Mindful Construction – pre-frontal cortex ramblings

photo (2)I caught up with Anne Parker last week over a morning tea and stroll around the grounds of the Apple Store Cafe in Scorton where we discussed mindfulness in construction as a key to unlock many of the current  issues facing construction, including sustainability and technology. We started to scratch out possible format, content and venue for a Mindful Construction Conference in the new year, but more on that over the coming weeks.

Anne delivered a Be2talks talk at our event back in September following which I asked her for a few thoughts on mindfulness:

Ramblings from My Pre Frontal Cortex – Anne Parker

The hills had never looked so green, the motorway signs had never looked such a Mediterranean blue, the mid summer sunset wrote lyrics all of its own.

Had I just taken some playful hallucinogenic drugs?  No of course not – I had just left a CIOB AGM! Yes, I had just given a talk on ‘Mindfulness in Construction and Engineering’ at this professional forum and it had given me the most amazing experience and affirmation.  Let me explain.

‘Mindfulness’ is a way of living, a way of managing the mind and the body that has origins in Eastern Traditions and has been steadily tested, researched and validated by Western Science.  What do you know about your brain and your body?  Have you learnt about it so that you can maximise the quality of your daily life?  Can you maximise the power of your brain to optimise your performance at work?  Do you understand the range of processes within your mind and body that influence your ability to innovate, tolerate change and work collaboratively with others?  Perhaps you thought that this was at the level of skill or talent without going any further into anatomy or physiology.

This is a hugely exciting time as sciences converge.  The fusion of ideas is generating new insights and models but more interestingly means that new language, metaphors, images or styles import and export ideas and practices from one arena into another.

I had found that it was my mission to bring Mindfulness into certain industries without any pictures of rainbows or women sitting on beaches in yoga postures.  With no reference to ‘Gods and Goddesses Within’ or to Yin and Yang I had found a set of idioms with which I was bringing this stuff into industries with possibly a very low tolerance to ‘airy fairy ideas’.  I was passionate about communicating the genius of these practices to men and women who could feel the benefits of this learning in their busy lives in practical or demanding jobs.  So far the exercise had been a thorny experience but I knew it was what I was here to do.  I persevered.  The talk at this CIOB AGM was part of my mission.  And it was a turning point.  This audience on this summer’s night gave such an enthusiastic, high energy response to the teachings of these disciplines that I was lifted beyond measure.

The joy of my internal world was being reflected back to me on that motorway drive home.  Brains, Mind, Body, Wellbeing, Buildings, Construction – the whole concept was beginning to flow.  Surely everything that has ever been built or made or constructed started off in someone’s mind?  So isn’t it worth having a look in there, exploring it? Working with it or taming it?  The construction of the outside reflection is what we shall live in years to come…..

Mindfulness.  It is worth your investigation.

Is the next step a conference on Mindfulness and Neuro-Leadership for the Construction and Engineering industries? Would love to hear your thoughts….

Anne’s talk to Be2Talks, The Cuddle Hormone’: Mindfulness, Sustainable Construction and Social Media  can be viewed here 

ConstructCO2 wins social media award at #Be2Awards

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Delighted that ConstructCO2 picked up a social media Be2Award  yesterday for the best ‘internet of things’, location-based or mobile app.

“Runner-up a few years back, ConstructCO2 has now moved on considerably. It has matured its monitoring of Construction Carbons at project, offices and company levels. It is now operating globally with projects in the UK, Europe, Americas, Far East and Australia.

However, the significant development this year is on the localism theme and the ability to monitor construction spend throughout the supply chain, based on project and supply chain locations, on set radials from the project.

Securing a Be2 means we successfully gained the recognition and endorsement of a substantial online community.”

The Be2Award trophy is made from recyled glass by Bottle Alley Glass in Yorkshire (websiteFacebook orTwitterwho sponsored the awards.

The best ‘internet of things’, location-based or mobile app was sponsored by Tekla 

Award nominations for fairsnape projects

benchmarkI am rather in awe and delighted that a number of the social media and sustainability advocacy projects I am supporting have been nominated for Be2camp social media awards.

This fairsnape blog, started way back in 2005 as Excelsus and from 2007 as iSite, has been nominated for Best sustainability or built environment blog along with some excellent co-nominees!

The @fairsnape twitter account has been nominated for Best AEC use of Twitter

Green Vision -the brilliant deep green programme as part of Leeds Met and the Leeds Sustainability Institute is nominated for the Best AEC community, network or application

The Sustainability Leadership Conversation (#sustldrconv) initiative kicked off by Andrea Learned and myself earlier this year has been nominated as Best virtual or hybrid event

ConstructCO2 – the online construction carbon and geo-spend tool has been nominated for the Best ‘internet of things’, location-based or mobile app

and the excellent ThinkBIM  programme, web supported through be2camp with Paul Wilkinson and myself has also been nominated for the Best virtual or hybrid event

Please do take a few minutes to check out the nominations for this years awards and vote for those that inspire (hopefully those listed above!!)

