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The Construction Industry Is Ready. Are You? With Meirav Oren and James Barrett


In the tenth episode of Season 11 of the Propcast, host Louisa Dickins is joined by Meirav Oren, CEO and Co-Founder of Versatile and James Barrett, Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Turner Construction.


Episode Highlights:

  • The founding story of Versatile and their vision
  • What Turner Construction are trying to achieve for the industry and the synergies they have with Versatile
  • Key challenges with innovation adoption within the sector
  • The work they are doing to empower people working in construction
  • Where Meirav has seen the biggest growth in their product
  • Pressing  issues in construction that James wants to try and resolve
  • How robotics can be implemented into the industry
  • Making the industry appealing to the future workforce
  • How they work on making products that will make people’s jobs and change management easier
  • The different partnerships Turner Construction have and the reasons behind them
  • The Entrepreneur and Residence Program that Turner Construction have set up




Key Takeaways:

  • We put the data that we believe is most critical in the hands of the people who build. – Meirav
  • Productivity is everything to us in construction. We’re trying to get more work in place with fewer people and that’s how you drive schedules, that’s how you drive cost savings. That’s how you improve. – James
  • Evaluating and deploying solutions is working at the pace of change that people are comfortable with. – James
  • We’re facing a huge issue with a lack of skilled labour. We have an ageing workforce that’s retiring and it’s not being replaced. – James
  • When Venture capitalists told me that the industry is laggard and antiquated and simply not a good investment, because it’s not going to adapt fast enough, I said, it’s the second largest industry in the world. It’s right for innovation, it needs it. – Meirav
  • I think the worst thing you can have is incredibly bright, talented people wasting 2, 3, 4, 5 years of their life producing a solution that nobody wants. It’s probably the greatest waste of human talent you can imagine. So that’s why the whole program was born. – James


About our guests

Meirav Oren

As CEO and co-founder of Versatile, Meirav is a visionary leader who brings passion, collaboration, and a never-quit attitude to everything she does. Before co-founding Versatile, she spent 10 years at Intel, spearheading BizOps and financial services, leading international projects with multicultural teams. She leads the Tel Aviv chapter of the Society for Construction Solutions (SCS). Under her leadership, Versatile became the first construction technology firm named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Meirav holds multiple degrees, including an Executive MBA, LL.M, and a BA in Economics & Management, and is a former Lieutenant of the Israeli Air Force.


Versatile created technology that gives builders unmatched visibility into their production rates. By delivering the right data to the right people at the right time while naturally fitting existing processes, a fragmented industry becomes a controllable process. The result? Increased productivity, predictability, and safety with the insights needed to manage and bid on future projects more competitively. Want to learn more? Visit:, follow us on Twitter @versatileai and LinkedIn or email us at  

James (Jim) Barrett

As Turner’s Chief Innovation Officer, Jim leads the research, development, and deployment of cutting-edge processes and technologies in support of the company’s strategies and vision. He has a passion for identifying and cultivating ideas for improvement that benefit our people, clients, and partners. Since joining Turner 28 years ago, Jim has held various positions and has served as Manager of several Turner divisions. Jim was instrumental in the company’s adoption, development, and implementation of BIM, Virtual Design & Construction, and lean construction.

Turner Construction

Turner Construction’s people bring their technical knowledge, experience, and resourcefulness to the delivery of their construction services. As the largest general contractor in the country, Turner is a leader in all major market segments, including healthcare, education, commercial, sports, aviation, pharmaceutical, retail and green building. Driven by a commitment to continuous improvement, Turner embraces Building Information Modeling and lean construction methods to improve efficiency and enhance client value.


About Our Host

Louisa Dickins

Louisa is the co-founder of LMRE, which has rapidly become the market leading global PropTech recruitment platform and search consultancy with operations across North America, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

To promote the industry she is so passionate about, Louisa set up the Global podcast ‘The Propcast’where she hosts and invites guests from the built environment space to join her in conversation about innovation.

About LMRE

LMRE is globally recognised for leading the way in Real Estate Tech & Innovation talent management.

From the outset our vision was to become a global provider of the very best strategic talent to the most innovative organisations in PropTech, ConTech, Smart Buildings, ESG, Sustainability and Strategic Consulting.

At LMRE we are fully committed at all times to exceed the expectations of our candidates and clients by providing the very best advice and by unlocking exclusive opportunities across our global network in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.



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