Forerunners of the digital built environment are meeting in a virtual twin city of the future
In its third year the World Summit on Digital Built Environment, WDBE 2020, will expand to virtual reality. The event, targeted at professionals interested in the development of the built environment, was originally scheduled to take place at the end of September in Helsinki and Tallinn. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the whole event was decided to move to a virtual platform created by Zoan – the virtual locations will stay the same introducing these two northern capitals to a global audience, with a twist from the future.
“This year our theme is Redefining Sustainability for Urban Future. Many global events in our industry have been canceled or postponed, but because of our theme, goals and the level of ambition, we wanted to utilise this opportunity and start to experiment with scaling the event digitally. In previous years, we have gathered around 400 global participants to Finland but now our aim is to expand substantially”, highlights Teemu Lehtinen, CEO of KIRAHub, a non-profit association boosting sustainable digitalisation of the built environment in Finland. “Finland and the Nordics are globally recognized for our good quality of life and happy people. We want to highlight our role as a forerunner of sustainable digitalisation of the built environment and give this industry concrete examples to benchmark globally. Digital platforms like WDBE are perfect for doing so.”
“Creating and constructing a sustainable future has been our goal for decades. When we founded WDBE back in 2018 our goal was to bring people to Finland to share expertise and learn from each other around the world. At this moment we have a huge potential to reinvent what it means to organise a globally sustainable event”, Miimu Airaksinen, CEO of Finnish Association for Civil engineers says. “We have been advocating digital tools and processes in the construction industry for years. With WDBE 2020, we can take it to the next level by fully embracing collaboration and knowledge sharing in a virtual environment”, Jaan Saar, Head of Digital Construction for the Estonian Government, explains the reasons for becoming the co-organizer of this year’s event.
The virtual platform of the event is used to create a shared illusion of a future twin city where participants can experience it by themselves. “While the term “virtual” has lately gone through some heavy inflation, we want to make sure the attendees experience a proper definition of that term. A story driven real-time experience that takes full advantage of the latest technologies in virtual production”, promises Lauri Perämäki from Zoan. WDBE 2020 programme includes collaborative sessions, workshops, matchmaking opportunities as well as keynotes from international professionals, such as professor Martin Fischer from Stanford University and Peter Vesterbacka, founder of Finest Bay Area. The virtual platform is also utilized as a showroom for the latest advancements in smart districts, digital construction, intelligent buildings, connected infrastructure and sustainable energy systems.
“We are disrupting the way traditional conferences are seen. We want to give our participants the opportunity to experience the unlimited possibilities of digitalisation of the built environment as an enabler of a more socially, culturally, ecologically and economically sustainable urban future. We are inviting everyone to take an exciting trip as a citizen of this illusion – the imaginary twin city is now a global playground for new solutions. This is a new way of seeing a global summit as a platform for professional imagination to go wild. Like a digital burning man for this industry”, Teemu Lehtinen shares his excitement.
WDBE 2020 is organised by
KIRAHub (KIRA-InnoHub ry) and Finnish Association for Civil Engineers (RIL ry) together with Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication and Estonian Digital Construction Cluster.
For more information, contact:
Teemu Lehtinen, CEO, KIRAHub
+358 40 456 6108
Jaan Saar, Head of Digital Construction for the Estonian Government
+372 52 90777
I want to thank all the amazing 522 attendees for joining us in this years’ virtual summit. I also want to thank all of our dear partners, keynote speakers and the community behind the magnificent presentations we were able to witness during our 2-day Summit.
Data and sustainability are both mega trends in the built environment discourse. Consequently, they have both been important development themes at YIT.
It is no news that the State, municipalities and private operators compile information on the built environment, and that this information is needed by building owners, businesses and policy-makers.