The Campus of the Future is being opened in 2018 in...
At Unispace, we’re in the business of enabling...
With studios in Milan, Rome, Madrid and Barcelona, our teams have grown exponentially over the years; we spoke to Nicholas to find out more about his vast experience in the industry and his vision for the future at Unispace.
Q: What attracted you to the role and working with Unispace?
A: I first met Unispace in 2014 when we were competing against each other on a project in Australia. Since then, Unispace has established a global network of studios that offers the ideal combination between local expertise and global scale. The role of leading the Italy and Spain studios is an opportunity to make an impact in commercial real estate in a challenging market context and help local businesses re position themselves for the next normal as we re imagine the future of workplace.
Q: Is there something in particular that excites you about Unispace's future direction?
A: Unispace is in a unique position to impact millions of people and reshape built environments through agile and practical solutions. I’m excited about the talent in the business and the reliability of our execution, which offers a great launchpad for future initiatives.
Q: Tell us, what are you most looking forward to once you get your feet under the desk?
A: Spending time with our teams, our customers and our suppliers to develop innovative solutions that can drive shared value and help businesses navigate the current context.
Q: What are your main priorities to driving success?
A: Firstly, understanding and listening to the market – from both an owner and occupier perspective. I'm passionate about enabling the talent in teams to pursue their passions and push the boundaries of typical project outcomes, as well as leveraging data insights to improve operational efficiency and enhance our already strong delivery methodology. I will also be looking to facilitate studio impact from an ESG perspective and build global connectivity to gradually shift from a network to a platform.
Q: There's always a lot of buzz around the future of work. What are your thoughts on the topic?
A: I think there's an excess of information and speculation around this. The future of workplace depends on many different factors such as the industry segment we’re considering, the geography, the level of urban mobility, the financial models behind commercial real estate, the type of community, local policies and many more. My thoughts are that there will be several futures of workplace and there will be different combinations of physical and digital solutions to support these. We can already start working on these solutions today with a focus on the notion of fluidity as both owners and occupiers are in need of more dynamic solutions. Decentralisation is also a very relevant topic that concerns the future of workplace, but also a broader conversation around human lifestyle.
Q: Tell us more about your expertise and experience.
A: Leading WeWork’s Enterprise Services department across APAC and EMEA was a once in a lifetime experience. It taught me how to look at owners and occupiers holistically at a very large scale, whilst still maintaining a focus on product details and local operations. Moreover, I’m looking forward to sharing my philanthropic experiences from running an NGO that builds schools for remote communities. There are real opportunities to foster ESG in the workplace and as real estate professionals we have a duty to create environments that give back from a socio-environmental perspective.
Q: Do you have any career-defining moments or highlights to share?
A: In July 2017 as a team of entrepreneurs, we went to Nicaragua and built a bamboo school near the Chacocente Wild Refuge. I thought I was going to teach a village about architecture and ecology, but I came back learning about community.
Q: How would you describe your leadership style and ways of working?
A: My leadership style is grounded and passionate. My main focus is ensuring alignment between business objectives and employee career objectives. If everyone in the team is “doing what they love”, then everyone will succeed.
Q: And lastly, we'd love to know unusual fact about yourself.
A: My mother is African-American and my father is Italian-German. I truly consider myself a citizen of the world and have spent most of my life traveling and exploring different cultures. My Nigerian name is “Asika”, which in the Igbo dialect means “together we are great”.
We're excited to have Nicholas' progressive way of thinking shape our future for Italy and Spain. To meet more of our Europe leadership team members, head over to our Team pages and get to know us!