22 April 2014
Facilities management (FM) lies at the heart of an important conversation about the way people live and work today.
FM touches every part of people's lives - not just their workplaces, but also their homes, the public spaces they use, and the services they receive.
If you needed proof of it, look at what FMs talk about on social media: the living wage; resource efficiency; safer, cleaner hospitals; harnessing the power of new technology; sustainable catering; flood management; the impact of an ageing population; public sector cutbacks; and greener construction.
Facilities managers work closely with a wide range of professionals (architects, designers, surveyors, human resources, IT managers among them), but FM could be thought of as the discipline that locks these professions together.
But while FMs themselves know what a great job they do, many outside the sector have little knowledge of FM as a discipline, a profession or a career choice. This disconnect is something that BIFM is keen to address at ThinkFM 2014.
So this year's ThinkFM looks beyond the workplace to FM's impact on business, the economy and society. And there's some top speaker talent on offer.
The diverse panel includes Oona King (Baroness King of Bow), Diversity Executive at Channel 4; Lord Redesdale, CEO of the Energy Managers Association; Nicholas Holgate, Joint Chief Executive of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, and Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea; and Peter Cheese, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.
Workplace Law is proud to be headline sponsor, and I look forward to co-presenting a session with Max Farrell on the Farrell Review, the recently published government-backed study into architecture and design in the built environment. The Farrell Review draws 34 conclusions and makes 60 detailed recommendations in five key areas: education, outreach and skills; design quality; cultural heritage; economic benefits; and built environment policy. Introducing the idea of "PLACE" as an acronym for Planning, Landscape, Architecture, Conservation and Engineering, the review's findings have great resonance for the FM sector.
One of the Farrell Review's recommendations is "for institutions to work together to establish industry standards for defining, measuring and valuing the quality of architecture and place, informing a newer method of property valuation that is fit for purpose."
If that's not an important conversation to be engaged in, I don't know what is. I do hope you'll join us for it.
ThinkFM is taking place at King's Place in London on 13 May 2014. Find out more and book your place at www.thinkfm.com