February 16, 2022

Innovators’ Circle Guides a New Generation of Construction Disruptors

Featuring two Haskell technology and innovation leaders, the consortium will develop and share solutions and best practices to elevate the entire industry.


Launched in 2018 as the first wave of innovation was cresting in the construction industry, Dysruptek, the venture arm of Haskell dedicated to scouting, piloting and investing in emerging technologies and activating the intellectual capital of a diverse employee base, has emerged as an industry leader.

Now, as a second wave of innovators is building, Dysruptek and other construction tech leaders are uniting as members of the Innovators’ Circle, a roundtable consortium of construction innovation leaders seeking to address common roadblocks and uncover industry best practices to assist in construction technology adoption and innovation. The group was assembled by AXA XL, the property & casualty and specialty risk division of global insurance giant AXA and is part of its Construction Ecosystem.

Collaborating using workshops, design-thinking methods and Rapid Results Initiatives (RRIs), the Innovators’ Circle looks to develop actionable solutions and best practices to share widely and elevate the entire construction industry.

Representing Haskell and Dysruptek are Cutler Knupp, Director of Strategy and Technology Investments, who is one of the consortium’s five co-chairs, and Director of Innovation Hamzah Shanbari, who is a member.

“There really is a new wave of folks getting on board with innovation,” Knupp said. “You’re seeing more about it in ENR, and it’s a much more common topic at conferences. It’s just more what people are talking about now than it was four years ago. It’s nice that we were part of that first wave. We went through a lot of learnings that now we can give back and share.”

Members of the Innovators’ Circle have found the most common challenges to creating an innovative culture to be funding and budget, leadership engagement and buy-in, process development, communication, and talent and learning development.

“We’ve spent the last few years working with contractors to explore how the latest technologies can help reduce their risks and improve their business operations,” said Rose Hall, AXA XL’s Head of Construction Innovation. “As part of the Innovators’ Circle, construction and technology leaders are working together to find ways to make innovation and tech adoption easier across the industry, to elevate the whole industry into a new era, a whole new way of working. Innovation is becoming the new risk management.”

The Innovators’ Circle is part of the collaborative industry efforts initiated by AXA XL’s Construction Ecosystem. Through AXA XL’s Construction Ecosystem, contractors can access tech adoption resources, innovative insurance solutions, and knowledge networks to advance construction risk management through partnership, innovation, and invention.

Contact Dysruptek to learn more about how technology and innovation are shaping the construction industry – or pitch your disruptive idea.

Haskell delivers $2± billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,200 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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