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Mariell Juhlin - PropTech Swedens expert, is an economist and policy expert who helps businesses, organisations and the public sector to optimize their impacts and use of resources based on evidence-based approaches and advice, particularly taking advantage of digitalization in order to achieve more ambitious and sustainable goals.

Mariell has about 20 years of experience as a consultant and independent advisor to companies, business associations, authorities, governments, and research councils in the UK and Sweden as well as for international organisations like the European Commission, the World Bank and the ILO.

Besides that, Mariell also has a scientific background, aiming to find the answers to support the innovation process within the construction industry.

–  I conducted a study on innovations within the Swedish construction industry enabled by digitalization on behalf of The Swedish Construction Federation and Smart Built Environment. The study included five digital innovations developed in large as well as small companies, established players as well as start-ups. Findings showed that the innovations brought company and client specific benefits as well as had a positive impact on sustainability by, for instance, reducing emissions and improving safety in and around the constructions sites. The study also clearly concluded that the construction industry is by no means immune to the disruptive and competitive pressures observed in other industries. In order to remain competitive, as suppliers and employers, construction companies must innovate. This includes overcoming the fear of new technology that is sometimes present in the workplace. Although overall, change may be slower in construction than in other industries, construction companies may only ignore it at their own peril. Policy implications were that public procurement should be more widely used to speed up the rate of innovation by allowing for new, innovative business models to compete for government contracts, says Mariell. The report can be found here

Among Mariells favorite buildings we find one that many people share their love for.
–  I absolutely love La Sagrada Família in Barcelona, the brainchild of genius architect Antoni Gaudí. It’s been over a hundred years since construction begun and it’s still ongoing, says Mariell.

Mariells expertise within PropTech is to help both construction and property companies to identify new opportunities, reach their full potential and remove obstacles that are slowing them down. In her experience, any business - regardless of initial size or capital - can take advantage of digitalization and innovate in order to generate more sustainable business outcomes that generate value to existing and new clients. Given her in-depth experience of these sectors combined with her hands-on expertise in digital transformation and business development, she knows where to begin and what to aim for. She can support businesses to ensure that resources are spent on the right efforts that make an actual difference to the bottom line, immediately and over the longer term. 

Mariells number one advice is to dare to challenge existing ways of working through digital means and to recruit people with different kinds of skill sets from other industries. The Nike slogan “Just Do It” sums it up neatly, even if it means starting on a small scale. The other thing to keep in mind is to maintain close interaction with users during the innovation process to ensure usability.

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