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The ‘Three Horizons Framework for Innovation’: Understanding Current and Future Technologies

By Peter Kray posted 07-27-2022 02:16 PM

Hugh Seaton, General Manager of Crosswalk®, a software-based tool that makes CSI standards available in project delivery tools across the building lifecycle, will host a panel discussion at the CSI National Conference 2022 in Denver on October 14, titled, “The Three Horizons Framework for Innovation: Understanding Current and Future Technologies.”

Panelists will include Rose Hall, Vice President, Head of Construction Innovation for AXA XL North America Construction, Dr. Tessa Lau, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dusty Robotics, and Adam Bridgman, Co-Founder and General Partner at Ironspring Ventures, a leading AEC and Industrial sector venture capital firm.

Seaton will use the “three horizons” technology framework to guide a discussion in which the panel of tech experts will share how this can help attendees understand, assess, and adopt innovative technological tools in their jobs. The session is designed to help you shift from overwhelmed to excited and equip you with a practical framework for assessing and adopting technology in your work.

Here, Hugh discusses why he’s looking forward to sharing the stage with such innovative professionals and why this is such a timely topic for the architecture, construction, engineering, and owner (AECO) industry.


Why are you looking forward to Adam, Rose, and Tessa on the stage together, and what do you think they can share about how the AECO community implements new technology?

We purposely invited a diverse group of panelists because they represent different views of construction technology. Specifically, Rose has built a unique capability at AXA XL to assess current products and their ability to reduce project risk right now.

Tessa, as a world class roboticist and CEO of Dusty Robotics, is building a system that is gaining traction but is a little more future-focused than the technologies AXA XL focuses on.

Finally, as a leading construction and Proptech Venture Capitalist, Adam’s role is to place bets on where this is all going in five-plus years.

So across the three, we have present, near future, and further out perspectives. 

You say there are "three horizons" in the introduction of new technology. What are those horizons, and how do they impact how new technology is used?

McKinsey & Company published an article in 2009, Three Horizons of Growth, that is the inspiration for this panel. The idea that you have technologies that are useful now, within two to three years, and beyond.

What is the risk—and reward—of being an early adopter of new technology?

This is a huge question and not one you can answer generically.

People do not adopt “technologies,” they adopt products that utilize a technology, and that makes all the difference. If the company selling a product actively seeks to reduce risk and amplify reward, the equation is different. The adoption process, the degree of post-adoption support and training, and the overall degree of adoption contribute to the specific risk/reward of a given product. 

Different products have different risks and rewards. An example from specifying is the reluctance among some specifiers to use data-driven tools for specifications.  Many are used to word-based tools, and they fear they will miss something or create project risk with newer tools, as these new tools provide different methods for checking their work that might feel like they create risk without enough of a reward.

Why is this such a timely topic for the CSI Conference?

The AECO value chain has been digitizing and adopting technology for about a decade. These new technologies are going to continue to grow and be important to the work of our members.

After the past two years of the pandemic lockdown, why are you personally looking forward to the opportunity to meet with other AECO professionals and share new ideas?

There is nothing like meeting people in person. The richness of conversation and interaction is something we’ve all missed. In each event I’ve gone to over the past six months, this is the number one reaction of almost everyone—that it’s really great to be back together again. 

Register to Attend CSI National Conference 2022.