Wellness & Well-being

How Will Future Cities Stand Out in a Crowd?

Image of Emile Haddad with Hunn Group

Image of Emile Haddad with Hunn Group

Sometimes it takes just one disruptor who defies convention to create a movement that inspires the masses.

Such was the overarching theme as visionary companies from healthcare and other industries gathered to exchange ideas and present their visions for the future at the annual Hunn Group “Connecting the Disruptors” Healthcare Conference Jan. 29-30, 2020 at Montage Laguna Beach.

The conference included a panel discussion with Emile Haddad, FivePoint Chairman and CEO; Annette Walker, President of City of Hope Orange County; Andy Cohen, co-CEO of leading architecture and design firm Gensler; Alyssa Scholz, Gensler’s regional director of health and wellness; and Chalvis Evans, managing director of CBRE’s L.A. North region.

The topic: living and adapting in an age of continual disruption, and how healthcare is one of several fundamental ingredients in shaping societies of the future.

Before the panel began, attendees watched an entertaining “first follower” video featuring a lone person dancing energetically on a hillside during a concert. Soon, he’s joined by the “first follower” who dances with him. Within seconds, several others join in -- and the video closes with a large crowd dancing together.

The takeaway: first followers should be nurtured as equals by the leader, because they are catalysts for transforming an idea that may have first been perceived as crazy, ambitious or unconventional into a movement embraced by all.

“The City of Hope campus is dancing on the hill with us,” Haddad said, referencing the video and City of Hope’s plans to invest $1 billion to develop and operate a state-of-the-art cancer campus at FivePoint Gateway in Irvine.

Haddad added that “building a prototype of co-existence” requires holistic and disruptive thinking by multiple stakeholders. In doing so, Haddad said, “we all have the opportunity to write the future.”

Cohen described the European inspiration of FivePointX, a mixed-use retail, restaurant and hospitality district Gensler is helping plan adjacent to the Orange County Great Park. “It has narrow streets and rooftop restaurants,” he said.

“When we travel and go to cities, what’s magical is the mixture of everything,” Haddad added when discussing FivePointX and the importance of breaking down silos.

Specific to healthcare, Haddad noted advances in technology and mobility will soon bring healthcare directly to people in their homes. As future generations of voters embrace and prioritize climate change, the health of the planet and its inhabitants will impact how developers plan cities and builders design homes and offices.

All panelists were optimistic for what the future will bring, despite many challenges. “I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t have hope,” Haddad said.

When asked what big disruptors he sees in the future, Haddad offered a succinct and emphatic response.

“Us,” pointing to the panel and those in attendance, “and those like us who recognize and embrace change.”