Delivering Tomorrow Today: Future Society

Constructing Excellence

Our second panel at the Constructing Excellence Conference 2024, ‘Delivering Tomorrow Today’, focused on Future Society. The panellists explored the need for better communication with end users, improved collaboration across the industry and diversity and representation of different user groups within the industry to better meet the needs of the diverse society we live in.

We were fortunate to be joined by a range of industry professionals who shared their ideas on the theme. The session was Chaired by Eloise Francis and the panellists included Polly Wilkinson, Jenny McLoughlin, Dan Gerrella and Serena Williams.

Communication With End Users

Greater consideration of end users is crucial to delivering a better future for society – who are they? What do they need? What will they use the space for? How will they navigate the space?

We need to ask members of the communities that we provide for about their wants, needs and expectations. This will empower those individuals to contribute and make a difference, opening more effective communication channels between industry and society. This will enable us to support the end user to understand what they need, breaking down the more technical details to give them a fuller understanding of the different elements of the product and factoring their needs into the design process from an early date.

In engaging with the end user, we need to consider that it can be difficult for end users to provide the right information that we need to inform the build project. This miscommunication can lead to mistakes which we all must be held accountable for- providing something that works and benefits society, falls to us all.

“With a more curious approach to design and build and more critical thinking, we can build the communication to get the right answers”.    Jenny McLoughlin


For construction to best cater to diverse societal needs, we need to ensure we are recruiting a diverse range of individuals who reflect the communities we live in. This will enable relationships and trust to be built between industry and society and support us in delivering a built environment that meets the needs of all.

To do this, it’s imperative that we get the messaging right when trying to attract new talent into construction. Our communications must show industry in its best light to highlight why it is a good career path, the routes available and the structures in place to ensure people joining construction can thrive here. However, transparency is key. If we want to bring new people in, we need to show how diverse the industry already is or, if there’s an area for improvement, show how we’re tackling this to demonstrate that everyone is welcome in this industry. Creating a welcoming and psychologically safe environment will not only attract and benefit new people into the industry, but also benefit those already part of construction to better work together.

We have some way to go in raising the importance industry places upon diversity, as shown in our conference poll results:


Another consideration when attracting new talent is skills. It’s important for the industry to engage with education facilities to inform future skills, give the younger generation a better understanding of the possibilities within construction and support the delivery of a relevant curriculum. However, the need for new skills does not just apply to new talent but also those from other industries who could use their skill sets to transfer to a career in construction. Certain skills are in high demand across a range of industries meaning construction organisations are competing with more than just each other, circling back round to the need for effective communications around attracting new talent to the industry.

Through our conference polls, delegates indicated that while recruitment practices may not be the sole strategy for solving skills shortages, they are impactful and we need to be applying them more effectively to better recruit for the industry…


Constructing Excellence, in collaboration with our members LMC, are carrying out a survey on perceptions of people working in construction to look at how this information can be used to bring more people into the sector.  Please help us by filling it out!


To deliver a better future for the industry, it is vital that we collaborate. We should engage in thought leadership and share quick wins on how improvements can be delivered to enable everyone within construction to learn from each other and achieve better outcomes. We need to reduce stand alone projects and begin to standardise and share lessons learned to allow for repeatability and improvements to be provide value beyond a single product. We can already see the benefits of this collaborative approach on major projects, where big companies are required to work together and find new ways of doing things; innovation and collaboration takes place as a result.

We must make better use of the data we collect throughout projects. If we have data about the needs of society, how are we using it, how are we sharing it? There are already pockets of industry working together to deliver value, e.g Nima, but we need to do this more consistently to make it standard practice. Data should be transparent and purposeful to best establish how it can be used to deliver the greatest value. There are lots of data sources out there, we need to ensure the information from these sources is collated and shared to provide benefits to society as a whole not just an individual build project. The Building Safety Act offers an opportunity to unlock this through the Golden Thread , dictating the need to capture and share data and ensure it is made accessible for all involved.

Act Now to Deliver Future Societal Needs

There are so many different factors impacting our ability to deliver what society needs i.e. new technologies, climate change, skills shortages. We need to be factoring these in when we look at delivering for society to ensure our communities are ready for the future that they face. By acting now to employ practices that meet societal needs, now and in the future, we ensure a more positive outlook, not just for the industry but for the communities we live in.

Thanks to Our Sponsors


Read the outputs from our other conference panels here:

Future Climate

Future Major Projects

Future Delivery