(As social media advocates at be2camp we encourage the active online involvement of supporters, we didn’t follow  approach of many awards programmes – no decisions made by judges or panels in private here, the nomination and voting process for be2awards is crowd sourced across social media and is totally transparent and independent )

Celebrating social media in the built environment

Only two days left to our Be2Awards, 2012 Social Media awards event in London at the Building Centre,  kicking off at 1.30pm.  As with our 2011 awards, the event, part of Social Media London Week, will be an inspiring combination of TEDx style talks and a celebration of what is good in the world of built environment social media.

Recognition will be paid to the crowd-sourced winners from 12 categories, from best use of twitter, best sustainability blog, best use of media, and many many more. The Be2Talks presentations will cover BIM, Bikes, Social Hiking, Coffee, Green Deal and more.

The event will use the #be2awards  hashtag and will be live streamed, live blogged and tweeted. Check out our event page for more information.

Can there really be a better place to be on a wet Wednesday afternoon in London? Spaces still available here.

By the way, if you havent voted yet, you have under 12 hours left – so take a look at the excellent short-listings and be inspired as how social media is being used today.

And, if you are looking to make a day of social media in London – check out the Guardians Social Media for Sustainability event, taking place just up the road on the morning of the be2awards, with enough time to grab a drink and sandwiches you head over to the Building Center!

Be2Talks Presenters:

Richard Saxon CBE – “Growth through BIM”

Richard SaxonRichard Saxon is an architect and urban designer. He now works as a client adviser after a career at BDP (chairman 1996-2002), the RIBA (Vice-President 2002-8) and Be, Collaborating for the Built Environment (chairman, 1999-2005). He was made a CBE in 2001 for services to architecture and construction. He is on the board of the Construction Industry Council, is currently advising BIS on the growth potential of BIM and was recently appointed the CIC’s “BIM Ambassador”.

Carlton Reid – ”Cycling, the built environment and social media”

Carlton ReidCarlton Reid (@carltonreid) has been writing about bicycles and travel for 20 years. He has written for many cycling and travel magazines and UK newspapers including The Guardian and The Independent, and is the author of several books on travel and cycling. He is executive editor of BikeBiz.com, editor of Bikehub.co.ukQuickrelease.tv and iPayRoadTax.com. Author of the acclaimed Bike to Work Book, his latest project is Roads were not built for Cars. Carlton will present our Be2Bike Keynote on the growing application and importance of social media in the world of cycling.

Phil Sorrell – ”Geo-blogging”

Phil SorrellPhil Sorrell is the creator of Social Hiking – Share Your Adventure, a website for sharing outdoor adventures live using social media and GPS tracking. He is an experienced web developer, writes a blog about the outdoors and fundraises for Multiple Sclerosis charities. @daylightgambler

Liz Male – ”Why repair, maintenance and improvement is vital”

Liz MaleLiz Male (@LizMale) will talk about the rise of the RMI (repair, maintenance and improvement) sector – its new-found political, social, economic and environmental importance, and the opportunities and risks this creates for UK businesses in the built environment, including those linked to the imminent Green Deal initiative.

Liz is Chairman of TrustMark, a not-for-profit organisation licensed by Government and supported by consumer protection groups which helps people find reputable local tradesmen to do work on their homes. She is also a PR consultant with specialism in sustainability in the built environment.

Mark Stodgell – ”BIM, blogs, bikes and Pozzoni Architects”

Mark StodgellMark Stodgell was an early adopter of building information modelling and of social media, having used Twitter (he’s@Stodgeblog) and LinkedIn to raise the profile of Pozzoni in the BIM world. He will talk about how the technologies complement each other.

Mark works at Manchester-based architects’ practice Pozzoni Architects, and started using the internet to find about orienteering in Finland. In his spare time, he is a member of Great Britain’s mountain bike orienteering team.

Nick Katz – ”Honest Buildings”

Hear about Honest Buildings: a real estate network connecting professionals to new business opportunities and information for over 700,000 buildings across the US, and now with an office in London.

Honest Buildings was founded in 2011. Nick Katz (on Twitter, he’s @NicholasKatz), formerly at UK Green Building Council and then senior sustainability advisor for Colliers International, is associate director leading UK market development for Honest Buildings.  Nick believes that, through sharing information freely and showcasing great building projects delivered the world over, the bar for building performance will be raised globally.

BeAward Categories:

 

BE2 are the social media advocates behind the Be2camp movement. Since 2008, Be2camp has been championing the use of social media Web 2.0 in the Built Environment (hence Be2).

Since the first Be2camp unconference in London in October 2008, Be2camp people have organised more than 30 events focused on promoting collaboration and co-operation within a better, more sustainable built environment. Key topics have included education, building information modelling, property and real estate, facilities management, the Green Deal, marketing, and river basin management (among other things).

Founded by four practitioners (two in the UK, one in Australia and one in the US), the Be2camp online community is now nearly 700 strong with members around the world.