Online FM Business Summit to look back to the future

After the Research Symposium (3&4 June) and the Student Festival (18 June), the 3rd section of EuroFM’s community – The Online FM Business Summit – had the honor to stage two eminent keynote speakers

During the session, the association celebrated its 30th anniversary with a discussion between current President Goran Milanov and one of the founding fathers, Keith Alexander. ‘Going Back to the Future’ is not only the theme of their debate but can also apply to the three finalists of the Student Competition who presented their videos.

Sustainable Innovation

The online Business Summit addressed current trends and developments in areas like technology, sustainability, and innovation. Yvette Watson is a co-founder of PHI Factory and helps organizations accelerate towards a circular economy and will present 5 innovations defining the future of FM.

Increasingly, companies are being asked to be more transparent and accountable when it comes to the environment, society, and the wellbeing of their employees. Most of the time the facility manager is asked to take a leading role in the transition towards a sustainable future. After all, it is their daily job to make buildings and the working environment more sustainable, use them more effectively, and reduce waste. In FM, we are actively looking for ways to consistently collect meaningful and reliable non-financial data to meet this challenge. Technical innovation and digital solutions will help us to accelerate.

The other keynote speaker of this session was Andrew Mason, who leaped into the future to present an ‘FM Futurespective’ of the workplace.
Andrew is the Chairman of the South African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA) and a member of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management. He is also the current South African Ambassador for Euro FM.

“We know change is coming, but how will FM take advantage of this? The COVID-19 pandemic is a disrupter that promises to bring with it a tectonic shift in our paradigms regarding Property, Workplace, FM, and much more. We are on the cusp of what will be a dramatic change which will require traditional strategies and values to change in the way we support our people, our companies, and our clients.

Change means risk but it also presents opportunities and we do not want to look back on this time in the future to see that we missed another chance to raise the profile of FM. Mr. Mason’s presentation will take a look back at our past where FM has not always done well adapting to change and where we have missed opportunities. We will also step into the future to take a retrospective view to visualise how we can take FM forward.”

Looking back on the first virtual EuroFM Student Festival

On June 18th, the European Facility Management Network (EuroFM) organized its first edition of the Student Festival as part of the EuroFM ‘Stay Connected’ sessions. Instead of meeting the students in real life during our annual EFMIC conference (originally planned for Barcelona this year), we organized a virtual festival to celebrate our youngest FM professionals

The Student Festival is part of a series of three sessions and featured the 2020 EuroFM Student Competition. Eight bright students from universities of applied sciences in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and Turkey presented a 3-minute video of their vision on the current FM field and market. Based on their internship, thesis, or a school project. Around 55 attendees witnessed the students pitch their videos in a clear and enthusiastic way. The variety of topics covered the workplace environment, the role of FM in educational surroundings, EuroFM Ambassadors, and how to connect them, FM and technology, outsourcing, and the challenges for FM on airports. Check them out on our new EuroFM YouTube channel!  

The quality of the videos was high, and it made it difficult for the jury to decide on the 3 best presentations. The jury assessed the videos on their content, creativity and added value for FM and decided on the 3 following finalists:Robin Ganninger and his group from Münster University of Applied Sciences,Sakithya Shanmugaratnam and her group from DHBW Stuttgart and Esmeé Bechthold from Breda University of Applied Sciences. These 3 presentations will be part of our next ‘Stay Connected’ session on June 25th where we will ask the audience to vote for the winner of the 2020 EuroFM Student Competition. 

The Student Festival started with a great presentation by Rodney Dass, a young FM professional at IFS Dublin, Ireland. He explained why the FM field should include young FM professionals into their business by stipulating their advantages as Generation Z. The program also included speed date sessions with EuroFM Ambassadors from Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, and Russia, as well as the FM Student Pub Quiz. Overall, it was an inspiring and fun event, where we indeed celebrated the input of our youngest members!