JCT Povey Lecture 2019 – Our digital future: space and place in a digital world

JCT Povey Lecture 2019

“Our digital future: space and place in a digital world”

Alan Penn, professor, architectural and urban computing, The Bartlett, UCL; chief scientific advisor to Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government


About the Povey Lecture

The JCT Povey Lecture is an annual event at which an eminent person is invited to give their thoughts on significant matters that are relevant to the construction and property industry. The purpose of the lecture is to stimulate thought and encourage ways of continuing to improve the quality and value of construction output.

The event was inaugurated in 2003 to acknowledge and pay tribute to Philip Povey, who served JCT for fifty years.

Previous speakers and their papers have been:

Richard Threlfall (2018) “Collaborative, Connected and Cool: How technology and governance could transform the impact, efficiency and image of the construction industry”
Ann Bentley (2017) “Hitting the sweet spot: value for clients delivered by valued suppliers. How small changes in approach to procurement could have a big impact on the construction industry”
Tony Giddings (2016) “Collaboration: how Argent developed its successful way of working”
Sir Vivian Ramsey (2015) “UK standard forms of contract: are the cultural and legal concepts of such contracts applicable internationally?”
Tony Bingham (2014) “Let’s make friends with reality”
Peter Hansford (2013) “A Time for Partnership”
Paul Drechsler (2012) “At a Crossroads – a wasted generation or inspired talent. The Power to Choose”
Mike Putnam (2011) “The Journey To Deep GreenTM
Paul Morrell (2010) Ambition in an Age of Austerity
Francis Salway (2009) Leading on sustainability
Rt Hon Nick Raynsford MP (2008) The Construction Industry and Government
Bob White (2007) Innovation in the Change Agenda
James Wates (2006) Joining up the dots: How the construction industry should punch its weight
Professor Peter Brandon (2005) Design, Procurement and IT: Rolling back the frontiers of management?
Professor Roger Flanagan (2004) Risk – yours, mine and ours – what is happening in the world
Richard Saxon CBE (2003) Vision for the Industry (formerly known as construction)

(click on the links to download lecture notes/view video)


Philip John Povey

The Povey Lecture was set up to honour Philip John Povey, the first Secretary General of the Joint Contracts Tribunal. A barrister by profession, Philip Povey commenced in construction as a legal adviser to the NFBTE, which later became the Construction Confederation, in 1951. At the same time he began to assist the Joint Secretaries of the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT).

Philip first became Director of Legal Services at the Confederation and then its Director General. He later became the first Secretary-General of the restructured Joint Contracts Tribunal Limited in 1998.

Philip’s work for JCT became well known through the publication of JCT Standard Forms of Contract, which in time found their way to many parts of the world. He had a keen mind, which steered him around what he viewed as the less important or parochial issues for which the industry seems to have a particular attraction and enabled him to get to the core of a problem and to resolve it. He was an extremely skilful draftsman who invariably managed to satisfy the demands of many disparate, often competing, bodies.

Although there were committees, working parties and individuals that provided valuable input, it was Philip who shouldered the burden of writing the text.

He retired from JCT at the end of 1999 but died suddenly only 18 months later, in 2001.