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DCS Chair joins senior leaders on NTU Strategic Advisory Forum

“Because what counts, is not simply where you stand in moments of comfort, but how you handle the transition of unrelenting pain. Share the knowledge, #EachOneTeachOne

_ Abisogun OBE

Richard Bull, Deputy Dean, NTU _ ADBE

Instigated by a random but hugely polite request from Professor Richard Bull, Deputy Dean _ Nottingham Trent University ‘NTU’ [School of ADBE], as a follow-up to an earlier / similar request in April 2019 received from Keith Agar FRICS, during his tenure on RICS Governing Council – DCS Founder and Chair Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS agreed to participate in a virtual coffee meeting back in November 2020.

Following a successful tri-partite conversation in December 2020, which included Paul Whitehouse [NTU; School Quality Manager for ADBE] it was agreed that DiverseCity Surveyors would be invited to participate in an event designed, at its core, to ‘Celebrate Black Excellence’ in the Built Environment across the UK.

The event held on 20 January 2021, was heralded to be an honest conversation, tinged with insights of Bola’s failure(s), success(es) and everything in between during his 27year professional career.

During the afternoon of 20 January 2021, the virtual stage was shared with the indomitable, industry legend and BAME award-winning healthcare specialist in the form of Dr Teri Okoro MBA ChPP FRIBA FAPM, Principal of TOCA a London based, Black owned firm of Architects and RIBA Registered Practice.

Dr Teri Okoro FRIBA, Principal TOCA

Hosted by Emmanuel Nimo, Senior Lecturer at NTU, with notable contributions from his colleagues, and after something of an exhuberant and extremely humbling introduction by Emmanuel, Bola proceeded to deliver his keynote presentation, which itself was designed to both impress and surprise attendees, in equal measure.

Emmanuel Nimo, Senior Lecturer, NTU _ ADBE

Samuel Mamphey AssocRICS MCIOB, is an award-winning graduate with RICS recognition, and like Bola is a keen BIM enthusiast with a firm interest in professional ethics. He has also written extensively regarding the future and evolving role of the PQS. There would appear to be ‘a natural and growing synergy’ with Bola’s challenge to the global Cost Management profession via his initiative #PQS2030, supported by RICS; so watch this space for future developments and updates………..!!

Sam Mamphey, Lecturer, NTU _ ADBE

An internationally recognised, high achieving and reputable school of approximately 3,000 students across five departments, the USP of the NTU_ADBE is their demonstrable ability to, both embrace and engross within their academic offer, “theoretical rigour, with hands-on experience” thus affording students the valued and much needed combination of academic and real-world experience.

University Reimagined - Ambitions and Approaches

According to Bola, this 'reimagination' is the silver bullet to potentially a great career in industry, quite possibly anywhere across the globe, especially within the context of rapid, digital transformation, noting the somewhat destructive climate change emergency.

Emerging industry talent from NTU_ADBE, citing professional qualification as their next and natural step will do well to attend and leverage the credibility of their league table ranking(s), which remains a journey of continuous improvement for every professional, committed to excellence.

Dr Andrew Knight FRICS, Executive Dean, NTU _ ADBE

Led by fellow Chartered Surveyor Dr Andrew Knight FRICS, who initially extended a kind invitation to Bola in 2018 to participate on an NTU-led, Industry Advisory Board, the inaugural Strategic Advisory Forum 'SAF' event was chaired by Andrew, and held immediately following the 'Celebrating Black Excellence’ in the Built Environment. So on the 21 January 2021, Bola was joined by several Heads of Department from NTU, (all listed below), along with an impressive roster of industry leaders [which included Paul Nash PPCIOB and Nick Murphy, CEO of Nottingham City Homes]. The friendly debate facilitated a ‘frank and open’ conversation about their challenges and aspirations as a ‘forward-looking’ University, with granular perspective gained from the industry practitioners in attendance.

‘Diversity-of-thought’ further affords the school an opportunity to commit to expanding professional prospects for their growing cohorts along with other industry engagements, so much so that the NTU_ADBE continues to enjoy and develop a wealth of industry contacts and sustainable, dynamic relationships and partnerships.

