Facilitating Freedom for All: Building Cities for the Next Generation

21st September 2023

Chaired by EQN steering group member and GOSH archtiect Magali Thomson, our recent online event gathered together a panel of industry experts to shed light on the crucial aspects of creating inclusive, safe, and sustainable cities for our future.

They explored the significance of urban planning that caters to children’s needs, emphasizing the vital role of incorporating the perspectives and opinions of young people during the initial phases of urban design. Additionally, they examined noteworthy instances of cities that have already undertaken substantial transformations in their neighborhoods, leading to more sustainable and healthier living environments for all.

If you are not thinking about and talking about children then you are missing out on the most powerful way to build consensus about creating more sustainable, healthy and equitable places – Tim Gill – scholar, consultant and author of ‘Urban Playground: How child-friendly planning and design can save cities’.

With the teenagers we consulted in the project, we thought it was very important to talk about everyday mobility, focus on cycling, static perception and the quality of public spaces near the school – Inés Novella Abril – urban planning architect and master of equal opportunities.

Views of young adults can often be presumed – Simeon Shtebunaev – interdisciplinary researcher

In urban design and planning, how can we use children and young people as a force for change? – Joni Baboci – architect, planner and urban enthusiast

Click below to watch a recording of the event.



The Power of Communication

14th June 2023

The second in our 2023 series of online events under the umbrella of DivAirCity investigated the transformative power of communication and looked at the many ways it can be inclusive. From carefully chosen language where sometimes simple and less is best, to the profound impact of visually communicating data through sonifications and physical, wearable pieces of art.  

We were priviledged to host a panel of esteemed communicators who brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the event. Throughout, our panellists shared their unique perspectives, engaging the audience in thought-provoking discussions, and shedding light on the evolutionary power of effective and diverse communication in a face-paced and ever-changing world.

Sometimes you need to find a new way to tell a story and a different method of communicating to make people see the subject anew’  – Miriam Quick – data journalist, author and musician

‘Make people feel safe so they can fully express themselves and create psychologically safe environments where we can have conversations that may be difficult’  – Emily Horton – journalist, public relations expert and founder of More Diverse Voices

Productive disruption is a deliberate act of challenging established norms, breaking away from traditional patterns and embracing change in a way that generates more positive outcomes‘ – Muyiwa Oki – architect and RIBA President-elect.

‘When you listen and receive, it’s easier to hear and connect’ – Kristin Birkeland – teacher, social entrepeneur, activist and artist

Click below to watch a recording of the event.

Women in City Making 

7th March 2023

The first of our 2023 programme of free virtual events, ‘Women in City Making’ explored issues of gender equity, diversity and inclusion in the built environment sector.

The event formed part of EQN’s work on DivAirCity, an EU funded project which spans across 5 European cities; Aarhus (Denmark), Bucharest (Romania), Castellón (Spain), Orvieto (Italy) and Potsdam (Germany). We were delighted to welcome delegates, both men and women, from 19 different countries across the globe.

We will hold an event every 3 months for the duration of the project which will act as a catalyst to expand our network into these cities, hopefully leaving a legacy and a drive for lasting change long after the project finishes. 

Chaired by EQN’s founder Caroline Cole, the 90-minute-long event brought together a panel of leading experts from the industry to discuss a variety of topics and case studies including sustainability, safe spaces for young girls and urban development as well as others. This was followed by a thought provoking Q&A session.

The panel included Peter Murray (New London Architecture), Mina Hasman (Skidmore, Owings and Merrill), Susannah Walker (Make Space for Girls), Chris Williamson (Weston Williamson and Partners) and Lily Lin (Mark).

Click below to watch a recording of the event.

Women in City Making 

5th July 2022

Our first in-person networking event since the pandemic gave insight into the DivAirCity project as a catalyst to discussing diverse city governance, celebrating and show-casing ‘The Influence of Women in City Making’. The event included a facilitated conversation chaired by Caroline Cole (Colander Associates) and led by a panel including Selina Mason (Director of Masterplanning, Lendlease), Sasha Krstanovic (Founder, Mstep), Lili Matson (TFL), Martyn Evans (U&I). 

Click here to listen to a recording of the event

Valuing Balance

24 February 2022

This online event focused on how climate change impacts the most vulnerable, and that women and children can be particularly affected. We discussed the empowerment of those who are most affected versus those who are delivering the solutions.

Our keynote speaker was Professor Jo da Silva DBE, Global Director of Sustainable Development at Arup. She was joined by a fantastic panel comprising: Dawn Bonfield MBE, Founder and Director of Towards Vision, Jeremy Millard, who runs his own non-profit consultancy, Third Millennium Governance and Magali Thomson, architect and project Lead for Placemaking at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Click below to watch a recording of the event.

Autumn Event – Round Table Discussion

28th November 2019

This event, hosted by Arup, focused on how successfully our members have managed to deliver our aims. Members were asked to come prepared to share their stories, loosely based on the Equilibrium Charter, in order to define and share the triggers for success.

We will be collating the findings from the event and will be circulating to all Equilibrium Network members.

Breaking Boundaries Through Diversity and Inclusion

18th June 2019

As part of the 2019 London Festival of Architecture, we are teaming up with Real Estate Balance and Foster + Partners to deliver a seminar that will look at the built environment and real estate sectors, with a focus on gender imbalance at senior levels.  For further information please go to the LFA website.

Making Gender Diversity Count

June 2018

This event explored identity and the challenges women (and men) face especially in leadership positions within the built environment.  It considered the benefits to businesses, to leadership teams and to individuals when they succeed.
We were privileged to have Professor Sucheta Nadkarni of the Judge Institute as our keynote speaker; our other panelists were Gerry Hughes, CEO of GVA and Andrea Callender, Director for EDI at Arup.
This event was sponsored and hosted by Arup and was part of the London Festival of Architecture

Annual Event for Members

Our second annual event took place in November 2017, again with an invited audience of around 60 people.  Lucy Homer from Lendlease gave the keynote address.

At this event, we reviewed the findings of our research into gender diversity within organisations working in the built environment and launched The Equilibrium Network Charter: a check list for best practice.

We also ran a series of VoxPop questions: a light-hearted exercise but the results make interesting reading .  Most importantly for us, everyone who voted said that they would like to take part in the pilot scheme for The Equilibrium Network Charter.  If you too would be interested do take a look here.

Our first event was held in November 2016 with an invited audience of around 60 people. At this event it was agreed that there was sufficient interest for us to develop The Equilibrium Network as a formal organisation.

Female Speakers for Industry Events

Many conference organisers across the built environment sectors aim to achieve 50:50 women and men on their speaker lists and panel discussions. However, we are aware that it is often difficult for conference organisers to find female speakers.  We would encourage women in our network to register with Women Talk Real Estate, an organisation that offers female speakers to a wide range of conference and panel organisers across the built environment.

Round Table Discussions

In the summer of 2017 we instigated a number of Round Table discussions with a wide audience working across the built environment, to review and discuss the first draft of The Equilibrium Network Charter.  Comments and suggestions from these Round Tables have informed the published Charter.

We will be setting up Round Table discussions on other topics – in particular the implementation of The Equilibrium Network Charter – in the coming months, bringing together Boards and senior players across the industry, to share stories and best practice. If you would be interested in taking part, please contact us.

Occasional Debates and Lectures

Information about debates and lectures will be posted here.

Strategic Advice to Boards and Individual Board Members

We are a group of experienced, senior people, working across all aspects of the built environment. Between us, we have a wealth of expertise and experience.  If your organisation would like to tap into this knowledge, please contact us.

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