BIM gets its TED lecture moment

Dr Marzia Bolpagni, head of BIM international and associate director at Mace, has delivered a TEDx lecture focused on BIM and data ethics.

Bolpagni presented at the TEDx event in Brescia, northern Italy. TEDx is an offshoot of the TED brand that provides a platform for influencers to present in their locale. Brescia is Dr Bolpagni’s home town.

In the 15-minute presentation to a lay audience, Dr Bolpagni highlighted the beneficial impact data can have not only for the industry, but also for end-users of the built environment. However, she reinforced the need for data to be used ethically.

She told the audience: “We want to digitise construction, but only if that happens in an ethical way, only if technology and data is used to help us make informed decisions about the quality of the environments we live in, the security of our children’s schools, the bridges we want to cross, not to be sold to someone who has an interest in selling us a product or an ideology.

“We support initiatives for the digitisation of maintenance and risk plans of infrastructure, but we demand that this data be used ethically.

“We want to build not only with bricks and building materials, but also with data.”

Important stage

Speaking to BIMplus, Dr Bolpagni explained: “The challenge of TEDx is to share ideas that can motivate people to action independently from their background.

“I believe this was one of the most important stages I have spoken at, because if we want to make a change in construction, we need a wider awareness of the role our sector has in fighting climate change, and how data is key to making timely, informed decisions if used in an ethical way.”

Her presentation was warmly received. Indeed she revealed: “The reaction was very positive. After the talk, several attendees told me it was eye-opening as they never thought of construction in that way. They liked the way I explained complex topics in an easy way with real examples.

“Now that the video is published by TEDx, I have also received further positive feedback mainly from professionals who found the narrative very engaging and they were inspired on how to speak to clients, colleagues and end-users who are still skeptical of the power of technology and ethics in construction.”

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