Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
CTBUH Leaders Meet at the First Annual Tall + Urban Innovation Conference
Friday, 1 June 2018
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See the Leader Meeting Minutes

CHICAGO – For the first time ever, the Council held the Tall + Urban Innovation Conference, which explores and celebrates the very best in innovative tall buildings, urban spaces, building technologies, and construction practices from around the world. Incorporating what was previously known as the CTBUH Annual Awards Event, this two-day conference saw the owner/developers and design teams for 48 Finalist projects compete in front of an international audience and live juries for winning distinctions across nine award categories. This means that CTBUH is now holding two major conferences per year, with the first occurring in the spring, and the other in the fall. The Council has therefore increased the number of Leaders Meetings to two per year, occurring in tandem with both major conferences. The first 2018 Leaders Meeting was held the day after the inaugural event, bringing together the Council’s working group leaders, regional representatives, trustees, committee chairs, and staff from around the world to provide mid-year updates on recent initiatives and plans for the remainder of 2018.

The Spring Leader Meeting brought together the Council's Trustees, Advisory Group, Working Group Chairs, Regional Representatives, Committee Chairs, and staff for a feedback session. CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood delivers introductory remarks to the assembled group.
This Leaders Meeting was quite different from previous meetings in that CTBUH invited Matt Phillips, President, Phillips & Co to develop and drive the session. As a professional meeting facilitator and strategy consultancy, Phillips & Co has years of experience working with organizations around the world. The goal of bringing in a professional facilitator was to gain in-depth feedback on the Council as an organization, including what it does well, how it could improve, and exploring motivations and barriers to leader engagement, while assessing the potential for new initiatives and improvements in all areas. 

The meeting began with an introduction and welcome from CTBUH Chairman Steve Watts, Partner, alinea Consulting, and CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood. Watts and Wood shared plans around the upcoming CTBUH 2018 Middle East Conference, and encouraged Leaders in attendance to be candid with their thoughts and feedback.
Leaders Meeting attendees get warmed up with a team-building activity from facilitator Matt Phillips, CEO, Phillips & Co. From left: CTBUH Research Manager Dario Trabucco; CTBUH Trustee Dennis Poon, Vice Chairman, Thornton Tomasetti; CTBUH Advisory Group Member Rene Lagos, Founder & Chairman, Rene Lagos Engineers; and CTBUH Australia Chapter Board Member Craig Gibbons, Brisbane Buildings Group Leader, Arup. CTBUH Leaders and staff came together to strategize about the Council’s strengths and challenges. From left: CTBUH Australia Chapter Board Member Helen Lochhead, Dean, Faculty of Built Environment, University of New South Wales; CTBUH Communications Manager Jason Gabel; and CTBUH Advisory Group Member JC Gerardy, Manager, ArcelorMittal.

Phillips started the session with a simple question – “What is going well today for CTBUH?” Leaders from around the world provided answers that covered many different facets of the Council’s work, including the Tall + Urban Innovation Conference, extensive networking opportunities, and growing global reach. CTBUH UK Chapter Chair Javier Quintana de Uña, Director, IDOM stated that “every year is getting better,” and that the “conferences improve each year.” CTBUH also received positive feedback toward its multi-disciplinary component. CTBUH Australia Chapter Board Member Helen Lochhead, Dean of Built Environment, University of New South Wales said the multi-disciplinary aspect of the Council makes it “stronger and resilient,” in comparison to some other organizations.

Phillips pressed further to ask what the Leaders thought was particularly good about the Council over the past 18 months. Several Leaders pointed out that Chapter support from CTBUH Headquarters was stronger than ever, and this support had been instrumental in maximizing the success of local events.

CTBUH Philippines Representative Felino (Jun) Palafox, Jr., Principal Architect – Urban Planner, Palafox Associates discusses the importance of focusing on urban habitat and the area surrounding high-rises. CTBUH Global “Future Leaders” Committee Chair Ilkay Can-Standard, Founder, GenX Design & Technology and CTBUH Chicago “Future Leaders” Committee Co-Chair, Brian J. McElhatten, Associate Princial, Arup were among those advocating for mentorship opportunities for younger professionals.
An important goal of the Leaders Meeting was to also receive feedback on the Council’s areas for improvement. Phillips thus inquired about the key growth opportunities for CTBUH, as well as any relevant challenges and solutions. A resounding point among the Leaders was encapsulated by CTBUH Vertical Transportation Working Group Chair Robin Cheeseright, Founding Partner, D2E International VT Consultants Ltd. Cheeseright suggested that there were opportunities for CTBUH Offices, Leaders, and Members to better-leverage their collective wisdom to influence varying aspects of the tall building industry. An overall interest was expressed in further developing and refining the “mission focus” of the Council to weigh in more heavily on urban issues as the global authority on tall buildings.
Following a morning of brainstorming and feedback, the CTBUH Leaders and Staff continued the lively discussion over lunch and networking.

