Events blog (what’s expected/ what we heard)

Normally, when the sun is shining down on us in July in the ‘north’, it is slightly strange to think of the ‘south’ being in mid-winter. However, with the persistent rain in N.Europe this year, it is far easier to think of winter!

Winter is conference season for the Facilities Management world in South Africa, with two major conferences coming up soon. Our man in Johannesburg, Rudd van Deventer, will be attending both events, and speaking. Do email him if you would like to meet at either or both.

The first is the SAFMA Conference 2012 at Sandton Convention Centre on Tues 21 and Wed 22 August.

  • The theme is “From Strategy to Practice”, and has a good number of case studies
  • Rudd will be speaking about “The Importance of Space Planning” on 21st, at 1.15pm

The second is the African Facilities Management Conference at Rosebank (Johannesburg) on Wed 26 and Thurs 27 September.

  • The theme is “FM in Africa; do we really please everyone?”, and again has a good range of subjects;
  • Rudd will be speaking, and holding discussions with occupiers.

I am going to be at one of these events, just not sure which one yet! I have not been to South Africa for nearly four years, and I love the country, so I wish I could afford to get down there for both.

Rudd and I hope to see some of you there; regards, Paul (


If not, you’re going to regret it.


Where else could you spend two days at Cornell University (my own alma mater) in beautiful upstate New York in the fall (best time of the year there, by far), in conversation with 150 really smart people who together are going to define the workplace of the future?

Although the Summit is open to all, space is limited, so now is the time to register for a chance to learn from experts like:

  • DEGW Founder and pioneer Frank Duffy;
  • Professor Frank Becker of Cornell;
  • MIT Professor Michael Joroff;
  • Professor Alexi Marmot of University College, London;
  • Philip Ross of Unwired Ventures and the WorkTech programs;
  • Noborru Kono, Professor at Kyoto Institute of Technology;
  • Researcher Susan Stucky of IBM; and
  • Warwick Johnson of Brookfield Multiplex.

This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of the thought leaders and practitioners who created the work environments we inhabit today, and who are gathering to identify the key trends and discontinuities that will define the workplace of the future.

You need to be there. It’s happening in Ithaca, New York, on September 5-7. Register now, while there is still room, at this link:

You can read about the Summit, the speakers, and the topics at this link:

I will be there; I hope you will be too.


We cannot get to every conference or event, sadly – there are many happening this month. But our Managing Director, Paul Carder, tries to get to those that he can in Europe (less often the Middle East and Africa). And we give priority to those who invite us, generally!

BIFM have been kind enough to invite us to TH!NKFM 2012 this year, on 18 June 2012 at The Royal College of Physicians, London, UK.

Quick summary: is it worth attending? That is always a personal choice, depending on what you want to gain – knowledge, networking, or a bit of both. We would say, yes, attend. It is in London, so reasonably easy for most people to get to/from. It costs max. £395+vat, and has a lower cost for members and only c.£100 (inc. vat) if you are unemployed or a student. And it will attract a broad spread of FM people to network with.

European coverage: not especially, but this is the ‘British’ Institute for FM (BIFM). However, there are International SIG and GlobalFM sessions in Hub#4 (see below).

Top speakers: the title is “Ideas for Change” this year – it should perhaps be “Entrepreneurial FM”…? The FM industry is full of entrepreneurs – and this conference is no exception.

The opening Keynote is from Sahar Hashemi, the founder of Coffee Republic, who was a great speaker at CoreNet Summit London 2010. We would certainly like to hear her speak again; Sahar’s story is inspirational. Her book, “Anyone Can Do It: Building Coffee Republic for Our Kitchen Table,” is suggested reading for the London Business School entrepreneurship course, and Chapter 1 has been included as part of the syllabus of the Entrepreneurship summer school.

Oliver Jones, a stalwart of the FM circuit, is speaking about Opportunities in Hard Times. He is also a serial entrepreneur, and an excellent speaker/visionary.

The closing reception has Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE as speaker. Ruby is every bit as inspirational as Sahar above. As Chief Executive of MITIE Group PLC (‘MITIE’), the FTSE 250 strategic outsourcing and asset management company, since March 2007, she and her team have grown its revenue from £0.5bn to £1.9bn, continuing MITIE’s unbroken track record of profit and revenue growth. But she (and MITIE) are more famous for their entrepreneurship, and in Ruby’s case especially, her great work in the area of diversity and opportunity for all.

What to expect at TH!NKFM?

The BIFM and its various committees have clearly worked hard to refresh and improve on the old annual BIFM Conference. It is shorter (probably a reaction to tough times), all in one day, and hence packed with content. But it runs in four Hubs throughout the day, which is a good formula, and familiar to those who attend CoreNet Global summits.

The programme has the following four hubs:

Hub#1: WORKPLACE – ‘making spaces work’ – an interesting mix of “case studies” are being presented through the day; healthcare, and education (the new Central StMartins College at Kings Cross) in addition to the more often covered office workplace examples, including a major County Council HQ project (Hampshire).

Hub#2:  PEOPLE – ‘inspiring the team’ – there are sessions on employment law, career development, collaboration, social media, controlling employment costs….but after the 4pm break, it does get to the “inspiring the team” stuff.

Hub#3: COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE – ‘Driving Performance and Value’ – this should probably be called ‘supply chain’, as it does not quite do what it ‘says on the tin’. However, some interesting sessions are promised covering ‘smart procurement’, BIM (building information modelling) mandated by central government, PFI/PPP, intelligent client/FM, opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Hub#4: Th!nkFM Lab – this is probably where I’ll be! – its all the stuff that doesn’t quite fit above, but is interesting: ‘experimental FM’: opportunities for FM to add value to their organisation; a benchmarking demo from FM BENCHMARKING; an International SIG session, and GlobalFM workshop to finish.

