Maximise your potential! – ULI Young Leader, Michael Pieser, shines a spotlight on Paris 2012

What a year it has been.  It’s hard to believe that the ULI Annual European conference was almost a year ago.  I have been working in Ireland since 2007, and if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that our industry still has a few certainties. Building relationships and learning from one another have always been crucial to our success, and with the unpredictable future of Europe’s economy, they become even more so.

The Young Leader forum was a true highlight of my 2011 European conference.  For the first time since joining the industry, I was interacting with young professionals representing more than 20 different countries.  Complementing the main conference, the Young Leader forum provides an intimate setting to share thoughts and ideas.  It is only through these conversations that we begin to see the larger implications and characteristics of the property world.  For me personally, these conversations provided a better understanding of how decisions made in isolation can impact a region.

Those who attended the forum last year might recall the minor bus collision, or the stuck elevator during the site tour.  While I wasn’t in the elevator myself, I imagine that those privileged few will have plenty to laugh about and recall over the years. I was lucky to be voted as team representative during the interactive case study on Athens. On my team were three Dutch and two Italians – a fascinating blend of cultures and opinions. Unfortunately, my pitch fell short, but my team-mates treated me like a champion anyway and the experience became nothing but a positive one.

Like last year, the 2012 Young Leader Forum will include a site visit (Beaugranelle Shopping Centre) followed by a number of in-depth sessions.  One of the most valuable aspects of the ULI is its focus on current trends impacting the industry. In fact, the ULI has invited more than fifteen industry leaders to present on various topics.  One panel will look at new opportunities, such as distressed debt, to consider in a changing market. Another session will feature top executives sharing their thoughts on how we, as Young Leaders, can maximize our potential while building our future in the industry.

I’m excited to see what else this year’s conference will bring, and look forward to seeing you in Paris!