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The BuiltWorlds Industry CEOs Forum


4.18.2023 at 6:00PM - 4.19.2023 at 5:00PM


The Four Seasons Chicago 120 E Delaware Place Chicago, IL 60611

Event Overview

The CEO Forum is an exclusive, high level and interactive meeting of peers. Since we first hosted our CEO Tech Forum in 2016, the AEC Industry has witnessed a techtonic shift in the role of technology. Once a function delegated to IT, industry players have increasingly recognized the critical role of technology in every aspect of their business including how they  recruit and retain talent, confront productivity and supply chain challenges, position for new work, manage risk, and chart effective growth strategies. Mobile, Cloud Computing, and IoT technology fueled by a tsunami of venture capital investment and growing M&A activity has made it imperative for CEOs to understand the landscape and to be able to formulate strategies for adapting their organizations effectively in the fave of disruption.


Related Research


The Industry CEO Forum Annual Meeting is an invite only, intimate, peer-to-peer opportunity for the industry’s leading CEOs to meet and discuss trends, challenges and opportunities arising from the building and infrastructure industry’s accelerating pace of technological change.

This special event is limited to 30 of the industry’s leading executives. Members attending the Industry CEOs Annual Meeting will also automatically be added to the BuiltWorlds Industry CEOs Forum Group where they will receive research tailored to the needs of the industry’s ceos and also be able to get into contact with other members of the forum and follows conversations there.


David Schonthal

Author and Professor of Strategy, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Northwestern University - MPM and EMDC

Darren Bechtel

Founder & Managing Director, Brick & Mortar Ventures

Jeevan Kalanithi

CEO, OpenSpace

Peter Beck

Executive Chairman, The Beck Group

Rik Kunnath

President, Charles Pankow Foundation

Peter Holt

CEO / General Manager, Holt Cat

Tyler Sewall

Senior Director, BuiltWorlds

Daniel Laboe

Director of Venture Investments, BuiltWorlds

Dan Koloski

Professor of the Practice and Head of Learning Programs, Roux Institute at Northeastern University

Forum Meeting Agenda

The conference will open with a group dinner on Tuesday, April 18th at the Four Seasons where attendees will have the opportunity to get to know one another in an intimate setting, prior to working discussions the following day. The discussion sessions will take place the following day, April 19th, also at the Four Seasons, making it an efficient and powerful opportunity to take the read of the state of the industry among those leaders of larger firms that are most focused on the industry’s period of disruption.


Day 1 Schedule

The Four Seasons Chicago


The Four Seasons Chicago

Dinner & Keynote Presentation

David Schonthal, Director of Entrepreneurship Programs, Faculty Director of the Zell Fellows Program, and award-winning Professor of Strategy, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School of Management

Along with his colleague Loran Nordgren, David is one of the originators of Friction Theory – a ground-breaking methodology that explains why even the most promising innovations and change initiatives often struggle to gain traction with their intended audiences – and what to do about it. This work is popularized in David’s bestselling book, The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas (Wiley). In this talk, David will walk us through why people resist change (even when it may be obvious) and how that resistance ultimately is overcome.

Day 2 Schedule


Introductions/Key Areas of Interest

Attendees will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and layout their key areas of interest and what they are hoping to gain from the day.


Disruption Wave #1: Data Streams to and From Everyone and Everything All the Time, Everywhere

Peter Holt, CEO / General Manager, HOLT CAT

The last decade has seen a tidal wave of technology developed for the market. A dramatic decline in the cost of cloud storage, software development, IoT sensor devices and a host of other technologies coincident with exponential growth in handheld and mobile computing power, wireless data transmission capabilities and the capabilities of other building block technologies has led to an explosion of solution developments aimed at dozens of industry themes. This session will provide a perspective on how the sector has evolved over that period from one of the industry's leading CEOs and most active venture investors over the past decade.




Disruption Wave #2: Built World Investors have taken Annual Tech Investment from Hundreds of Millions to Tens of Billions

Darren Bechtel, Founder & Managing Director, Brick & Mortar Ventures

“Tidal Wave of Investor Dollars” - From Less than a billion dollars annually in the early part of last decade to tens of billions of dollars, annually today, the industry has seen an unprecedented explosion in investment in technology, modular, materials, and other areas of innovation, where is all of this investment coming from? Where will it go from here? What are the implications for the industry in the coming decade?


Disruption Wave #3: The Changing Sentiment Towards Technology

Tyler Sewall, Sr. Director, BuiltWorlds | Dan Laboe, Director of Venture Research, BuiltWorlds

With the boom in both the adoption of and investment in technologies, we are seeing more nine and ten figure exits in capital markets alongside adoption fatigue from users. What does the data say about how the industry is responding to changing sentiment towards technology?




Disruption Wave #4: Rise of AI and Machine Learning Introduces Predictive and Autonomous Processes

Dan Koloski, Professor of the Practice and Head of Learning Programs, Roux Institute at Northeastern University | Jeevan Kalanithi, CEO, openspace.ai

While much of the industry has now implemented digital workflows in their key project management processes, artificial intelligence poses a potentially game changing opportunity to automate those processes with a predictive capability to automate key processes ranging from design and estimating to site inspection and payment management. What are the real possibilities and challenges to implementing this technology over the coming years, and what are the potential labor and margin implications for this next wave of change. Importantly, as value is created, will that value accrue to AEC players to their customers, or to the technology providers, themselves?




Disruption Wave #5: Organizing for Change Means Changes to the Industry's C-Suite

Peter Beck, Executive Chairman, Beck Technology | Rik Kunnath, President, Charles Pankow Foundation

Responding to cultural and technological changes sweeping the industry, companies are making major changes to their organizations up to and including changes at the board and c-suite level. Beyond the addition of Chief Technology and Chief Innovation Officers, companies are adding corporate venture, corporate accelerator, Intellectual property, and other skills to the c-suite, even as they are investing in new business areas to try to position for opportunities and away from threats now emerging. We will explore how companies are changing their human organizations and becoming culture ready for the changes ahead.


Closing Thoughts, Key Takeaways


Registration to the BuiltWorlds CEO Forum is by invitation only. Additionally, in order to ensure that the group has the opportunity to engage in deeper conversation, attendance is strictly limited to 30 attendees.

In order to preserve the peer-to-peer learning opportunity this event affords,  attendance is restricted to CEOs, Presidents, Managing Directors, and Board Directors of larger firms seeking to adapt their past, successful business models to the technology-related changes happening within the industry and other select, invited resources.

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Tickets are purchased per BuiltWorlds terms and conditions. Additionally, BuiltWorlds reserves the right to decline purchase by anyone who does not fit the above criteria. For questions, inquire at info@builtworlds.com.

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