Live Blogging from the ULI Real Estate Forecast

by francine Hardaway on January 16, 2008

I have no obvious reason to be here today, at the ULI 2008 Commercial Real Estate Forecast. That is, I no longer own the PR firm that marketed all these projects, as I did twenty years ago. But I’m still and investor and an observer, and this is a room full of 1000 old friends.  Besides, a futurist is going to speak at lunch, and I’m a futurist myself.

Some observations before the program begins: the City of Phoenix has built a big new convention center with a large ballroom without a wireless network or easily available power supply for laptops. Since this building is not even complete yet, technological obsolescence can’t be the reason.

Next, I see from the program that there is NO diversity in this industry. In an entire day of panels and speakers, I saw two women (one of them in PR) listed as speakers, and no people "of color."

At technology conferences, it isn’t like this. Women in technology always rail against the small number of women in the field,  but trust  me, technology conferences look like elementary school teachers’ lounges compared to this room.

Because the real estate market is so scary right now, I am really curious to see what these folks will have to say.

What’s happening now? What are we doing about it? is the theme of the conference. Real estate people are notorious optimists, so let’s see…

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