ULI Global Chief Executive Officer W. Edward Walter provided highlights of the Institute’s Global Strategic Plan, which will help strengthen member engagement and impact, during remarks at the 2018 Fall Meeting’s closing general session.

“It is clear to me that well-designed development standards and policies contribute significantly to creating great cities. Long-term thinking that embraces resilience, redevelopment, and diversity will be required to sustain our cities through this century and into the next,” said Walter, whose career as a leading real estate executive spans nearly 40 years. “To achieve those objectives, we also need to develop strong, well-informed leaders.  And ULI is the organization best positioned to lead all aspects of that effort.”

Implementing the Global Strategic Plan is integral to ensuring that ULI continues to adapt and evolve as it grows, Walter said. “By enhancing our connectivity, with the goal of increasing our impact, we intend to make ULI even more relevant and responsive to members at all stages of their careers, in each of the three regions [the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe] around the globe.”

The plan, based on member input, provides for the following:

  • Investments in people to enhance the resources that support ULI’s unique member networks, including district councils, product councils, centers, and other groups. “Our impact and influence will be a multiple of current levels when we build the connections across these different networks, allowing us to identify issues of common interest and focus, and act on them,” Walter said.
  • Investments in technology infrastructure to enhance the member experience, including Navigator, which connects members to volunteer opportunities; the Member Directory, which connects members to each other; and Knowledge Finder, which connect members to ULI’s member-generated content.
  • Greater cultivation of global relationships that enable individuals and companies to connect on a worldwide basis, which will strengthen ties and forge new connections with partners who share ULI’s commitment to thriving, sustainable communities.
  • Strengthening the philanthropic objectives of the ULI Foundation to generate more member financial support for the Institute’s mission-focused activities, such as the Advisory Services program, which will convene more than 50 panels in fiscal year 2019; and UrbanPlan, which will reach more than 10,000 high school and university students during the year.

“Through implementation of this plan, we are striving to build on ULI’s culture of knowledge-sharing to expand our influence and impact. As much as ULI has accomplished, I believe we have yet to realize our full potential,” Walter said. “Ultimately, we intend to be the leading global real estate organization that constantly attracts and retains top industry leaders; the leading authority on real estate, and the ‘go-to’ place for timely industry information and expertise; and the provider of solutions to the most complex real estate and urban development problems faced by cities around the world.

“Since coming on board at ULI, it has become clear to me that this is the one organization that combines opportunities to learn and mentor, to inspire and be inspired, throughout the course of your career,” Walter told meeting attendees. “I look forward to hearing more of your ideas on how we can keep ULI evolving as it grows. Together, we can build on ULI’s successes and ensure a bright future for our organization.”