Day two of the CoreNet Global Summit in Boston began with a lesson in taking risks and breaking boundaries.

The opening session was dedicated to lessons learned from the Boston marathon ranging from the 1960s to the bombing in 2013. The general session opened with Kathrine Switzer, who in 1967 was the first woman to officially enter and complete the Boston marathon. Switzer related the experience of signing up for the marathon using only her first initial because women were not allowed.

In front of the press van, the race director attempted to forcibly remove her during the race, but she completed it.

“Talent is everywhere. It only needs an opportunity,” she said. “This is about us excelling and exceeding what we have naturally and what we can do. It’s not about men vs. women, it’s a metaphor for what we could all do as a society.”

Joann Flaminio, who was the director of the Boston Athletic Association in 2013 spoke about being at the helm on the worst day in the marathon’s history. She shared the experience of reorganizing the event the following year.

Attendees were encouraged to walk a few blocks down from the convention center to see the finish line of the marathon, a symbol of endurance in more ways than one.

Later in the day, teams from the National University of Singapore, the University of South Carolina and Temple University presented their work as part of the Academic Challenge.

The teams had been working throughout the summit on the challenge of identifying the potential technology disruptors most likely to impact their client’s global corporate real estate footprint and produce strategies that put corporate real estate at the forefront of technological innovation.

The winning team, from the National University of Singapore, presented WidgePro 4.0, a fictional manufacturing company that used the Internet of Things to enable business management, developed a plan to future-proof buildings and used artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to anticipate the downtime needed for machine repair.

The three finalists were drawn from more than 80 submissions for CoreNet Global’s fourth Academic Challenge.

Then it was on to the Global Awards and Recognition Dinner.

Pan-African firm Liberty’s water-saving project in South Africa has received the 2018 H. Bruce Russell Global Innovator’s Award

Matthias Grimm, Vice President, Head Global Real Estate & Facilities, SAP SE was recognized as the Corporate Real Estate Executive of the Year.

Chris Kelly, Convene, has received the H. Gordon Wyllie, MCR, Young Leader of the Year Award.

CoreNet Global also recognized the first three entrants into its Distinguished Leaders Circle: Matthew J. Fanoe, formerly with Coca-Cola Refreshments, Frank Robinson, MCR, retired as Senior Vice President of Corporate Real Estate (CRE) for McKesson, and Ron Zappile, Sr. whose career spanned 30 years with United Technologies Corp. (UTC) where he served in his last role as president of United Technologies Realty (UTR) and Director.

We are pleased to report that all three honorees thanked their wives.