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The RICS World Built Environment Forum Insights podcast series brings you debate and discussion with industry leaders, future thinkers and disruptors around the latest future thinking on the global megatrends affecting the built and natural environment.

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Episode descriptions

  • The built environment plays a pivotal role in managing and mitigating climate risk, and our latest Communication on Engagement report for the UN Global Compact highlights some of the key actions RICS has taken to drive a more sustainable future in the built & natural environment.

    On the latest episode of the podcast, Kay Pitman speaks with Global Sustainability Lead at RICS, Kisa Zehra, to break down that report, alongside the WBEF Sustainability Report from last year, plus a look ahead to this year’s report preceding COP27.

    This episode of The RICS Podcast covers:

    • The UN Global Compact and their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    • How RICS is equipping the profession with skills, tools, knowledge and competence around sustainability issues
    • ICMS 3, IBOS, the Built Environment Carbon Database, and other RICS initiatives contributing to sustainability in the industry
    • Key findings in last year’s Sustainability Report, and an insight into next year’s report ahead of COP27
  • Welcome to a brand-new series of the World Built Environment Forum Insights podcast. We’re kicking off an engaging series of monthly podcasts with a look at openBIM and the future of digital twins with Fred Kloet.

    Fred, Chair of FM and Open BIM and Director of Smart Workplace International, chats to host Andrew Knight about how a collaborative approach promises to boost movements like Net Zero & Build Back Better.

    We hear about the opportunities presented by the advent of platforms like openBIM, and how a federated approach to data governance promises to revolutionise the impact of digital twins.

    This episode of WBEF covers:

    • The exciting fundamental principles behind Open BIM
    • How Build Back Better and Net Zero challenges can be solved through federation over fragmentation
    • Ethical issues around assets with people in them, and standards of data governance
    • How integrating facility management data presents an opportunity to increase the value of real estate


    Andrew Knight:

    Fred Kloet:

  • This special episode is a live recording of our Chief Executive, Sean Tompkins speaking with the Global Infrastructure Hub’s Chief Executive, Marie Lam-Frendo. The conversation took place back in June and centred on the role of infrastructure in creating an inclusive and resilient socio and economic recovery from Covid-19. 

    As you will hear, Marie gives an update on the G20’s members approach to infrastructure and talks about the importance of developing infrastructure that meets the needs of future generations.

    Marie kindly responded to some of the questions that we weren't able to answer on the day. Please find the link to "You Asked Us" piece here.

    For more information on the initiatives and other themes discussed please visit

    Other useful links:

  • In our latest episode, our director of thought leadership, Ken Creighton speaks to Stuart Fraser a disaster risk expert who consults for the World Bank, among others. With most of the world susceptible to some kind of natural disaster and as the risks increase, this wide ranging discussion hones in on areas such as the importance of reliable data to inform risk management and mitigation and to assess the cost of recovery and reconstruction.

  • In this podcast with Arup Senior Engineer Richard Boyd we explore how CEOs and their Board members can make sense of the Circular Economy in the built environment. 

    A circular lens encourages businesses to consider the impact of potential future events on asset value, and how the assets might adapt to new circumstances. If COVID-19 leads to reduced demand for office space, how can offices be re-purposed without expensive and wasteful deconstruction? This is not without problems, as the experience of New York showed when businesses relocated to mid town Manhattan after 9/11 and offices were converted to residential use with mixed success. The UK has also had mixed success in commercial to residential conversion, as highlighted by RICS research on Permitted Development Rights.

    The Circular economy in buildings is inspiring new business models such as Philips’ Signify, Kaer and Mitsubishi Electric. Respectively they offer light, cooling and vertical transportation as a service to buildings occupiers. This gives occupiers assurances on running costs (since they do not own the systems) and incentivises the providers to minimise resource use, maximise component longevity and ensure they can be remanufactured for future clients. 

    Law makers are beginning to set Circular Economy performance standards. Denmark has a strategy to reduce GNP per tonne of material used. 

    The Netherlands aims to be 100% circular by 2050 and Amsterdam aims to halve the use of virgin material per unit of economic output by 2030.

    Read more:

  • In our latest episode looking at the impacts of COVID-19, we bring together a panel of experts from across the globe to focus on urbanisation and the natural environment.

