[This story appears as it was originally published on our sister site Builder.]
Here, for you, are our Hive 50 honorees for 2019. "The what" of our Hive 50 is this. They're the story of innovation's essential and active role in solving housing's three principle crises--affordability, sustainability, and regenerative-ability. They're case studies, not of talk and not of theory, but of action. Together, across Hive's five core pillar areas of building technology, capital flow, design and architecture, customer-intelligence, and business model strategy, they represent a very real-world confluence toward whole, holistic solutions, not just problems in isolation.
We have coined for each of our honorees a name, a title that characterizes at least in part, not only what that team, or project, or product, or firm does, but why it does it and who it serves. Have a look at each, and what is more, register for Hive now to salute them in person.
You can select which innovators you feel matter the most in 2019 by clicking here.
Now consider this. The more frequent and more intense and more deeply harmful and more apocalyptic the events of nature, of technology's evil genies, of financial Armageddon, of human and non-human doings, the more we talk of resiliency.
Resiliency weathers risk, existential threat, convulsions and stresses. It allows for continuation of the essence of people, of community, of business and commerce, of manufacturing workflows, and of natural processes. Resiliency's power is not merely to withstand the elements, not only to sustain delicate balances and ensure survival, but to restore, to heal, to further strengthen viability and prosperity amidst the harshest realities as well as the fairest, most favoring conditions.
Housing, as we know it, is a business, a skill, a portfolio of assets, an ecosystem of resources that lives in the real world, the real economy, the world of goods and services we see with our eyes, touch with our hands, and feel the conspicuous absence or presence of in our pocketbooks. Housing mostly works in human scale and scalability--not the "blitzscale" that we've seen disrupt taxis, or short-term rentals, or retail businesses. There's theoretical talk about housing "disruption" aplenty, but today we clearly dwell in and with the gap that separates real economy livelihoods and their households from the real economy property development and construction models whose intent, once, was to serve real economy workers
But no longer does.
Housing, its talent, its leadership, its investors, its stakeholders, its producers, its labor force, and the entirety of its $1 trillion in annual activity in asset exchange, is in the throes of involuntary change. Think about it. It's a trillion-dollar-a-year economy, where for every $1 billion in activity it takes no fewer than 1,000 self-interested stakeholders to play a key, critical path role in workflows, processes, start-to-completion value chains, etc.
As builders, architects, developers, manufacturers, distributors, materials suppliers, investors, and other partners, we look through the lens to tomorrow and we, most of us, see a Solomon's choice to make. It's binary.
We work either for affordability, attainability, increased access for people to decent, healthy, supportive housing.
Or, we work to mitigate the contributive forces and factors that emit carbon, produce greenhouse gases, and accelerate the overheating, sea-level-rising, wild-fire raging, natural hazard mine-field they're bringing closer and closer to an endgame.
It seems like a binary choice. One or the other. And then, being human, we take sides, self-identify with one side or another, and cast aspersions or worse at people who disagres with our position.
Something's come up recently in this light that should command our focus and attention. The Federal Reserve--which since 1977 has asserted a dual mission to ensure stability in both employment and inflation--has begun to talk of a third core mission.
Wall Street Journal staffer Michael S. Derby writes:
A top New York Fed official put a price tag on climate- and weather-related events and said financial firms need to take seriously the danger of climate change in their risk-management decisions.
“The U.S. economy has experienced more than $500 billion in direct losses over the last five years due to climate and weather-related events,” said Kevin Stiroh, an executive vice president at the New York Fed responsible for regulating banks. “Climate change has significant consequences for the U.S. economy and financial sector through slowing productivity growth, asset revaluations and sectoral reallocations of business activity,” he said.
At the same time, the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, under the leadership of president and CEO, Mary C. Daly, hosted "The Economics of Climate Change Conference," last week, with this stern warning and statement of purpose:
Climate change is an economic issue we can’t afford to ignore.
This isn’t just a concern for the Twelfth District. Or even the United States. Countries around the world are dealing with the economic impacts of climate change. And conferences like this are essential to understanding the challenges that lie ahead – for all of us.
Ultimately, this is our job. The San Francisco Fed is a public service organization. We’re responsible for the people and the communities we serve. So we have to get out in front of this issue and do what we do best.
We celebrate our Hive 50 as real-world initiatives whose stories illuminate, and radiate a how-to when it comes to this ratio of being and becoming, of fitness function, of a future that belongs to our children, their children. And we're borrowing from them in what we do, and what we spend, and what we invest in in the present.
Come, join us, let's take our hats off to the Hive 50 for 2019 in Austin, Dec. 4-5. They'll be there, in force, in the very real-world, and the real economy, and the real deal of real estate at the nexus of what is and what can be. Register here now.