Black History Month 2019 #BHM2019, has been full of ‘established’ conversations premised upon the ‘need to remember the past’ and recognise those significant contributors within it. Well, for many, #BHM2019 has been a strategic focus on the future and on the 25 October 2019 - as part of a joint effort by RIBA London and the Paradigm Network – a 'fast paced presentation' type event was held in the Hatton Garden area of Central London.
But what is a Pecha Kucha ‘PK’, (I hear you ask?); put simply, it is an event of Japanese origin, which aims to tell a story via a series of presentations that are individually curated with upto 20 slides, each slide with upto 20 seconds of commentary. The ‘official’ formal allocation per presentation is just 6 minutes 40 seconds, so for those wishing to improve on their PowerPoint presentation skills, this is a really useful preparatory tool. Since their export (or introduction) to Europe in 2004, PK’s are now, statistically proven, to being held in thousands of cities across the world. It is also worth noting that the fast paced event held by Paradigm Network had mandated just three minutes per presentation so the challenge was on to deliver succinctly and with impact... no pressure!
Having been invited to share some of his earlier ‘community work’ completed by Urbanis – espousing the multi-faceted and life-changing benefits of Social Value achieved through Public Sector Procurement – DiverseCity Surveyors, Founder and Chairman Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS, was invited to attend an amazingly ‘intimate and private’ event, held at the Farringdon Showroom of Ibstock Brick. This unique event – referred to as a digital exhibition – was made possible by one individual that desperately needs to be championed, and who rather fittingly could be referred to as a #SilentChampion. Ms Dian Small, Regional Director for RIBA London is the equivalent of an industry 'game-changer'. A self-assured, confident individual with an empathetic and seasoned understanding of the ‘key issues & challenges’ and, most importantly, maintains a demonstrable capability to procure ‘sustainable’ impact driven initiatives, that deliver tangible reference points, across the profession.
Photo Credit: Morley von Sternberg Studio
So who are Paradigm Network ‘PN’?
Described as the professional network championing #BAME talent in Architecture, their mission succinctly aligns to the core values of DiverseCity Surveyors, who have a similar common denominator [and core aspiration] to increase #BAME representation and commercial participation within and across the Built Environment. PN’s membership is drawn from architectural students, qualified architects, landscape architects and urban design, with a USP of BAME-led commercial practices. With an impressive Organising Committee 'OC' of renowned industry leaders including the MyPart3 App founder, RIBAJ 2018 Rising Star and 2019 #BAME Award Winner, Tara Gblolade of Gbolade Design Studio [established with her husband Lanre Gbolade, RIBA London Regional Council Member]. Other members on the PN/OC include Robertson Lindsay and Chris Nasah, all of whom you can observe through the raison d’etre of PN - here
Early in September, DCS was contacted by RIBA National Council Member and OC member Ms Yemi Aladerun, who offered DCS the opportunity to showcase the ‘ground-breaking’ work of Bola Abisogun OBE as part of a themed event titled: Showcasing BAME in Construction………… naturally we were excited by the prospect and humbled by the kind invitation.
Having proffered a number of options to Yemi, and given her commendable work in the third sector, the project now commonly referred to as the ‘Urbanis-Atlanta Model’ by Hackney Council, was selected. This well documented effort was delivered by Bola as part of his commitment to the Council’s commendable 10 Year Strategy – led by Deputy Mayor, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble – which sought to deliver better employment outcomes for young black men across the borough. The unique contribution by Urbanis led to Bola receiving a prestigious shortlisting for a Mayors Business Award from the London Borough of Hackney, during #BHM on 26 October 2016.
The pro-bono effort deployed by Bola through Urbanis, was delivered as part of their Social Value contributions which formed an integral part of the limited commercial opportunities being administered by – the Councils Housing team – which at that time, was intended to specifically target BAME led businesses within the borough. Despite the well documented commercial and contractual challenges – both for the Council and Urbanis – the ‘Urbanis-Atlanta Model’ has stood the test of time and remains as part of the Urbanis legacy in Hackney, east London.
Following the hugely successful event, captured extensively via social media, [seen here and using the links below] on-going collaborative discussions have now commenced between Paradigm Network and DiverseCity Surveyors regarding future industry facing events.
More to follow…………..
Host: Paradigm Network
Corporate Support [Mathew Davies]: Ibstock Plc
Industry / Corporate Support: RIBA London