On 1st October, 8 Northumberland Avenue was overflowing with inspirational speakers and innovative ideas for our latest edition of ‘Talks inspired by HB Reavis’ event.

Hosted by Science and Technology presenter, Dallas Campbell, the packed event saw industry thought leaders present on a range of fascinating topics, aiming in traditional ‘Talks’ style, to shift the boundaries of our knowledge.

Taking to the stage first was Lara Marrero, Principal & Global Retail Practice Leader at Gensler. Lara spoke about the increasingly blurred lines between lifestyle and workstyle. The way people work and live is changing and increasing demands for improved connectivity and time are the driving forces. Did you know that 98% of generation Zs (people born mid-1990s to early-2000s) when asked if they would rather have a phone or a car, said that they would choose a phone! Why would they need a car if they can simply order an Uber?

Single-use spaces are becoming obsolete. We need to design spaces that support how people act and how people live.” – Lara Marrero

This theme led perfectly onto the talk from our very own Tomas Melisko, Head of Symbiosy. In a nutshell, Symbiosy is the tech and sensory platform we have developed and are utilising in our latest office spaces. It provides insights into user experience, space utilisation and environmental factors. With the aim of improving occupier productivity and wellness. Symbiosy’s findings inform our future workspace design and function based on real-life user needs.

Tomas spoke powerfully about the evolution of smart buildings and how we have become the ‘indoor generation’ – we spend 90% of our productive time indoors. Tomas also spoke about the huge opportunity to bridge the disconnect between what we need to function well in workspaces and the quality of the buildings we occupy. We now have the data to understand how factors such as poor light levels, CO2 quality and inadequately designed floor plates can have detrimental effects on the workforce, we call this ‘Sick Building Syndrome’. Through Tomas’ innovative work with Symbiosy, we are at the forefront of designing, building and managing buildings that enhance wellbeing and productivity.

“The buildings of the future must be human-centric. We are actively working against sick building syndrome (SBS) by using insights from Symbiosy to develop spaces where you feel healthy, productive and collaborative.” – Tomas Melisko

Next up was Mark Post, Chief Scientific Officer of Mosa Meat, who led a juicy conversation around burgers! Not your typical beef burgers though as Mark created the world’s first “cultured meat” burger (a beef burger grown from animal cells inside a lab).

Demand for meat across the world is growing, and as Mark went on to explain – that’s a problem. Livestock are a contributing factor in global warming through the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane. Mark highlighted that 18% of all our greenhouse gas production comes from livestock.

Across the world people are considering how to reduce the carbon footprint of their diets – Mark has come up with the solution with his revolutionary burger!

By using cell extracts from the animals, he has developed a sustainable, healthy and animal-friendly method for meat production. With the first burger costing a whopping €250,000 to make, Mosa Meat is now focussed on scaling up the production process and introducing their first products onto market within the next 3-4 years.

We were delighted to have Tim Rowe, founder and CEO of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) join us for the final Talk of the evening. CIC is a world expert in building and developing innovation centres and we were delighted to announce our partnership with CIC last year.

Tim spoke about the importance of building effective start-up ecosystems, and how they are key for turning innovative ideas into real world solutions. He spoke about how innovation used to happen in isolation, Nikola Tesla had his secret lab in the mountains and Steve Jobs started Apple from his garage – today however, we are seeing innovation take place in communal environments.

Tim told the audience that real estate providers hold the key to unlocking innovation and that by creating the right infrastructure it is possible to create spaces to foster collaboration and help bring world-changing ideas to fruition.

The Talks were followed by a networking session and canapé reception with an exciting innovation fair. Nettle, who build Artificial Intelligence driven conversational platforms demonstrated how they use machine learning to analyse, understand and derive meaning from unstructured text.

The Symbiosy team provided a live demonstration of their detailed 3D virtual office model, and how it can track user experience, space utilisation and environmental factors in real time!

Our guests loved ‘Luster’, which is a guest-generated hashtag mosaic which developed as they posted images to their social profiles using the hashtag #talksbyheavis. The wearable tech brand, Shield are pioneering the tech-fashion market with their apparel which blocks electromagnetic waves and blue light. The guests were fascinated by how Shield incorporated style and functionality.

We would like to thank everyone who took part in our latest Talks inspired by HB Reavis event in London, from our host Dallas Campbell, all our inspiring speakers and of course all our guests. We hope the event sparked interest and intrigue!

Keep your eyes peeled for more images and videos of the event to come on our Talks website here. 

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