NTU _ ADBE - “industry engagement”

As with all things related to process innovation, improved productivity and industry [disruption] a keen and ever increasing requirement is to relate any strategic plan to the 'actual' journey and direction of the industry; which must include Government sentiment. As a seasoned, practitioner it was comforting from Bola's perspective, to hear the ADBE affirm both commitment and alignment to the following industry process maps;

UK Government led 'positive' interventions

It is also heartening to note the breadth of professional accreditations too, currently held and maintained by NTU_ADBE…… and captured via the statement below:

“On a conceptual level, we’re about the art, science and business of making and design: on a practical level, we’re investing that knowledge in smart cities, energy and sustainability projects, and huge global partnerships” _ NTU-ADBE

NTU _ ADBE - professional accreditations

NTU_ADBE have and maintain a huge and glowing commitment to the industry's diversity agenda, and specifically within that ethnic diversity [whilst recognising the attainment gaps and other, well documented, totally disproportionate statistics].

"But most of all, we’re a community. In every aspect of architecture, design and the built environment, we emphasise the availability of opportunities for everyone.

Our only criteria is talent – and our only condition is hard work"


And on the topic of hard work, Bola wanted to take this unique opportunity to accredit much of his professional success to one very special person, and a current member of the NTU leadership team. It's Bola's own unique way of saying "thank you Amrit!" for his most notable and ‘culturally competent’ contribution to his own time served as an under-graduate, during the early 1990’s; whilst studying Quantity Surveying at the University of Wolverhampton.

Dr Amrit Saghoo, Head of Construction Management & QS, NTU _ ADBE

It was the single-handed involvement of Dr Amrit Saghoo MRICS, that afforded Bola the opportunity to develop his skills and unique career insight into the world of construction measurement, built asset quantification and the scientific mechanics of it. Back in 1991, during his initial conversation with Amrit, Bola vividly remembers a pivotal piece of advice that never left him; “learn to see things in 3D and you will never go wrong in measurement”. After hearing that from such an experienced lecturer, even at that time, Bola spent most of his spare time between the library and the Apple Mac Lab, honing his skills. Such worldly ‘early adopter’ advice sowed the seed, which has since evolved (now spanning over 30years) to where Bola’s current pursuit and amalgamation of Digital Twins and Smart Contracts, more recently as part of his ongoing 'ambassador role' at the University of Cambridge [via the CDBB Change Stream] is soon to deliver some ‘friendly, but seismic disruption’ across the UK public sector. Next stop, the Commonwealth regions across the globe, all to be delivered via a uniquely powerful 'technology-led, data-driven' [SaaS] platform.

22nd Century 'business models' using Blockchain [credit to CM via CIOB]

To this end, Bola has asked that we [the DCS Comms Team] publicly share his first-degree results and accredit his 1994 success [and continued industry ascendence] to the following key individuals, Professor Keith Potts, Dr Amrit Saghoo, Professor Paul Olomolaiye; Pro-Vice Chancellor at UWE and Professor Issaka Ndekugri; Construction Law, Uni of Wolverhampton who all embraced Bola as a young Londoner, arriving into Wolverhampton fresh from Hackney, with oodles of ‘wide-boy arrogance' and choosing to ‘nurture as opposed to chastising him’ in order that he truly recognise and develop his own unique and “individual potential”. Care of their kind support, it worked and for three (3) years, Bola maintained the discipline required to succeed.

Credit to "Bola's role models and lecturers at Wolves" _ 1st degree results (1991-94)

So, for those that think it doesn't matter, it really does "take a village to raise a child"; and the journey of trial and tribulation [for all of us, especially our young ones], as it was for DCS Founder and Chair Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS, hailing from humble beginnings in Hackney, East London enroute an unknown journey to Buckingham Palace, continues……

Credit: PA Images / Royal Investiture _ Buckingham Palace; taken 07.02.19

……… please, let’s continue to be kind to each other and give-back to one-another, as often as possible. It is ALWAYS worth doing the right thing, even when it all look's so bleak. Stay safe and humble, in service.


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