Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Future Spaces Foundation

Building Natural Connections is a webinar series that explores how the interdependence of nature, society and the economy can be leveraged to provide solutions for a sustainable built environment.

The series – hosted by Make Architects’ Future Spaces Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership – features diverse perspectives from business, policy, finance, academia and civil society.

It comprises three talks focused on exploring solutions to our triple crises: climate, nature and human wellbeing. Starting with the premise that we must change, and that it’s in our best interest to do so, the talks will explore how to unlock positive action, sharing examples of behaviour and cultural change, new financing and measurement techniques, simple and complex solutions, and how these challenges can unlock innovation and value for all.

These webinars are FREE and everyone is welcome.

The three events are:

-- CHANGING CLIMATE, CHANGING CULTURE (29 September 2021 at 2pm BST online via Zoom) --

Despite the availability of low-carbon solutions, buildings and construction still account for nearly 40% of energy-related CO2 emissions. This indicates that it is industry culture – not technology – which must change to incorporate net zero into a business mindset and at a practice level. What does it mean to be an organisation committed to net zero? Where does responsibility start and end? How can climate-positive solutions and operational excellence be valued in a way that makes all stakeholders want to engage and drive positive action? How will we work differently as a result?


Anton Cartwright, Economist at African Centre for Cities, Founder of Credible Carbon and Director at Econologic whose research is focused on the interactions between ecological degradation and human wellbeing.

Carolina Urrutia, Secretary for the Environment in the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá, a member of the global C40 cities network driving faster action on climate change.

Guy Grainger, Global Head of Sustainability at Jones Lang LaSalle, which was selected by the UN Climate Champions as the built environment sector and infrastructure lead as part of the Race to Zero alliance.

Dr Judit Kimpian, Chair of Architects Council of Europe's (ACE) Sustainability Work Group, Author of Energy, People, Buildings and expert on sustainable and low-energy architecture, with a particular focus on design and behavioural impacts.

Zelda Bentham, Group Head of Sustainability at Aviva, the first major global insurer to target net zero carbon by 2040, in recognition of the physical risks of climate change to buildings and infrastructure.

Register at

-- BANKING ON BIO-RESILIENCE (06 October 2021 at 2pm BST online via Zoom) --

Rapid biodiversity loss and land degradation present significant risks to the global economy. However, they’re rarely given financial value or integrated into decision-making in the built environment, where projects often ignore or downgrade nature-based options in choosing short-term, cost-saving measures. The sector must learn to assess, appreciate and integrate the value of nature into commercial decisions in order to improve resilience, human wellbeing, carbon reduction and economic stability. Where are the incentives to do this effectively? How can externalities be incorporated into decision-making for all parties across the life of assets?

Speakers to be announced shortly at

Register at

-- UNLOCKING SOCIAL VALUE (13 October 2021 at 2pm BST online via Zoom) --

Two-thirds of the global population will live in cities by 2050, yet most urban spaces are not created with human wellbeing as their goal. The built environment must deliver better social outcomes, such as reducing socioeconomic inequalities, enhancing access to nature, supporting food security, and prioritising health and wellbeing. How can we engage all parties early in the design process on this front? How do we draw on communities’ experiences and embrace social value in practice to learn from each other? How can we measure these outcomes?

Speakers to be announced shortly at

Register at

Download the information related to this event here.


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Cite: "BUILDING NATURAL CONNECTIONS webinar series" 14 Sep 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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