CAMBRIDGE, MA – With myriad revolutionary advances in digital technology and the massive amount of innovation now occurring in the built environment, it can be challenging for commercial real estate industry professionals to keep pace with the flood of information, no matter how useful.
In response, the MIT Center for Real Estate (MIT/CRE) will present the “Edge Sessions” as part of their annual World Real Estate Forum to be held on May 18th and 19th. The purpose of the sessions is to give those in the industry a clearer picture of the innovation landscape – including technologies that are currently available as well as those still in their formative stages.
“The Edge Sessions are for anybody who is looking at the future of real estate,” says Steve Weikal, Head of Industry Relations at the MIT/CRE, who will lead a panel discussion on digital infrastructure and the Internet of people, places and things. “Last year we talked about blockchain and autonomous vehicles (driverless cars) pretty much before anyone else was talking about it. And this year, one thing we’ll be discussing is the autonomous future of real estate – not autonomous vehicles, but artificial intelligence, robotics, and autonomous technology for real estate, such as how buildings can ‘build’ themselves and then operate autonomously.”
Modules will also include the Future of Cities (featuring leading city builders from around the globe); Big Data, Big Decisions (on the impact of the Big/small/smart data explosion; Accelerating Innovation in Design and the Built Environment; New Models for Investing (including crowdfunding for large scale projects); 3D, Stackable, and Modular: Innovation and the Global Housing Crisis; Understanding the Global Innovation Ecosystem; and Securing the Cyber-Physical Infrastructure and Internet of Things (how to protect buildings and company information from cyber threats).
The conference will also feature panel discussions on development opportunities in the growth markets of Africa, Latin America and India, as well as an examination of the development trends in China. Keynote speaker Skylar Tibbits, co-director and founder of the MIT Self-Assembly Lab, will lead with a discussion of 4D printing (where the fourth dimension is time) to open the two-day conference. MIT/CRE director Albert Saiz is hoping the annual conference will become a “Davos-like experience” for industry leaders.
“There is no leading think tank environment for people to discuss what is going to happen to the global real estate industry from the perspectives of construction, master planning, design, global markets, finance, and marketing trends,” says Saiz. “What we at the MIT Center for Real Estate are striving to do is to be a convening point, to create a network of enlightened leaders in the industry who are then going to change the industry for the greater good.”