Interview with James Dearsley, Member Advisory Board at workcloud24
1. What is the significance of ESG for you personally?
I could talk about statistics, which we’ve probably all seen before, and what they mean for society. Given the seriousness of the data, it can of course be used as motivation, but it is about more than just numbers.
ESG is the ultimate driver for change. ESG stands for the values of a company and serves as a basis for managers to initiate the necessary “change of culture” that is required to show employees and stakeholders the way forward.
Before this there was an inertia for change. A resistance to take risks and upset the status quo.
I was a pioneer in the PropTech sector for a long time. But after more than a decade, the industry has hardly developed at all. All the conferences I have attended, all the speeches, panel discussions and fireside chats have not moved the industry forward. PropTech was a “nice to have” and was never really a reason in itself to take a risk and change “business as usual”. The managers were not prepared to risk their professional and personal reputations for a technology that had not yet proven itself and whose benefits were barely recognizable.
The sustainability development goals are a driving force for the introduction of technologies in the industry. ESG is the driving force of change and PropTech is the engine. This is both a carrot and a stick to drive change in the industry, as it gives executives and the various stakeholders and shareholders the justification that they cannot stay with “business as usual”. You have to take the risk.
Companies now have a reason to change. This is why ESG is so important. You are a protagonist for the transformation of companies and leadership. As a global speaker and consultant on innovative leadership and organizational change, I am able to help companies and leadership teams understand how they should structure the next business for ultimate success.
2. What is particularly important to you in your role as a member of the advisory board?
I consider myself very fortunate to have been asked to be a member of the Advisory Board. I want to share all the global market insights I have gained so far to help companies that can make a difference to do just that.
Only through the collective wisdom of others can we all be successful. Being close to a company like workcloud24 is also part of my own further training. I will learn from them, and I hope that I can pass on my knowledge in return.
3. You are an entrepreneur yourself – what drives you, in particular, every day?
I was one of the first to get involved in the PropTech market. Even back then, I was interested in supporting the development of the industry. I wanted to help the real estate market realize that technology is a force for good.
PropTech, I soon realized, was not the change. It was a symptom of change. In reality, it was about a much broader topic: digital transformation. This consists of many components, of which the technology is only a small part. Aspects of culture, leadership and strategy are much larger and more important aspects.
My goal is to support the global industry and its employees on their digital transformation journey. That means more conferences (I’m already booked to speak at or moderate over 10 conferences in 2024) and writing (I have a book coming out next year looking at innovation in the built environment), not to mention lots of discussions with key industry leaders and officials about how the industry needs to evolve.
ESG is the driving force for change!James Dearsley, workcloud24