Learning From the Next Generation at the Rotman Design Challenge

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The 2019 Rotman Design Challenge

Change and disruption in the construction industry is inevitable, but where is it going to come from and in what form?
 
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This is no easy question to answer, and even the most seasoned professional may be stumped by it. Students who participated in the Rotman Design Challenge were asked this question and were dared to find a strategic solution.
 
The Rotman Design Challenge took place on February 9 and 10 at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. I was honored to judge the event with Tom Skelly from Caledon and some of my colleagues including:
  • Karim Muri, Vice President, Customer Excellence and Marketing Services
  • Emily Maguire, Digital Brand Manager
  • Brian Glancy, Head of BIM Strategy
  • Siobhan O’Dwyer, Global Marketing Director
  • Nikita Ticku, Digital Analytics Executive
  • Hass Jishi, Experience Transformation Strategist
Tapping into sharp minds at this event was a great way to get exposed to different viewpoints and help shape the future of buildings.
 
The Rotman Design Challenge provides a creative space where master’s-level students interested in business and design can re-imagine and reinvent the way the construction industry approaches problems. It encourages collaboration and discussion of ideas from different disciplines, technologies and sectors.
 
We work so closely within our own Kingspan walls that it’s useful to get an outsider’s perspective when it comes to solving problems and tackling new challenges.
 
The winning team from the Parsons School of Design challenged the status-quo by developing a technology platform that would allow development teams to determine the resiliency of a building to maximize its lifetime performance. 
 
In second place was the team from Michigan Ross School of Business, who proposed a venture capital arm to the business that would invest in start-ups in the technology sector and other industries to glean insights that might give rise to new product ranges and digital business models.
 
The third-place team from the Rotman Design School also looked at a technology platform to select building materials and offer users an “Amazon of construction.”
 
Industries like music, movie rentals, hotels, and taxis have been turned upside down through business model disruption and no doubt there are non-traditional players out there thinking about doing the same to the construction and building products sector. If we don’t innovate now and create our own path, a path will be created for us and it may not be one we like. 
 
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A commitment to innovation

This is why Kingspan is committed to innovation and pushing boundaries. Hearing from the students at the Rotman Design Challenge was a privilege, and we are excited to explore their new ideas in the future.
 
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