At our Living Tomorrow Innovation campus, visitors are immersed in the world of tomorrow. The "Building of the Future" at the heart of the campus provides insights into smart homes, smart cities, and other cutting-edge topics, and also offers a special environment for business meetings of all kinds. As a pioneer of innovation in the construction industry, Xella is an official partner of the Innovation Campus. Peter Lesage, Digital enterprise software architect BIM at Xella Belgium and part of the Living Tomorrow project tells us more about the partnership.

What does it mean to be a part of the future Living Tomorrow innovation campus?

"Living Tomorrow is an initiative with big international exposure, also due to the presence of TomorrowLab, a team of strategy & innovation consultants specialised in ‘foresight-based innovation with an outside-in perspective’. They guide leading companies to form a vision of future innovations in an ever faster-changing world.

A former campus of Living Tomorrow was opened by Bill Gates of Microsoft and currently, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, former European president is the President Of Living Tomorrow and TomorrowLab. The management of Living Tomorrow has a broad network amongst others in Silicon Valley.

The paradigm shift you practice when listening to key players of other industries makes you reflect your own pursuit business model.

What is the main profit of the engagement at Living Tomorrow for Xella?

Being a part of this community gives us the opportunity to follow up and work on the latest trends and innovations and lets us broaden our own visions and experiences with leading companies outside our own field of business. This will lead in the end to a more mature view of how new technology trends can be integrated into our future services to our customers.

On top of that, as partners, we are able to use the facilities of the site to invite customers, partners, and international colleagues for workshops, meetings, or a visit to the experience center where one gets bathed into the world of 2030 in the area of future cities, future construction, living, working, etc. In other words, get an outlook on the world in 2030 and the impact on our lives and business.

Will Xella continue to realize further construction projects on the Living Tomorrow Campus in the future?

Xella is as a partner one of the leading building material suppliers for Living Tomorrow. Our building solutions have always been chosen as we have the reputation to be at the high end of product innovation, as its properties serve the standards that are set for tomorrow. This makes us a key player in the construction of a building that represents the future. As Xella keeps investing in product research and innovation, we are confident that we will keep playing this role in the future. But for now, there are no new construction sites planned on the Campus.

What did you learn by working together with Living Tomorrow?

Working together with the partners of Living Tomorrow has opened my eyes again that we must keep a close watch on the day after tomorrow, as the futurist Peter Hinssen of Nexxworks describes it. Sometimes we are too stuck in the business successes of today that we forget that future trends, if not adopted by our business, can be a big threat to our current revenue streams.

Only by being a part of these trends in the early phase of existence, gives us the time to adopt, experiment, learn, and transform some of our services to be, in the end, future-proof as a company. On top, I strongly believe that true innovation doesn’t come by only talking to people within our own company or business circle. The paradigm shift you practice when listening to key players of other industries makes you reflect on your own pursuit business model. From that position, we can create a vision of how we as Xella will need to evolve towards these new trends that are set by the future international disruptions of the market.

In other words, by searching for patterns in the current chaos you can keep a close eye on the world outside, and by sparring with our customers, future partners, and other industries, you can pick up the skills and mindsets to be prepared to take in the new rapid changes and digital disruptions. Since the present disruptions are so different from past trends, we cannot use this experience and knowledge to make a statement about the future of construction.

Will there be (further) cross-projects?

The innovation campus of Living Tomorrow is going to be an international meeting spot for Xella that will fund a climate of building up relations. From these ties, nice new initiatives can be started, and new ideas can be founded and tested in a trusted environment, which will give them more chances to become projects and later maybe long-lasting partnerships.

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