Real Estate Under Shock
Louise Guay, Director General
Montreal Living Lab
Policies, Processes and Practices for Performance of Innovation Ecosystems (P4IE) Conference
May 12th, 2021
Real Estate Under Shock
Airbnb created quite a shock in the residential real estate. Owning no space and still one of the most valuated group in the market, it has a spectacular capitalization. With its platform, it generated new values, captured it and expanded it. Airbnb gives new meaning to the sharing econom. However, it does not share the rewards, only the resources. It creates a colossal inequity and destabilizes neighbourhoods, communities, etc.
The same tsunami is happening in the commercial real estate. With the Pandemic, the downtown buildings emptied and there is a huge uncertainty about the future. If a similar platformization of the supply chain happens in the commercial real estate, as it happened in the residential one, we will see the same abyssal inequities rising in its path.
For this innovation ecosystem to flourish, we need to explore new revenue models, new economic ideology inspired by our Québec cooperative culture.
YT video: Public Media Art #1 "WAVE" Full ver.
The World as an Innovation Ecosystem
These two famous young women are neither muses nor models. They are artists, doers, and activists.
Amanda Gorman, poetess and performer, masters language and culture. Greta Thunberg, militant, regroups people around science and nature. Both defend democracy and the living world. They operate innovation ecosystems at a world level.
They understood how much more clever we are collectively, compared to any high-level expert group. We need the participation of everyone to meet the current challenges. For innovation ecosystem organization stakeholders, measuring performance of the world innovation ecosystems accurately is to excel in collective intelligence mobilization. Amanda and Greta interact with people’s collective intelligence through social media, digital platforms and world events.
They rely on collective intelligence. They suppress dissension frontiers, reaching every human being at a very large scale.
They give to sharing economy its true meaning and value. Thomas Piketty, who prefers to introduce himself as a social science researcher rather than an economist, proposes a socialization of capitalism, like in Sweden and the Nordics. Learning to share.
From Start-up to Non-profit
Montreal Living Lab, a non-profit team, comes out from the start-up culture and serial entrepreneurship. In the e-commerce market, we developed My Virtual Model to help users to shop with their 3D avatar and to try on before buying. Our work was noticed by experts in smart customization from MIT Media Lab, and we started collaborating with them.
In 2010, we were ready to transition from UX (user experience) to the citizen experience in the new resilient city. Montreal Living Lab helped Montreal to develop a more sustainable mobility environment with projects like a social platform complementing the city’s bike sharing system, and a coworking space network ranging from Montréal to Sherbrooke. We collaborated with Magog Technopole and Michelin Movin’On. Back then, organizations were still unsure about teleworking and flexwork, users working from home, in a third place near home and in the city. This is the true sustainable mobility model.
Since 2019, we are collaborating with our MIT Media Lab Finnish partner, Spacent, which has developed a platform and an application to distribute flexwork throughout a network of participating workspaces.
Spacent is enabling the commercial real estate platformization. Employers can share space inventories with their peers. Employees can choose with flexibility and agility where, when, and how they work. Collective intelligence is happening. Spacent operates in Helsinki, Stockholm, Shanghai, Toronto, and soon in Montréal.
Universities, hotels, work centers, and coworking spaces host the employees for the employers. This is the network effect. These are new use of spaces, energy and mobility
Real Estate Platformization
Ivanhoé Cambridge understood the big shift and how e-commerce and teleworking are disrupting the commercial real estate. They are investing in PropTech powerhouse Fifth Wall, and are transforming their portfolio. The new executive team is audacious and embraces change. Financial results are spectacular. They were preparing the change way before the Pandemic.
Is it possible to become the social and responsible Airbnb of the commercial real estate?
Real Estate Socialization
The commercial real estate can be transformed into the digital platform of the territorial cooperation.
Through the social and collaborative entrepreneurship, the highly competitive market of digital platforms could switch towards true digital commons.
A Platform of Commons: We need to decelerate capitalization and align ourselves with users and territories needs.
The bias against social economy are cultural, economic, coming from the engineering world. We have to take economic alternatives very seriously.
Platforms are the digital infrastructure of territorial cooperation, of coordinated strategies, shared risk and insured funds.
Citizen and sovereignty of people and data
Need to finance and exploit digital and social entrepreneurship in the general interest.
Experiment with various revenue models to protect and use data for the social good.
Create a common narrative around a strong identity network, ideas and project.
Support research dynamic around cooperative platforms.
Develop alliances with partner transitioning into ecology and solidarity.
Create cooperative platform incubators, observatories to grasp the territorial impact of cooperatism.
Preserve economic, social and democratic balances, ex.: Desjardins.
Image credit: Converting a Parking Garage Roof Into a “People Deck” in San Jose