As the meeting progressed, Leaders conveyed numerous ideas that would enhance how CTBUH facilitates and assists local initiatives, whether through promotion, logistics, or otherwise. They also voiced a need for more activity on social media and other marketing tools, both in support of local initiatives and the promotion of the Council generally.

After an inspiring morning of feedback, collaboration, and communication from over 40 CTBUH Leaders and Staff from all around the world, the meeting ended with a group lunch and networking.

Last Name First Name Leader Title Company Country City
Watts Steve CTBUH Chairman & Treasurer alinea consulting UK London
Neal Tim CTBUH Trustee & Secretary CallisonRTKL UK London
Wood Antony CTBUH Executive Director CTBUH USA Chicago
Poon Dennis CTBUH Trustee Thornton Tomasetti USA New York
Tse Vincent CTBUH Trustee WSP China Hong Kong
Gerardy JC CTBUH Advisory Group Member ArcelorMittal Luxembourg Esch-sur-Alzette
Lagos René CTBUH Advisory Group Member Rene Lagos Engineers Chile Santiago
Palmer Mike CTBUH Advisory Group Member Perkins + Will USA Chicago
Parakh James CTBUH Advisory Group Member & CTBUH Urban Habitat / Urban Design Committee Chair City of Toronto Planning Department Canada Toronto
Van Benthem Jon CTBUH Advisory Group Member Autodesk USA Denver
Weismantle Peter CTBUH Advisory Group Member Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture USA Chicago
Gao Chengxiang CTBUH China Office Board Member Ping An Financial Centre Construction & Development Company China Shanghai
Gibbons Craig CTBUH Australia Chapter Board Member - Brisbane Arup Australia Brisbane
Lochhead Helen CTBUH Australia Chapter Board Member - Sydney UNSW Sydney Australia Sydney
Garland Mark CTBUH Canada Chapter Secretary LCL Builds Canada Toronto
Carazo Rodrigo CTBUH Costa Rica Chapter Board Member Carazo Arquitectos S.A. Costa Rica San Jose
Quintana de Uña Javier CTBUH UK Chapter Chair Idom UK London
Harman Kirk CTBUH Philadelphia Chapter Chair The Harman Group USA Philadelphia
Suoranta Santeri CTBUH Finland Representative KONE Finland Hyvinkää
Palafox, Jr. Felino (Jun) CTBUH Philippines Representative Palafox Associates Philippines Makati City
Shuvalova Elena CTBUH Russia Representative Lobby Agency Russia Moscow
LeFevre David CTBUH Atlanta Representative Perkins + Will USA Atlanta
Halverson Robert CTBUH Atlanta Representative John Portman & Associates USA Atlanta
Can-Standard Ilkay CTBUH "Future Leaders" Global Chair GenX Design & Technology USA New York
Finnigan Shelley CTBUH Chicago "Future Leaders" Committee Co-Chair ArcelorMittal USA Chicago
McElhatten Brian CTBUH Chicago "Future Leaders" Committee Co-Chair Arup USA Chicago
Weber Ron CTBUH Chicago "Future Leaders" Committee Secretary Pappageorge Haymes USA Chicago
Hasselbauer Jeremy CTBUH Seattle "Future Leaders" Committee Co-Chair Magnusson Klemencic Associates USA Seattle
Campbell Andrew CTBUH UK Chapter "Future Leaders" Committee Member Multiplex Construction UK London
Viise John CTBUH Seismic Design Working Group Co-Chair Thornton Tomasetti USA Chicago
Cheeseright Robin CTBUH Vertical Transportation Working Group Chair D2E International VT Consultants Ltd UK London
Henry Steve CTBUH Associate Director CTBUH USA Chicago
Thurmond Patti CTBUH Operations Manager CTBUH USA Chicago
Du Peng China Office Director & Academic Coordinator CTBUH USA Chicago
Gabel Jason CTBUH Communications Manager CTBUH USA Chicago
Rinkel-Miller Jessi CTBUH Events Manager CTBUH USA Chicago
Trabucco Dario CTBUH Research Manager CTBUH Italy Venice
Safarik Dan CTBUH Editor CTBUH USA Chicago
Austermann Aric CTBUH Website Editor CTBUH USA Chicago
Bowman Stephanie CTBUH Membership Coordinator CTBUH USA Chicago
McLellan Nicole CTBUH Global Initiatives Assistant CTBUH USA Chicago
Spray Heather CTBUH Global Initiatives Assistant CTBUH USA Chicago
Schoetz Natalie CTBUH Events Assistant CTBUH USA Chicago