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Catalyst 2019: Something Different

Honest Buildings hosted our annual Catalyst Conference alongside partner Convene for two days in lower Manhattan in May 2019.

CRETech’s Michael Beckerman eschewed the title emcee in favor of “host.” It was clear that while considerable information sharing and networking was due to happen, this group was looking forward to enjoying some time together. When he said, “we’re going to shut the doors,” attendees knew something special was shortly to unfold.

Thank You (1)

Evolution of the Built World

In the words of CEO and Co-Founder, Riggs Kubiak, “the built world is evolving at an unprecedented pace.” That evolution impacts the entire commercial real estate industry.  As our entire world continues undergoing dramatic change, our capacity for successful innovation determines how and whether we are positioned to play a broader leadership role in reshaping our world. Adaptability and the degree to which we are comfortable operating in uncertainty or chaos defines the scope of influence we can wield as agents for change.

Setting the stage for the next two days, Kubiak opened with a story...

"A year ago, one of the country’s fastest growing companies announced its intention to open a new location. The space would be the most ambitious undertaking the young company ever opened at 93,000 square feet. With access to mass transit, in one of the most flourishing business communities in the world, the space incorporated all elements of the fast-growing company’s success.

The budget was set, and the Honest Buildings platform was engaged. Construction began in 2018, with projects across four full floors. In a little over a year, hundreds of invoices and change orders were processed. The project was completed on April 1, 2019.

You’re sitting in the space. Welcome to Convene, at One Liberty."


As co-creators of PropTech, we are building by community by working together, learning from one another, sharing our successes and collaborating over our challenges as we contribute to the building of a new world.

In Making the Case for Honest Buildings, an Attendee Referred to our ROI Study. Have you Read it?

So Many PropTech Professionals in One Place

More than 200 owners, stakeholders, technologists, operations, acquisitions, project management, and construction management professionals from around the globe comprised an artfully curated list of attendees.  It was always the plan to bring people together with intention, as a community of professionals who think differently.

For those assembled, we selected keynote speakers, panelists, journalists, and commentators. Their mission? To engage, inform, and educate participants in expected and unexpected ways on subjects as diverse as PropTech, Change Management, Negotiation Strategies, Trend-spotting, Transparency, and Leadership. 

EQ Office President CEO Lisa Picard delivers a keynote

Here’s a recap of some of our main stage presenters and what you missed:

Keynote speakers:

  • Author and Venture Capitalist Scott Hartley made the case for human skills as indispensable, even in our technology and data-driven world.
  • EQ Office President and CEO Lisa Picard, spoke about “Making Work Better than Home" and the ways that space transforms the work we do.
  • Author and Educator Dr. Barbara White Bryson, explored creating an industry and project culture grounded in “purposeful leadership." Predictability is Power.
  • Canadian entrepreneur and politician Gregor Robertson, former Mayor of Vancouver, talked with Riggs Kubiak on the collaboration between municipalities, CRE developers, and technology companies necessary to build the cities of the future.  


roundtable Discussions:

  • Change Management
  • Operational Excellence
  • Driving Transparency

Community in Action-Customer Panel

And what did attendees learn?

  1. Everybody thinks their pain points are unique. Success means working with others to find common ground, and solutions that work.
  2. We need market insights to make the best decisions at our businesses. Look for leaders as champions and people upon which you can rely.
  3. Fuzzies and Techies are both needed in commercial real estate. Human skills are just as important as they have ever been in the digital era. 

Over the next few weeks, we'll be looking back in greater detail at the messages that came out of Catalyst. Among our favorites was the description that in addition to a conference, Catalyst was the opportunity to convene a community of professionals who think differently. That alone is reason to gather again next year, don't you think? 

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Rochelle A. Carter-Wilson

Written by Rochelle A. Carter-Wilson

Rochelle is the Content Marketing Manager for Honest Buildings. She creates stories and other on-brand content to inform and engage owners and other members of the Commercial Real Estate industry.

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