‘Every city will have to design its own future journey’ – Q&A with Christina Haupt Toft

A quick Q&A with Christina Haupt Toft, Head of ConTech Lab, Molio

What is your most surprising prediction about cities and sustainability?

Christina Haupt Toft

It must be a reinvention of how and where we work and live. Disruptive technologies have the potential to transform the way cities currently operate and boost everything from the sharing economy, transition to a circular economy, pollution-free air to convenient access to affordable, healthy, and fresh food. But the most important thing for building sustainable cities must be the democratization of urban planning. How digital tools can make citizens influence how cities are shaped. For example by making citizens proposal easier through online events instead of consultations, and by using generative designs where the citizens can determine input and evaluation criteria. It will generate fresh ideas that urban planners may not consider, focusing on the needs and desires of the future consumers of the space and utilizing the energy and creativity of the public to inspire the planning process. I believe that every city will have to design its own future journey.

Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think about cities and technology?

There have been many but Ursula von der Leyens thoughts on a European Bauhaus 2.0 are exciting and promising. It is hopefully an environmental and economic project but also a new cultural project for a systemic change in Europe.

What 2-3 books / podcasts would you recommend?

1. Ursula von der Leyens “State of the European Union” – speech and further elaboration on the five pilot projects that will be “creative experimental labs” – The video |The words | The call to action: “Wir brauchen ein neues Europäisches Bauhaus“.

2. “The Digital Future of the Construction Industry” by CDTM that describes trends, scenarios, and ideation with both a technological, economic, social, environmental, business model and political angle

3. The Literature Review from the preliminary analysis of ConTech Lab launching soon. It sums up the latest international and Danish literature on barriers and potentials with the increased use of ConTech. Be sure to follow ConTech Lab on LinkedIn to get it when it drops.

Where’s the best place for new ideas?

Running in the woods.

Who inspires you?

I am easily inspired. By friends, family, colleagues, network, new acquaintances – people that are driven by purpose, talent, and speed.

What is your call to action?

I hope to see new collaboration models practiced, new ways of working in construction processes as well as new business models around collaboration and technology. All in all, a more productive industry with more sustainable construction – perhaps even a Danish construction industry that inspires the rest of the world.

What [career] advice would you give to your younger self?

Take chances. Six months ago I left my job as FVP in Nykredit to join Molio. I took a chance, but the risk was limited, as I can always go back and work in Finance. Knowing the difference between taking chances vs risk will make you take more chances.

What are the skills we’ll need in 10 years?

Creativity, inspirational leadership & ethics never goes out of fashion! However, the ability to translate technology into services that help people live better lives and at the same time take care of our planet is key in the future. Technology is the means to achieve the goal and not a goal in itself.

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Connect with Christina on LinkedIn

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