A Year of Listening to Our Members
A Letter from ULI Leadership
We are pleased to share ULI’s Annual Report for fiscal year 2017—a year of great progress and great transformation for ULI. As the Institute’s membership continued to grow—surpassing 40,000 members—ULI’s leadership focused on reinforcing ULI as a member-driven organization committed to delivering high value through knowledge sharing and connecting.
Our efforts to boost member engagement, open up the organization, and make it more transparent were fully realized, strengthening ULI’s brand as the world’s leading voice on land use and urban development. The changes we have implemented are a recognition of the talent, time, and treasure our members invest in ULI, as well as the trust members place in ULI to be a good steward of their investments.
FY 2017’s many achievements were based in large part on listening—listening to our members and adjusting the organization’s offerings based on their feedback. We conducted surveys and focus groups to find out what members want, need, and expect from ULI—establishing a listening process that will continue to be an integral part of guiding the Institute’s work going forward.
We brought together the leaders of ULI’s most powerful networks—Product Councils and District Councils—to share ideas on future research and activities. We started evaluating how to fully engage our corporate members, who are so influential and effective in advancing ULI’s mission. And we began collecting member input on how to further articulate ULI’s brand around the globe.
The feedback from each listening exercise points to one overarching conclusion: members want to do more with ULI. They want to be involved because they associate ULI with best practices, high quality, and shared expertise. In FY 2017, we acted on this by making several investments in our members:
Ten new product councils were created, opening up 500 more product council seats;
A Key Leaders program was established to recognize and leverage the expertise of our governing trustees, trustees, and ULI Foundation governors; and
Online member tools were developed to strengthen member engagement—Navigator, which connects member interests with volunteer opportunities, and a redesigned Member Directory, with options for personalization such as interests, skills, and education. We also started development of a new Knowledge Finder, which will be available in 2018, to provide easy access to ULI information such as Advisory Services and technical advisory panel reports, and product council agendas and district council events.
All of this made for a very busy time as we stepped up member engagement throughout the year. This Annual Report is a testament to the positive impact—on both ULI and our communities—that results from stronger member participation and leadership. FY 2017 marked the start of a new era of self-improvement and growth that will help ULI continue to attract the best and brightest for generations to come. We will continue this progress by always bearing in mind that ULI is its members.
Thomas W. Toomey
ULI Global Chairman, FY 2018–2019
Randall K. Rowe
ULI Global Chairman, FY 2016–2017
Patrick L. Phillips
ULI Global Chief Executive Officer