So, we hope to see you there! We are not going to say any more than this for now, as we have not attended a BIFM Conference before (no, not even Paul has!), but we will be tweeting on the day. And do sign-up to this website to receive our blogs/Newsletter and a summary of who we met and what we learned soon after the 18th.

Twitter: @occupiers retweeted in the USA, by @jpwoccupiers

If you would like to catch up with Paul at the event, do please email:


Corenet Summit – Workplace Community

by jimware on May 1, 2012

Live blogging the Corenet Workplace Community: What’s the Future?

Come back for updates over the next 90 minutes

Kate North opening up,  welcoming people, explaining the concept of WPC

Brady Mick – introducing panel

Jan Johnson, Steve Hargis, John Hampton, Georgia Collins, Julie Seitz, Melissa Marsh, David Barban, Roy Lopinski

Intention to have quick conversations on topics, poll the audience, reveal results immediately

[Read more…]


Day Two of the Corenet Global Summit

by jimware on May 1, 2012

I am sitting in the front row of the General Session – speaker having trouble with her teleprompter – now she is on a roll, describing CRE2020, the major research initiative. Panel discussion being led by Mark Gorman.

Also being streamed live via Corenet Summit Connect. I will update as the program unfolds.

Mark: This is a Big Picture session – many big ideas

Update: 8 work streams

(missed the first few – will correct later)

  1. Partnering with Key Support Functions
  2. Portfolo Optimization
  3. Service Delivery
  4. Sustainabililty
  5. Workplace

Panelists: Sarah Abrams; Pay Wu; Sanjiv Awasthi; Tony Wong

Update: Discussion: where will CRE report in 2020? Will it exist?

[Read more…]


John Kao at Corenet Summit

by jimware on April 30, 2012

Listening to John Kao right now kicking off Corenet Summit with insights about innovation. Will add notes as it goes along.

Masterful blending of his knowledge of business organizations and music. Jass is a powerful blending of structure and freedom (within that structure). Creative tension between rules and creativity/adjusting. But no fixed rules about when to go beyond the rules.

Innovation means trying new things – learning means risking failure – but it’s the only way to move forward.

The 5 D’s of innovation:

  1. Definition
  2. Disruption
  3. Doing It
  4. Dissemination – whole world is becoming a jazz club; little companies can be “big” in the innovation game; size no longer matters
  5. Digital – world is becoming like a Brain. See 1930’s book by H.G. Wells “The World Brain” – foretold Google, whole concept of Internet, etc. Collective intelligence is becoming a reality


On my way to Corenet in San Diego

by jimware on April 29, 2012

I’m at Oakland airport, on my way the Corenet Summit in San Diego. This is my trip in over 20 years without my trusty laptop – am going “commando” with only my iPad and iPhone. Mildly nervous about it, but looking forward to living the mobile life.

It should be a great meeting too – kicking off with John Kao Monday morning, then many sessions devoted to unveiling CRE2020, the new Corenet vision of the future of our profession.

I will be tweeting and blogging frequently throughout the Summit – check back here, but also @jpwoccupiers and @thefutureofwork.

Thanks to Richard Kadzis of Corenet for helping me get a press pass and for all his support of Paul Carder (@occupiers) and me.

Jim Ware (


John Kao to open Corenet Summit in San Diego

by jimware on April 22, 2012

The opening keynote speaker at the Corenet Summit in San Diego will be John Kao. He is an expert on innovation and creativity – used to teach at Harvard Business School. I’m really looking forward to hearing him speak – after all, creating workplaces that not only enable but actually encourage and enhance creativity has to be one of the primary objectives of any CRE or FM professional.


I will be attending the Summit in San Diego on April 29-May 1 as a press representative, in my role as Global Research Director for Occupiers Journal.

The Summit program looks exciting and timely. I’ll be blogging and tweeting about it from San Diego – will post reports both here and on the Future of Work…unlimited blog. I also have two twitter accounts I will be using to report on the Global Summit news:

@jpwoccupiers (my Occupiers Journal “handle”);

@thefutureofwork (my long-standing Future of Work…unlimited account)

Follow me on one or both feeds and you’ll stay up to the minute on happenings at the Summit.

And if you are going to be there, let me know; I always enjoy spending time with old friends and making new ones.


Meet Marcus in Singapore and Jim in San Diego

by jimware on March 24, 2012

Marcus Bowen will be attending the Corenet Global Summit in Singapore next week  (27-29 March). He’d love to meet any and all occupiers, tell you about our latest research project, and hear about what you are up to

And I (Jim Ware)  just registered for the Corenet Global Summit in San Diego on April 29-May 1. I want to do the same; I’m currently leading our glboal research effort right now, called “Raising the Bar:  Enhancing the Strategic Role of FM.” Look for more details about the study in a future blog post, and ask me about it when I see you.

Actually I will be attending the San Diego Summit primarily as a press representative, in my role as Global Research Director for Occupiers Journal.

The San Diego program looks exciting and timely. I’ll be blogging and tweeting about it on site – will post reports both here and on my own Future of Work…unlimited blog. I also have two twitter accounts I will be using to report on the Global Summit and other news:

@jpwoccupiers (my new Occupiers Journal “handle”).

@thefutureofwork (my long-standing Future of Work…unlimited account)

Follow me on one or both feeds and you’ll stay up to the minute on happenings in San Diego (and elsewhere too of course).

And if you are going to be in San Diego, please let me know; I always enjoy spending time with old friends and making new ones.

We’ve got Corenet covered!