We are now in unprecedented times of globalization, where communication is without borders, and innovation thrives when diverse minds collaborate on solving the issues at hand. The council has kept pace with this transformation with its numerous modes of collecting and disseminating content and the growth of its diverse membership. The past few years have been exciting to see the growth of our influence in the academic world and the beginnings of avenues for research. All of this being done in support of our membership and making good on not only the dues they pay, but most importantly, helping create a forum for advancing the industry of tall building design and city building.
So what are the opportunities of the future and how will the council and its leadership respond?
It is likely that the majority of tall buildings in the next decade will be built in Asia therefore it is paramount that we continue to grow our recognition and membership in that region and help shape the dialogue.
Even though we are building taller than ever, tall buildings are still in their infancy in terms of innovation. Tall buildings in an urban environment are a holistic sustainable strategy. Building owners are demanding higher performance solutions and asking for proof of concept. There are many opportunities for this building type to innovate and create more relevant and sustainable solutions. The council can and should be the forum for these innovations to be discussed and formulated.
Not-for-profit organizations need to be more clear and focused than ever. Members are demanding value and proof of that value. With the many initiatives the council is pursuing, it is good to take stock and define our vision, mission, and goals for the next few years. This will assure we are meeting the needs of our constituency, focusing on the right areas, and taking advantage of opportunities for growth.
With these opportunities in mind, my ambitions for leading the council would be focused on the following areas:
Represent the Vision of the CTBUH
As a tall building ‘junkie’ I am passionate about tall buildings and city building and will continue to emphasize the urban habitat as a crucial aspect of this organization. As an architect, one of my roles in the design and construction industry is to be the keeper of the vision, a conductor, and catalyst. I believe strongly in the fundamental nature of a multi-disciplinary practice and the value of that basis for the council, and will continue to promote and inspire that among our members.
Increase Exposure and Membership Drive
I would like to continue the wave of increasing exposure and membership for the council. Professor Kim has done a great job in Asia and I believe there is still more room to increase recognition and membership there. I have spent almost 20 years of my career working in Asia and am familiar with the region. The countries I will focus on will be China, India, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. This is an area of the world where there is significant urbanization and high-rise building activity and our presence and membership there should increase significantly. Professor Kim has done such an extraordinary job in Korea that I don’t know what more I can add other than continue our support of that endeavor which will undoubtedly continue to grow and influence the council in that region.
Tall building activity is also emerging in Turkey, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and likely again in Russia, and we should consider a stronger presence in those areas.
I also believe that one of the main reasons that the council has continued to grow even during a global recession is that our multi-disciplinary membership sees value in the networking opportunities of the conferences and congresses. My proposal is to continue to increase membership across the board, however I would like to increase the developer, end user, and land owner membership. As stewards of a tall building’s life, their input and participation in the council is crucial. I also believe their presence for networking is very attractive to our consultant members in architecture, engineering, and specialty consultants and will have a ripple effect at growing those sectors as well.
A goal for a two-year term as Chair would be to see at least a doubling of membership in Asia and the procurement of $100,000 USD in membership revenue.
Initiate Country Chapter Template / Expectations
It has been an ongoing discussion at many meetings I have attended on how to make the Country Chapters more successful and relevant. I believe we could help this by creating a Country Chapter Template / Expectation charter. It would require a careful balance since many of the Country Chapters are by personal initiative that by definition take on their own life. However, I think that it is very important and timely to define expectations to protect the brand and identity of the council. The Urban Land Institute is a great example of a global organization with hundreds of vibrant chapters that are well organized and active in the industry. I would like to propose a task force be set up to research successful models and attempt to create a template for the council. The goal is to find a successful model that will allow the council to expand its influence around the world in a more predictable and sustainable way.
Oversee 2012 China Congress
Oversee 2013 Singapore Conference
CTBUH Building Performance Initiative
I believe a strong step for the council was in the creation of a research mechanism, and continuing to staff that endeavor will be important in the coming years. I also believe that the council needs to have a focus relative to the research mission—a ‘north star’ that drives our ambition, while simultaneously being legible to the outside world. It needs to be simple and focused to attract attention and funding. In that regard, I propose the CTBUH Tall Building Performance Initiative. It is my belief that, in the world that we live in today and moving forward, buildings will need to perform at higher and better rates. We know there is a real difference of opinion on the benefits of tall buildings. I believe our research initiatives and focus should be on dialogue and research that assists our members and the profession to create higher performing buildings in all regards—environmental, human, and financial.
The Tall Building Performance Initiative will be a forum for this dialogue with potential webinar symposiums, targeted research, and also a innovation award program each year.
CTBUH Strategic Five-Year Plan
The council has gone through tremendous growth in the past decade and continues to grow. As a responsibility to our existing and future members, I believe it is valuable to clearly define and articulate our vision, mission, and goals in a five-year strategic plan. At our April 2011 Board of Trustees meeting in New York City I outlined a strategic planning process for beginning the dialogue to create a strong plan. It is my proposal that we continue this process and by early 2012 have a plan to publish and guide us. Participating in the council as a Trustee has illustrated a number of times the stresses of a growing organization and I believe a strategic plan could be a fundamental road map for making many decisions and assuring the council is focused on the right areas and with the right resources, to serve our membership now and into the future.
I have great excitement for the possibilities and potential for the CTBUH and the skills, experience, and passion I would bring to the role as Chair. I look forward to working with the Trustees, Executive Director, and staff to move the CTBUH to new heights.