Thank you for joining us here. We are happy to connect this way, and hope to meet in person too. World of Walas has just celebrated its first full 5 years. What a special journey it has been! Starting a new company for sustainable urban development in the middle of a real estate crisis might seem crazy to some, but it was right for us. Our vision was a more sustainable approach to cities and communities. We wanted to create solutions that were more. We wanted to prove there was a better way. We were looking for exponential improvements through innovations, new thinking and perspectives. It’s meant disrupting some markets and challenging some powers. We’ve been challenged too. We’ve had to stand up for our beliefs and try to manage our incredible growth. It is quite an adventure.
I have had the honour of connecting with countries and institutions around the world to share our vision and approach. Walas has been on the World Stage for the New Urban Agenda and New Urbanization, sharing success stories and connecting with the best of the best. It’s taken me all over the world – 10 countries in the last 14 days to be precise. It’s busy!
As part of our 5 year celebration, I launched our next 5 and 10 year plans with our international Blue Team Leaders. It is fantastic to feel the energy, unity and force of the team and a joy to work with such a great group of talented professionals. Building on the success of our first 5 years, we are more ambitious than ever, but also more realistic than before. Projects like Carbon6, Spinnerij Oosterveld, Dudoc Vancouver and our Green Energy initiatives have given us a strong foundation to build on. Much of our new focus will thrive around sustainable innovations. We are lining up our new projects and growing our teams. I am proud to steer us into the next 10 years. We can expect interesting and challenging times, but if we’ve proved anything in the last 5 years it’s that we are not afraid of any challenge.
I hope you will join us in our drive and our dialogue for more sustainable cities and communities. I look forward to hearing from you.
Gerben van Straaten
Founder and CEO, World of Walas