It has taken three years of hard work by the ULI UK NEXT Committee, but finally the inaugural invite-only dinner with a number of the ULI Trustees based in the UK took place as part of the Networked Leaders programme! Thanks to the hospitality of Andy Martin, CEO of BNP Paribas Real Estate UK, the current ULI UK NEXT Committee and NEXT members of the ULI UK Executive Committee had the pleasure and privilege of spending an evening with Chris Choa (AECOM), Michael Cochran (Eastdil Secured), Rosemary Feenan (JLL), Jeremy Newsum (Grosvenor) and Van Stults (Orion Capital Management). We enjoyed an evening discussing the UK NEXT programme and achievements to date over what I hope will become an annual event!
Following brief introductions by Andy Martin, Marcus Hale (PATRIZIA Immobilien AG) and Richard Roberts (Kingsley Napley), the group got down to the business of discussing the UK NEXT initiative, the challenges that NEXT members have faced in engaging with the organisation, and the routes that the Trustees took on their way to becoming respected leaders within ULI.
Unsurprising to the NEXT members in the room, the common advice from the Trustees revolved around having respect for others and that you get as much from the organisation as you are willing to commit. Given that ULI is a global, non-lobbying, mission-led organisation with a very diverse membership, it is different from every other land use and built environment group related to the real estate industry. The opportunity to learn from the knowledge and experience of others was one of the main reasons they became members and have remained so actively engaged.
There also was a common recognition and acknowledgement that ULI can seem somewhat difficult to engage with for some members and non-members alike. This is an issue that the organisation is seeking to address through the member networks and the UK NEXT Committee are actively engaging with its cohort through events such as an open meeting But it was interesting to learn that each Trustee took it upon themselves, through their own initiative and drive to understand more about the organisation, to get actively engaged in the way that best suited their business needs and personal interests, and found ways to showcase their own personal leadership qualities.
And beyond the personal attribute of determination, they all expressed as key factors in their personal ULI journey whether it was volunteering to organise events, building relationships with others to gain insights that help shaped the way one thinks and operates, actively engaging with research and published content, and participating in a committee or council role.
So as a UK NEXT member, how does one manage to do all of those things, whilst balancing the demands of a full-time job and a busy personal life? Well it seems to me that the biggest lesson was to make ULI the one organisation that you commit to doing really well, and keep a light engagement with the other industry groups.
If you aspire to be more involved in ULI UK NEXT, please contact Agnes Gomori.
Words by Vanessa Hale, BNP Paribas Real Estate, ULI NEXT Committee Member & ULI UK Vice Chair