A letter from ULI Global Chairman Thomas W. Toomey
I am very pleased to present ULI’s annual report for Fiscal Year 2018 – a pivotal year defined by the approval of a new four-year Global Strategic Plan that brings a heightened emphasis on member engagement, knowledge sharing and impact. Among the highlights:
– A rise in membership to more than 42,000, the highest level since the Recession, including double-digit growth in both Europe and Asia.
– The launch of a Global Partnerships Program to help expand ULI’s influence and advance the Institute’s mission around the world.
– An expansion of our Product Council network to 63 Councils in the Americas, including nine new ones added over the past fiscal year. In Europe, seven Product Councils have been established, and in Asia Pacific, the first Product Council is now in place.
– Participation by 6,000 high school and undergraduate students and 340 public officials in Urban Plan globally during the 2017-2018 academic year.
– The completion of 17 Advisory Service Panels and 43 Technical Assistance Panels, further expanding ULI’s role as a solution maker for communities.
– Advancements in a technology platform that encourages member engagement — Navigator, which connects members to volunteer opportunities; Knowledge Finder, which connects members to member-generated content; and the Member Directory, which connects members around the globe to each other.
These achievements reflect our Global Strategic Plan, which is based entirely on feedback from members on how to keep ULI improving and evolving for the future. The plan focuses on delivering greater member value through investments to improve member connections and involvement with ULI; strengthening and broadening ULI’s member networks; and, most important, encouraging more philanthropic giving to expand ULI’s reach.
A special thank you is owed to immediate past Americas Chairman Patricia R. “Trish” Healy, immediate past Asia Pacific Chairman Ngee Huat Seek, and immediate past Europe Chairman Jon Zehner for working tirelessly with the leadership in each of the regions to ensure that the plan reflects the needs and desires of members in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. Their work laid the foundation for the plan’s implementation, which is being thoughtfully guided by our Global Chief Executive Officer Ed Walter, who joined us in June 2018.
By enhancing our connectivity, with the goal of increasing our impact, we intend to make ULI even more relevant and responsive to members at different stages of their careers and in different markets around the globe. Key to the plan’s success is a commitment to member investments, including:
– An investment in human infrastructure, to enhance the resources supporting and connecting ULI’s unique member networks, including District and National Councils, Product Councils and Content Centers.
– An investment in technology to support enhancements to and the expansion of the member engagement offerings.
– And, ongoing investments in ULI’s Key Leader program to better connect the Institute’s most engaged members to mission-impact opportunities, mentoring and membership development programs, and member network participation.
Equally important is the plan’s emphasis on reinforcing a culture of philanthropic support to sustain ULI’s mission and encourage members to give back. The success we achieve in creating better communities relies on the willingness of our members to give their time, talent and treasure to ULI. With the strong philanthropic support envisioned by our Global Strategic Plan, our ULI Foundation – chaired by longtime leader Doug Abbey — will position ULI to lead the future of urban development around the world, not just for the years ahead, but for decades to come.
This annual report is a testament to the commitment of our members to make a difference. It shows the many ways our members effect positive change in communities around the world, such as advising on urban development challenges, helping students understand the opportunities presented by design and development, informing research that identifies industry trends; and sharing expertise for the benefit of other members. I hope that these fine examples of member engagement, knowledge sharing, and impact will inspire you to get more involved, to participate, and give back to ULI. With your support, we can add to ULI’s legacy of leadership in responsible land use.
Thomas W. Toomey
ULI Global Chairman