Tapping the Power of a Global Knowledge Network
March 15, 2022
At Populous, we design the places where people love to be together – and we can’t do it alone. The venues and events we work on are simultaneously vast in scale and intimately connected within their communities, requiring a unique blend of local and global expertise.
One of the key factors behind such outcomes lies in the strength of the connections and collaboration that are ever-expanding within the Populous team. With more than 700 talented colleagues in 21 offices spanning four continents, we have many initiatives driving our global (and local) design culture.
Every team member brings valuable talents, experiences, and perspectives, each contributing to the immeasurable local and global source of knowledge we all draw on every day. At Populous, we believe that this diversity of knowledge leads to stronger design outcomes. As such, our projects are not assigned solely based on office location, but rather on drawing together the most effective mix of individuals. This provides opportunities for people to work on city-shaping projects well beyond their own geographical borders.
One example is Kai Tak Sports Park, currently well underway in Hong Kong. It will be one of the world’s leading multipurpose sports and entertainment precincts upon completion. Populous currently has 16 team members working locally at the Kai Tak site, some who have moved to Hong Kong from other Populous offices, all collaborating across our global team. In the Asia Pacific (APAC) region alone, 135 people have worked on the project.
Associate Principal, Meg McWilliam initially spent six months travelling between the Denver office and Hong Kong before moving to Hong Kong for three years as the Lead Architect on Kai Tak’s main stadium. This move allowed her to grow professionally and personally in ways she could not have imagined.
“At the highest level, being an expat has challenged my preconceptions of what it means to work globally, ensuring our multiple time zones and cross-cultural teams are successful. I’ve grown my Populous and global professional network and have been able to share my experiences with the broader APAC region,” Meg said.
On a personal level, my understanding of others’ experiences has deepened through living in another culture and reinforced that beyond our individual nationalities we are also global citizens tied togetherMeg McWilliam, Associate Principal
Alongside project work, Populous recognises that the way we connect and share knowledge and ideas every day underpins our collective sense of belonging and success. We regularly bring cross-discipline and cross-culture groups together in a variety of ways to maximise the potential of each person, no matter their discipline or level.
Whether it is in local offices, within regions or globally, all our staff have opportunities to participate in design charettes and reviews, speak at internal conferences and events, contribute to focus committees and groups, research innovative ideas through Populous-funded Fellowships, develop our leadership through internal programs, such as for young professionals, and much more.
For Alican Inal, Senior Associate in Populous’ London office, the opportunity to speak at our 2019 global conference in Brisbane kicked off active conversations that are still going on between colleagues to this day.
“My 2019 experience was a liberating cross-over between my personal research and my professional practice. It was inspirational to see how a personal passion of mine resonates quite well with colleagues, and how fruitful it becomes when the paths of like-minded people cross.
“It was also a deeply proud moment in my career at Populous to see how my approach to some design challenges are actually useful and enlightening for my global colleagues as well,” Inal shared.
When you join the Populous team, you simultaneously become part of a local and global community of innovative thinkers. We’re always looking for people who are ready to channel their entrepreneurial creativity and follow their curiosity, wherever in the world it may take them. If this sounds like you, take a look at our current job opportunities.