Christina Savian.

Cristina Savian is driving digital transformation in the built environment

23 October 2020

The article at a glance

Executive MBA (EMBA) alumna Cristina Savian’s consultancy focuses on innovation and technology, bringing to market the most promising innovation in the construction industry.

Executive MBA (EMBA) alumna Cristina Savian’s consultancy focuses on innovation and technology, bringing to market the most promising innovation in the construction industry.

International consulting firm BE-WISE, with offices in London and Melbourne, is supporting organisations, from start-ups to large-scale enterprises and government agencies to better manage our built environment.

Founder and Director Cristina Savian (EMBA 2016) has worked in construction and technology for the construction sector for more than 20 years. As a self-described “lifelong techie”, Cristina is using the specialisms she developed whilst leading civil infrastructure projects across the UK and Italy, and during a management tenure, working across Europe, India and North America, at design construction software corporation Autodesk, to build value for her clients.

“If we are going to fulfil the global demand for housing and infrastructure in times of high demand and low profit margins, we need to innovate,” says Cristina. “This new crisis has put further pressure on an industry that has been struggling with productivity flattening, poor quality and uncontrollable budget and time overruns for years. Now more than ever we need to re-think the way we design, build, and operate our built assets.

“BE-WISE was founded to help companies in the built environment sector to innovate, transform, and ultimately strengthen and improve their processes with a technology and digital-first approach.”

Developing a full-service value proposition

Tapping into some of the topics covered by the Executive MBA structure, Cristina developed BE-WISE as a full-service consultancy offering value proposition, marketing, network building, corporate governance and strategy advice. One of the specialist areas it offers advisory and implementation assistance in is digital twinning – the development of digital models connected to our physical built assets.

Cristina is a passionate advocate for the benefits of technology based solutions and, since founding BE-WISE, has consulted for clients across Europe, North America, Australia, and the Middle East. She is the author of the Institute of Engineering and Technology white paper “Digital twins for the built environment: an introduction to their opportunity, benefits, challenges and risks”, which was recently featured by the Financial Times. She is a regular speaker at international industry events and guest lecturer in the field of digital twinning in the UK and Australia.

Improving access to opportunities in construction

Cristina describes her decision to join the Executive MBA programme at Cambridge Judge Business School in 2016 as a journey of professional self-discovery.

Using her Individual Project, one of the programme’s major assignments, to explore gender parity in the construction industry, Cristina’s research highlighted both challenges and opportunities faced by women in construction, leading to a lack of diversity in the industry.

“As a woman in a tough, male-dominated industry, I wanted to explore my passions and re-focus on my goals in life,” Cristina continues. “The more I learned about fundamental business concepts, the more opportunities I saw to improve things in the sectors I worked in, leading the industry change on innovation and gender equality.”

As BE-WISE continues to attract clients with its multi-disciplinary approach, Cristina, a member of Emmanuel College, highlights the importance of her time at Cambridge Judge Business School in the company’s founding.

“The Executive MBA has given me the confidence and know-how to truly add value to my clients’ innovations and helped me compete and position myself for business at an international level.

“The programme’s Personal Professional Development was invaluable for me. I focused on personal branding and how to position myself as a leading industry expert in the field I work in. After putting what I learned into practice, I am now working as one of the top influencers in digital construction internationally.

“My personal and professional development over the last few years is something I could have only dreamed of previous. The EMBA transformed my life!”