Five Innovation Topics For the AEC Industry C-Suite

Over the past decade, an unprecedented billions of dollars has been invested in developing new solutions in software, modularization and prefabrication, materials, robotics and other means and methods to try to address the Buildings & Infrastructure sector’s many recalcitrant problems.  So far, results have been mixed, and the vast majority of leaders in the industry’s C-suite have exhibited something between benign disinterest and outright skepticism. Despite the generally tepid reception, every year, more CEOs are making the decision to get active and to commit more of their company’s resources to the effort to engage with sector’s burgeoning ecosystem, as they make the calculus that the billions being poured into new approaches likely will have a major impact on the sector, and maybe it is better to be at the table than to risk being on the menu.   


Against this backdrop of increasing interest, BuiltWorlds has added a new Forum to its lineup, the Industry CEOs Forum. On April 18th and 19th, about thirty of the member companies’ top leaders will gather in Chicago for a high level exploration of the major strategic elements of the industry’s current wave of disruption.  Some of the topics we will be exploring at this year’s inaugural CEO Forum Annual Meeting include:


  • Why companies and people resist change (even if they see the benefits) with David Schonthal, Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at the Kellogg School of Management and, along with his colleague Loran Nordgren, 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. 


  • How leading industry stakeholders have leaned in to the sector’s venture-backed tech ecosystem with Peter Holt, CEO / General Manager, HOLT CAT, one of industry’s leading innovators, CEO of one of the industry’s leading companies and Managing Director of one of its leading venture funds.


  • How a new breed of sector-specific venture capital funds are fueling development of technology-enabled solutions with Darren Bechtel, Founder & Managing Director, Brick & Mortar Ventures, a venture capitall firm that arguably has notched the most venture-backed exists in construction technology so far this cycle.

  • How artificial intelligence really is a game changer with Jeevan Kalanithi, CEO, of and Rene Morkos, Ph.D. and CEO, ALICE Technologies, two pioneering and leading technologists in the field of AI in construction. 


  • What lessons can we learn from veterans of the innovation effort in AEC with Peter Beck, Executive Chairman, Beck Technology and Rik Kunnath, President, Charles Pankow Foundation, two industry leaders who have been pushing the bounds of innovation in the design and construction sectors for more than two decades.


For more information on the Industry CEOs Forum and the annual meeting in Chicago click here. In addition to the Forum Meeting in April, member companies participating in this track will receive a quarterly executive-level report on industry trends prepared exclusively for the C-suite and will have further opportunities to meet at our two venture conferences and our two summits.