Tag Archives: be2talks

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 

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Mindfulness for Construction Success

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAMindfulness is fast gathering pace as a set of daily practices to manage stress, worry or to enhance daily living ‘in the present moment’. Organisations, large and small, including those in the construction sector are starting to explore how mindfulness can help with well being, sustainability and yes, improved organisational success. (For examples see articles listed below)

If you have read or heard about mindfulness and would like to come on a course to learn the techniques with others, then Anne Parker is running a course in Blackpool Lancashire. on the 5th October and 2nd November. The course will show you the techniques,  background information and then review your experiences and build on your practices further.

Perhaps you don’t know anything about Mindfulness at all and you would like to find out what it is all about then this is also for you. The content will allow for lots of questions and comments as well as being practical and highly participative.

More information is available from Anne Parker or view the event flyer here.

Anne will be presenting at the Be2Talks in London on the 25th Sept.

Articles:

Mindfulness: The Key to Long-term Business Success?

Upgrading the brains of global leaders 

Global technology CEOs seek out wisdom of zen master Thich Nhat Hanh

A low carbon diet for construction boards

benchmark

Question for you:who on your board is really championing sustainability and the low carbon agenda?

Board members, as Lucy Marcus reminded us at construcTALKs, need to balance continuity with change, to embrace the changes in technology.

From my experience in (small-medium) construction organizations, boards are too focused on looking back at performance, rather than forward; and when looking forward, tend to do so with the risk-eye of past problems. And sustainability is often only discussed when necessary, as part of an ISO 14001 project or incident issue. Too often, as 14001 sits with Health and Safety, sustainability takes a back seat. Rarely do construction boards view sustainability as a critical strategic, opportunity issue, rather than simply one to be dealt with at project level.

Yet the world is moving forward, and increasingly so towards a low carbon environment and economy. Only those with proven performance and attitude of low carbon approaches may well survive—all the more reason to have board members champion change. Non-execs tend to provide the independent financial and governance role, but increasingly they should drive the organization towards change.

Perhaps it’s because construction boards are slow to embrace the communication power social media can bring that they remain out of touch. I do wonder whether we had the same issue when other, now well-established, means of communication emerged; did we resist telephones, faxes, conference calls and emails as we seem to be doing with social media?

If construction boards were more diverse and embraced a wider range of views and outlooks, through board composition and social media awareness, the transition to a low carbon construction economy would be more successful.

Construction boards really do need to embrace social media potential, not just as a tool for others in the organization, but for the board itself, tuning into discussions and commentaries on emerging standards and legislation and sharing what is working or not. The likes of Twitter, Linkedin groups, blogs, forums and news aggregators are abundantly rich with low carbon and sustainable construction information.

This is all vital client, competitor and industry intelligence that enables boards to move their organization forward – and, through embracing social media in this manner, become role models for its mature use.

To quote from Lucy, boards need to be both Grounded and Stargazers.Are construction boards so grounded they go underground? Or do they at least from time to time stand on a hill and gaze the stars to wonder, then to understand what is out there?

This post originally appeared on CSRWire in April 2011 and savedhere from now defunct Posterous blog 

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.

Social Media: Awards and Events – London, Sept 26th

 

We have gain chosen to run our Be2Camp flagship event, celebrating the application of social media in the architecture, engineering, construction and sustainability fields during London social Media Week 

The half-day event will be held on Wednesday 26 September at the Building Centre in London WC1, and – like last year – will be a lively mix of awards showcasing best practice in technology and social media and informative talks from leading thinkers on technology, sustainability and the built environment.

Be2Awards nominations open

Please submit your nominations for the awards short-lists. The categories include:

  • Built environment blogger of the Year
  • Best sustainability blog
  • Best AEC social media blog
  • Best use of Twitter
  • Best AEC collaboration platform
  • Best AEC community, network or community application
  • Best use of Web 2.0 for construction products
  • Best location-based AEC application
  • Best ‘internet of things’ application
  • Best mobile application
  • Best virtual or hybrid event
  • Be2 media award
  • Best use of social media in an AEC PR campaign
  • Best use of social media in an AEC marketing campaign
  • Best AEC education and learning project
  • Best charity, third sector use of social media
  • Best AEC use of photo / video

To nominate, you will need to login on the Be2Awards website (if you haven’t previously done so, click ‘login’ at the top left-hand corner, then add your registration detail; once your registration has been accepted, you will be able to make your nominations). Being Web 2.0 people, our nomination process uses an online discussion board. You may nominate once in as many categories as you like; candidates may be eligible in more than one category.

The 2011 Awards (see shortlists and successful candidates here) saw over 100 nominations across these categories, and we expect even more competition this year.

Be2Talks – We are currently finalising the speakers for the Be2Talks. If you have ideas for speakers, please email Martin Brown.

Sponsors – Meantime, we are also looking for sponsors. We have vacancies for a main sponsor and we ideally want sponsors for every category (this will help cover event expenses and ensure a top-notch event). If you can help, please get in touch.

Involved in Sustainability Communications?  Do two events in one day

We have been working with the Guardian‘s Sustainable Business initiative, which is holding its own Social Media for Sustainability event in London during Social Media Week. The half-day training course is at the Guardian‘s offices near King’s Cross station on the morning of 26 September – so you can take in both events! (see also Be2Awards news)