PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit assembles green and climate heroes to tackle sustainability

‘Spirit of Innovation’ theme will advance the conversation on sustainability, green technology, and the new economy post-pandemic at the global summit’s first virtual edition

  • Speakers include thought leaders from institutions and multinational brands such as the International Finance Corporation/World Bank, The Economist Intelligence Unit, JLL, Microsoft and IKEA
  • Virtual summit will reward game-changing tech via the presentation of the PropertyGuru Tech Innovation Award
  • Climate hero Illac Diaz to be named PropertyGuru Visionary of the Year for his work on Liter of Light Foundation around the world
  • Event continues to promote gender diversity with one-third of the expert roster comprising women and members of the LGBTQ+ community
  • ARES 2020 opens on Thursday, 3 December 2020 as part of ‘PropertyGuru Week’ featuring the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final

BANGKOK, Thailand — 16 November 2020

PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit, the tech and thought leadership platform of PropertyGuru, Southeast Asia’s leading property technology company, has announced its complete line-up of speakers for its first virtual edition, which will open on Thursday, 3 December 2020.

Continuing a tradition of gathering the real estate industry’s finest minds, top-level business leaders, and decision-makers, the PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit 2020: Virtual Edition (ARES 2020) will push an agenda underscoring the very timely topics of sustainability, green technology, and the ‘new economy’ in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The online event will be informed by themes of green building and technology, carbon-negative and carbon-neutral design trends, humanitarian tech, the future of urban living, and smart, healthy cities. Speakers include thought leaders from institutions and multinational brands such as the International Finance Corporation/World Bank, The Economist Intelligence Unit, JLL, Microsoft and IKEA.

Carrying the slogan “Spirit of Innovation”, the PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit is thematically divided into segments to tackle the four pillars of sustainability: Economy/Finance, Social, Environment, and Human. Jules Kay, Managing Director, PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards & Events, will open the virtual event with a promise of its sustainability plan for future editions of the PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit and the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards in the next five years.

This year’s summit is chaired by Stephen Oehme, managing director of Quantum Thailand Ltd. A former Burj Khalifa board member, the renowned value management specialist and sustainability advocate will be delivering an opening keynote address on the pillars that support sustainability in Asian real estate.

Later in the event, Oehme will be discussing the emergence of smarter, healthier and safer cities worldwide with Chanond Ruangkritya, chief executive officer of Thai developer Ananda Development; Lynette Leong, chief sustainability officer of Singapore-based CapitaLand Group; Kristin Thorsteins, partner with Portman Investment Pte. Ltd; and Shaishav Dharia, CEO – Townships and Annuity Assets, Lodha Group, one of India’s biggest property developers.

Dr. Simon Baptist, global chief economist and managing director for Asia at The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), will offer a macro-outlook of the global economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that has certainly impacted industrial and global supply chains.

The summit will also feature the participation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank. Prashant Kapoor, chief industry specialist for green buildings and climate-smart cities at the IFC, will deliver a keynote on the institution’s global sustainability framework and the development of EDGE and APEXCities. Angelo Tan, green building country lead in the Philippines at the IFC, is set to talk about the democratisation of green buildings and adoption of green certification programmes in developing countries.

An advocate of digital transformation, Audrey Tang, the digital minister of Taiwan, will afford attendees a look into benchmark-setting examples of collaborative governance, sustainable infrastructure, and open innovation.

Some of the most recognisable multinational tech brands and real estate partners will feature at the summit. Miri Rodriguez, head of the global internship programme at Microsoft, will share her insights on storytelling in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). Lars Svensson, sustainability and communication director for IKEA Southeast Asia, will expound on the Scandinavian furniture and home accessory maker’s integrated sustainable initiatives and zero-carbon efforts.

Wilma Gerber, chief operating officer for project and development services at JLL Asia Pacific, will give expert perspectives on the digitalisation of commercial real estate and the creation of value within this segment. Voted the “the greenest person on the planet”, Matthias Gelber, director of sustainability for Global Sustainability Exchange, will speak at length about employee engagement in accordance with ESG and CSR policies.

