also includes the BRE Trust Future Cities programme, which now has over 70 partners from academia, industry and public sector with a collective value of £20M.

Deborah has a BSc(Hons) in Materials Science, a PhD in polymer chemistry, is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials. Deborah has spent the last 20 years leading research teams and business units focused on the manufacture and use of high performance polymer materials in government and private sector organisations across a range of industries including defence, aerospace, oil & gas, transport and medical. Over the last 10 years Deborah has also set up and led a number of knowledge transfer networks and was awarded an MBE in 2014 in recognition of her work in innovation and knowledge transfer in the Built Environment.


In 2012 Deborah successfully completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business and is also now a Fellow at the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge.



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