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RICS at 150: Celebrating 150 years of surveying

  1. 15 February 2018
  2. By Nick Perman

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which was first established in 1868 – during the industrial revolution – to regulate the construction industry.

Today, with over 125,000 professionals across the world, it has gained a global reputation for setting and maintaining professional standards across the land, property, construction and infrastructure sectors throughout 150 countries.

It goes without saying that the RICS, together with its professionals are quite literally shaping the world around us, and indeed our future. Everything you see as you walk down the street or visit in another country – from buildings, homes, hospitals, roads and rail – chartered surveyors have had some involvement in.

That’s why in 2018, RICS will not only celebrate past achievements but will continue to work to inspire the next generation with a wide-ranging programme of activities that will run throughout the year as part of its anniversary activities. These will celebrate the depth and breadth of the surveying profession, highlight its value to society and recognise its significant contribution to the global economy.
Here we take a look at four key activities which, if you’re a professional in the land, property and construction sectors, you may like to get involved with:

‘Shaping the World, Building the Future’ Exhibition

This 12-month exhibition features extraordinary one-off artefacts including a replica Penfold Post box designed by founding professional of RICS and the organisation’s first Honourable Secretary, John Wornham Penfold. The Penfold Post Box was the inspiration for the cartoon series, Danger Mouse and his sidekick Penfold. 

A model of the Great Theodolite used by surveyor, Colonel Sir George Everest around 1830 to measure the height of the highest mountain in the world, which now bears his name (Everest) is also being exhibited, along with a  Lego model of the RICS headquarters - which took over 150 hours to build and 13,000 miniature bricks.

The Shaping the World, Building the Future Exhibition is at the RICS headquarters on Parliament Square, London, and is open Monday to Friday 9:00-17.30. Both professionals and non-members can visit for free (no appointment is necessary).

Cities for our Future competition

RICS has launched a global competition - the Cities for our Future Challenge - to encourage students and young people to find solutions to the issues facing the world’s rapidly expanding cities.
Manchester, Glasgow and London are among 24 global cities chosen for the competition, which asks for practical, innovative solutions to address specific challenges – around urbanisation, climate change and resource scarcity - to be in with a chance of winning the generous prize of £50,000.
The best 12 entries from around the world will be shortlisted for the global prize and receive support and advice from RICS qualified professionals as mentors, to develop and refine their idea, before an overall winner is announced in November 2018.

For further details on the Cities for our Future Challenge or to enter visit: www.citiesforourfuture.com  (the closing date to enter is 31 May).

Uniting the industry to end homelessness: Pledge150

RICS has launched a campaign – Pledge150 - with property industry charity LandAid to raise over £2 million this year, in the biggest ever fundraising campaign for the charity. The funds will contribute to ending youth homelessness, and will provide 150 safe, secure and affordable bed spaces across the12 UK regions.
RICS plans to raise funds at its annual events and through staff and partner university initiatives. Those working in the land, property and construction sectors are also being encouraged to join in with the challenge and think big, in terms of their fundraising activities.

The Duke of Cambridge attended the fundraising launch event his speech. Read his speech, and find out how to get involved in the Pledge150 campaign at: www.rics.org/pledge150

World Built Environment Forum (WBEF):  23-24 April 2018 at the InterContinental London

Under the programme title of ‘Our Changing World — Urbanisation, Innovation and Civilisation’, this international summit looks at the three driving forces of industrial transformation, urbanisation and digitalisation, and their profound impacts on the planet’s natural and built environment.

The two-day programme is packed with informative topics, developed in collaboration with internationally renowned and highly-respected industry figures, which will explore the transformative impact of digitalisation on business models and the consequences for cities and the regions around them.

Tesla Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of J.B. Straubel is the keynote speaker. Other speakers include Marcus Sawyerr, President of Adecco Group X, Lisette Van Doorn, Europe CEO of the Urban Land Institute, Andrew Rose, CEO at the Global Infrastructure Investor Association, and Karuna Gopal, President at the Foundation for Futuristic Cities.
Find out more at: www.rics.org/wbef
Sean Tompkins, RICS CEO commented: “Our 150th year is the ideal time to celebrate and champion the significant value the surveying profession has had, and continues to have, on our society and the wider economy. These initiatives either highlight the profession’s impressive achievements, or RICS professionals diverse range of skills, expertise and knowledge across many sectors.”

He added: “Our professionals advise on assets worth 70% of the world’s wealth. However, in doing this, our sector also faces major challenges. Globalisation is increasingly connecting markets, yet the standards adopted locally can differ dramatically. The importance of professional international standards in helping to overcome some of these obstacles and will be discussed further at the World Built Environment Forum.

“Looking ahead to the next 150 years, gaining market recognition and adoption of our professional international standards remains crucial to enhancing the value and long-term relevance of the chartered surveying profession, not to mention ensuring the changing world is fit for purpose and can withstand the challenges of the future.”

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