The event will also present the PropertyGuru Tech Innovation Award, rewarding game-changing, impactful ideas in the real estate and property sectors. The recipient of the award will be chosen by a panel of experts consisting of Manav Kamboj, Chief Technology Officer, PropertyGuru Group; Steve Melhuish, Angel Investor, VC Partner/Co-Founder, PropertyGuru Group; Jittida Haputpong, Vice President, Business Development, Igloohome; Matthias Gelber, Director of Sustainability, Global Sustainability Exchange; Nick Myers, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, RedFox AI; Petra Bührer, Global Sales Leader, IBM/Chair(woman), IBM Technical Expert Council in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (Dach); and Stephen Oehme, Value Management Specialist & Sustainability Advocate/Managing Director, Quantum Thailand Ltd.

This year, the PropertyGuru Visionary of the Year title will be awarded to Illac Diaz, founder of the Liter of Light Foundation, whose use of humanitarian tech has been a shining beacon for affordable homes in developing countries.

Sensgreen, winner of the 2019 PropertyGuru Tech Innovation Award, returns this year to join a panel discussion on “rebuilding the world responsibly”, which delves into climate-positive ways of construction; innovations like 3D printing and solar panel tech; sustainable infrastructure; smart air monitoring systems; and commitment to ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) initiatives. Hasan Basri Tosun, co-founder of Sensgreen, will be joining this discussion alongside Armelle Le Bihan, founder and chief executive officer of Green Building Consulting and Engineering, and Nicola Crosta, founder of Baan Dek Foundation, the official ESG partner of the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards and Asia Real Estate Summit.

Providing the summit’s Tech Keynote, Deb Noller, chief economic officer of Switch Automation, will make a case for the improvement of energy efficiency and reduction of carbon footprint via meaningful data.

Some of the region’s most influential names in architecture and interior design will also return on summit’s main stage. Eight Inc. founder and chief executive officer Tim Kobe, the designer of the original Apple Store who presented at last year’s summit, will return for the Design Keynote on sustainability as the baseline of design. Prof. Jason Pomeroy, founding principal of Pomeroy Studio and Pomeroy Academy, is also earmarked for a fireside chat on carbon-negative design with journalist Begoña Lucena, director of boutique reputation management consultancy Artemis Associates.

The PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit is an opportunity to make acquaintance with climate-positive technologies and innovations in construction and building management. Troy Carter, co-founder of Rizome, will introduce viewers to the benefits of engineered bamboo lumber, while Robert Bartrop, chief revenue officer of SOURCE Global, PBC, will evangelise on hydropanel technology and its increasing relevance to real estate.

Hari V. Krishnan, chief executive officer and managing director of PropertyGuru Group, will also deliver the GuruTalk on “Homes of the Future”, delivering prescient insights on sustainable living in Asia’s megacities, while the Group’s chief technology officer, Manav Kamboj, will address the positive impact of technology and innovation in our daily lives.

Marking its sixth edition in 2020, the PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit is part of “PropertyGuru Week” in December that commences with the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau) on Wednesday (2 December) and culminates with the 15th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final on Friday (4 December). All events of “PropertyGuru Week” adopt a virtual format, reaching an extensive base of consumers and property agents across Asia Pacific for the first time.

Established in 2015, the PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit over the years has gathered several influential and global names for its annual and regional events. Past speakers include ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Aladdin D. Rillo; Thailand’s former Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij; Malaysia’s Deputy Finance Minister Dato’ Lee Chee Leong; The Economist’s global editorial director Andrew Staples; TechCrunch China founder Dr. Gang Lu; Google’s head of agency and performance Kim Rellinger; Singapore’s chief urban planner-architect Dr. Liu Thai Ker; MiraLab founder Prof. Nadia Magnenat Thalmann; PLP Architecture’s Ron Bakker; and the original Apple Store designer-architect Tim Kobe. Past partners include the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Nikkei Asian Review, TechSauce, Oxford Business Group, Mingtiandi, and The Wall Street Journal.

The PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit 2020: Virtual Edition is supported by sponsor Hitachi Elevators and Escalators; official portal partners,,, and; official innovation partner PropertyGuru FastKey; official magazine PropertyGuru Property Report; official PR partner Artemis Associates; media partners Asia PropTech, APAC CIO Outlook, CMO Asia, Jumpstart, PropertyInvestSG, Future Trends and Locanation; official ESG partner Baan Dek Foundation; and supporting associations Austrian PropTech Initiative and Green Building Consulting & Engineering.

For more information, email [email protected] or visit the official website:

Get your tickets now for USD400 at the official ZipEvent site: Students and educators are also eligible for discounts of USD50 per access code; just email [email protected] with your National ID card and Student/Faculty ID card.