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Celebrating Black Excellence in the Designed and Built Environment: Speakers from Industry

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Celebrating Black Excellence in the Designed and Built Environment: Speakers from Industry
Public lectures

An open-door forum to celebrate Black excellence in the Designed and Built Environment featuring prominent speakers from industry and accrediting bodies.

Past event

Event details

Launched as part of Black History Month 365, this is the second “Celebrating Black Excellence in the Designed and Built Environment” to be held this year in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment (ADBE) as part of a rolling programme.

Black colleagues from industry and ADBE accrediting bodies will discuss their professional experiences, sector challenges, and successes, sharing advice and encouragement with ADBE students and staff.

The event is open to all, especially those with an interest in topics relating to Black experiences. It will be held entirely online, beginning with short 10-15 minute presentations followed by a Q&A.


Keynote Speaker - Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS

Celebrating Black Excellence in the Designed and Built Environment: Speakers from Industry

Bola is an Independent Management Consultant, Chartered Surveyor (and Fellow of RICS) and a Chartered Construction Manager.

Bola pursued a career in construction to develop his ‘natural ability’ with all things construction. He went on to gain a degree in Quantity Surveying & Construction Management, graduating in 1994 as the first black student to achieve a Double-First Class with Honours at the University of Wolverhampton. During his time as an undergraduate, Bola found that he had to work ‘ten times as hard’ AND often alone having experienced, first-hand, the ‘culturally insensitive’ and at times ‘discriminatory’ culture present within the UK construction industry. He qualified in 1999 and is committed to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors [RICS] where he remains a licensed APC Assessor, nurturing the next generation of aspiring Chartered Quantity Surveyors.

A Fellow of RICS, Bola was appointed as Chair of the Equality & Human Rights Commissions’ in 2010 Bola’s principal objective is to promote the construction sector / surveying profession and increase the retention of ethnic minorities, active within sector / profession, in the UK.

He currently Chairs a unique, pan-London project called Moving on Up (MoU), a multi-million pound initiative supported by the (Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan) focussing on ‘Employer Engagement’ across Construction; Digital / Technology; and Finance.

In 2006 Bola established the first RICS network for BAME surveyors called Diverse City Surveyors (DCS) .DCS continues to grow from strength to strength – where ‘difference is both celebrated and empowered through professional excellence’.

Bola is keen to ensure that young people continue to view the construction sector as an aspirational place to start a career. having successfully cultivated the Fairness Inclusion and Respect agenda. Bola is focused on promoting the Surveying profession and establishing clear paths to success for young people, with a particular focus on those from non-traditional and BAME backgrounds, with little or no knowledge of what the surveying profession has to offer.

Bola was awarded the OBE, a Queens Honour, for Services to Diversity and to Young People in the Construction Industry in the 2019 New Years Honours List.

Guest Speaker - Dr Teri Okoro

Celebrating Black Excellence in the Designed and Built Environment: Speakers from Industry

Director of TOCA, dual qualified as a chartered architect and chartered project professional, is also a fellow of both RIBA and APM.

A passionate Inclusion champion, Dr Teri is an expert adviser to Historic England, sits on the Construction Industry Council Diversity and Inclusion Panel and is presenting RIBA’s inaugural series of Equality Diversity and Inclusion seminars during 2020.

A practitioner who also writes and presents internationally, her consultancy extends beyond buildings and the built environment to the process and governance of project delivery. As a Woman in Leadership scholar, she obtained an Exec MBA from Ashridge Hult Business School.

Virtual Event

Past event

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