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Our CIC - Shaping the Future of the Construction Industry Together

Posted: 3rd November 2023

Dr Wei Yang

CIC Chair (until June 2025)

This week, as we convene to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Construction Industry Council (CIC), we reflect on the remarkable journey of CIC and look into its future. It all began in 1988 with the establishment of the organisation as the Building Industry Council (BIC) under the visionary leadership of Professor Sir Edmund (Ted) Happold, who, along with five founder members - CIBSE, CIOB, IStructE, RIBA, and RICS - laid the foundation for what was to become the Construction Industry Council.

CIC now stands as a unifying force, bringing together 37 professional bodies and other important organisations in the built environment industry. With a collective membership exceeding 500,000 individual professionals, our strength lies in our unity. We are a community that transcends individual affiliations, working together to champion best practices and shape the future of our beloved profession. CIC belongs to all of us, and it is our shared responsibility to drive it forward.

The heart of CIC beats with the support of our dedicated members. Each year, we have over 400 volunteers representing our members to champion better practice and shape the future direction of our beloved profession. With their unwavering dedication, CIC stands as a unified voice for all sectors of the built environment.

As we celebrate CIC's 35th Anniversary, we aim to share our collective vision for the built environment industry with society at large. The environment we inhabit has a profound influence on our daily lives, health, and well-being. It also plays a significant role in global environmental challenges, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and resource utilisation. We, as professionals, must transition from being part of the problem to being part of the solution.

To achieve the ambitious goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, the construction industry must undergo a radical transformation in planning, design, utilisation, management, and maintenance of spaces. We must recognise that climate, biodiversity, and human society are interconnected, and, in collaboration with natural environment professionals, we can proactively address these challenges with place-based solutions.

As the Chair of CIC, my commitment is to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations between professionals in the built and natural environments. I am also committed to champion an interdisciplinary future of built and natural environment education and training. A significant proportion of the jobs that today's learners will be doing in 2030 have not yet been invented. We should be at the forefront of shaping the future of our profession.

Embracing emerging technologies and promoting Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity in our sector is vital. The responsibility of our sector is not just building physical objects. We are here to create places embodied with empathy, inclusivity, and creativity. Our CIC stands as a beacon, illuminating the path to the future of the construction industry. As the first female chair of CIC, I am proud to lead an organisation committed to shaping a built environment that not only serves our professional interests but also delivers a better society and a better world. Our purpose is grounded in a shared commitment to industry improvement, fostering a positive impact, and contributing to society at large.

Our mission, guided by these principles, is to serve as the gateway to the Built Environment Professions. We aim to connect individuals and organisations, facilitating the exchange of specialised knowledge and creating an environment where information flows freely. We understand that our collective expertise can amplify our impact, transcending the boundaries of individual professions. Through collaboration, we strive to enhance resourcefulness and tackle industry challenges united.

Built Environment Professions are natural problem solvers, and we recognise the power of collective knowledge and experience. By coming together and drawing upon our extensive expertise, we can provide innovative solutions to the challenges our industry faces. Our response to society's evolving needs is rooted in our unrivalled knowledge, enabling us to make a meaningful difference.

In the coming years, CIC will remain at the forefront of these efforts, promoting collaboration, knowledge sharing, and creative problem-solving within the construction industry. As we forge a path toward a more inclusive, sustainable, and innovative future, we invite all members of the Built Environment Professions to contribute to our mission. Together, we have the power to make a positive impact and drive meaningful change within our industry and the society it serves. The future of the construction industry is in our hands, and together, we will shape it for the better.

Dr Wei Yang

CIC Chair (until June 2025)

Dr Wei Yang is an internationally renowned town planner and urban designer who champions a place-based whole systems approach to tackle the grand challenges of our times. She is an influential thought leader and a powerful advocate for climate actions, nature-based solutions, health & well-being, and social equality.

Wei has extensive experience in leading multi-disciplinary teams and implementing large-scale regeneration and low carbon master planning projects in Britain and internationally. Her professional strengths lie in combining innovative planning inspirations with feasible implementation solutions. She is also a popular keynote speaker, an author, and a scholar.

Wei was President for 2021 of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). She champions a revival of spirit and a modernised planning profession to tackle the global challenges in a systematic way, and thus to achieve collective wellbeing and fulfilment for all.

Wei is a lead figure in researching, promoting, and implementing 21st Century Garden City and green & low-carbon development approach worldwide. She is co-author of a bestselling book, Humanistic Pure Land and Garden Cities (Shi & Yang, 2021).

Wei is also co-founder and CEO of the Digital Task Force for Planning and co-author of A Digital Future for Planning – Spatial Planning Reimagined (Batty & Yang, 2022) which outlines blueprint for digital transformation of spatial planning and the sector’s future.

Through her leadership in various areas, Wei builds a bridge between research, development and policy via her understanding of and belief in the full potential of spatial panning as a pivotal applied science discipline.

She is a Fellow of Academy of Social Sciences, a Fellow of the RTPI, a Member of Chartered Institute of Highway and Transportation (CHIT), a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Client Advisor, and an Honorary Professor at University College London.

Wei also holds a number of board-level and advisory roles across different sectors. She is a board member of the British Library and Chair of its Capital Portfolio Committee, a Global Planner Networks (GPN) representative at the UN Habitat Professional Forum, and a Professionals Co-Chair of the UN Habitat World Urban Campaign Steering Committee.