    Ken Creighton, our Director of Thought Leadership guides our panel as they explore and examine the short, medium and longer term impacts may be and what opportunities have and will arise from the crisis.


    Mandakini Devasher, International Development Consultant: Water, energy, food, gender and climate change in South Asia

    Davina Rooney, CEO Green Building Council of Australia

    Will Waller, Arcadis Build to Rent Market Leader 

    Benjamin Towell, Senior Architect at Building and Construction Authority Singapore

  • In the second of our exclusive series looking at the impact of COVID-19 on the built and natural environment, this episode focuses on real estate and construction. 

    Our Director of Thought Leadership and Future Practice, Ken Creighton is joined by a panel of experts:

    1. Tina Paillet, Global Head of Asset Management, Head of UK and North America and Global Head of Projects and Technology, Generali Real Estate
    2. Vince Clancy, Chief Executive and Chairman, Turner and Townsend
    3. Janet Young, Chief Property Office, HM Government 
    4. Chris Brooke, Immediate Past President and Chair, Governing Council, RICS and Co-Founder, Brooke Husband 

    Recorded back in April, they discuss the current landscape for real estate and construction and explore and examine what the future might hold post-crisis.

  • As discussed in last week's episode on digital transformation, the industry has seen an acceleration in adoption of digitisation, but more must be done.

    In this episode we speak to Jaan Saar, head of digital construction for the Estonian Government.  As many of you will know, Estonia is widely held up as the world leader in e-government and Jaan shares how this is being embedded in construction. 

    Jaan references a website about Estonia's approach to e-government - visit here

  • The pandemic caused organisations around the world to accelerate their digital transformation plans as the need to work from home became a necessity, so what had been, for many a plan over the next few years was delivered overnight. So, what next for digital transformation? And what does it mean for the industry? 

    In this conversation, our Director of Thought Leadership and Future Practice, Ken Creighton speaks to a panel of experts from across the globe to get their thoughts and insights on the future direction for digitisation and whether we have reached the tipping point where we will see large scale adoption of technology that for many has been viewed as being on the periphery.

    Episode contributors:

    Nikki Greenberg, Founder, Real Estate of the Future
    Rupert Parker, Founder & Chief Executive, Building Passport
    Paul Kirkpatrick, CTO, RICS

  • In this episode, Tim Smith, the World Built Environment Forum’s Global Director spoke to one of the globes pre-eminent thinkers on Urbanism, Bruce Katz. They discussed what Bruce thinks the future of urbanisation may look like in the post Covid-19 world. Below gives you an idea of his experience. 

    1. He founded the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution
    2. He served under Barack Obama in his first term as the co-lead for the housing and urban transition team and then served as the senior advisor to the HUD secretary for the first 100 days of the administration
    3. Previously to that he served as Chief of Staff to the US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development under the Clinton Administration
    4. He is currently the director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University
    5. Finally, he co-authored the New Localism: How can cities thrive in the age of populism 

    As you will hear, the content of what was discussed is dominated by the US, with some references to Europe. However, what he does discuss will have relevance to most markets and regions. I hope you enjoy!

  • Recorded back in May, just as the full extent of the Pandemic was becoming evident, Ken Creighton, RICS Director of Thought Leadership spoke to former UK Chancellor Alistair Darling, Andrew Tilton, Chief Asia Economist with Goldman Sachs, Susanne Eickermann, German Real Estate Lead at PwC and RICS Chief Economist Simon Rubinsohn. 

    They discuss the important need for global cooperation to deal with the crisis and the recovery, debate whether this is the end of globalisation as we know it, and explore what steps markets and governments should take to ensure a swift and sustainable economic recovery.

  • In this episode, our Director of Thought Leadership, Ken Creighton spoke to RICS President Elect, Kath Fontana, who is Managing Director, Public Sector, Critical Infrastructure and Capital Projects at MITIE. Kath shares her career journey, her experience of managing her team through the pandemic and offers her thoughts on the future of the workplace and wider social and environmental issues.

  • In this first episode, our Director of Thought Leadership, Ken Creighton spoke to RICS President, Tim Neal. In this wide-ranging conversation, they touched on Tim’s career journey, how the sector can and should respond to the current crisis and importantly the role of built and natural environment professionals in building a truly sustainable future.