Katrina Kostic Samen, our managing partner, formally took over the position of President of the BCO from Ken Shuttleworth, managing partner at Make Architects, at the BCO’s Annual General Meeting in London on Wednesday 11 July 2018.
Katrina has been a BCO member since 2006, a Board Member for eight years, and will be the organisation’s third female President.
Katrina was the Chair of the Annual BCO Conference, held in Berlin earlier this year, there she set out the vision for her Presidential year, challenging delegates to look at the workplace from multiple occupier perspectives, and to ensure that they are designing and delivering offices which are inclusive and provide for a diverse workforce.
Commenting on her appointment, Katrina said:
“As technology evolves at pace, and the way we live and work changes, so too must our commercial offices.
“The recent BCO Annual Conference 2018 in Berlin focused on a key issue – how to design and build workplaces which are inclusive for a diverse workforce. At the Conference, I challenged delegates to redefine the BCO to mean “Building Communities for Occupiers” – to move away from thinking in old fashioned terms about creating a building, and instead shift to a more diverse and inclusive world where the role of placemaking is central. I will continue to extend this challenge to the BCO membership throughout my presidency.
Throughout the rest of my presidential year I will look to build on this success, and to support and mentor our female and NextGen membership in particular.”
The 2018 BCO Annual Conference had a theme of “Diversity and Inclusion”. All expressions of diversity were explored, such as gender, ethnicity, religion, culture and physicality and how to design workplaces that are inclusive of all. It was examined how a diverse workforce and the provision of inclusive environments fosters creativity, connection, human fulfillment, and productivity.
The conference offered 49 speakers, from neuroscientists and technologists, to behaviourists and property professionals, as well as 26 tours of iconic buildings and key commercial property locations across the German capital. The traditional sit down dinner was replaced with a street party and the dress code was relaxed. This new approach led to the conference being SOLD OUT in record time and a significant increase in numbers of female delegates – a total of 21% – and 81 NextGen delegates.
About the BCO
The British Council for Offices (BCO) is the UK’s leading member organisation representing the interests of all those who occupy, design, build, own or manage offices in the UK. Since inception in 1990, the BCO has provided thought leadership and best practice in all issues related to the creation and use of office space – through to its research, awards, conference and events programmes. Find out more at: www.bco.org.uk.