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Global Creative Leadership Initiative
Biography
Gaetan Siew
World citizen, Gaetan Siew’s leadership and his vision of a world of sharing allows him to mobilize and inspire political and business leaders around a creative consensus unleashing the full potential of our resources. President of the International Union of Architects from 2005 to 2008, he travelled the world to meet international institutions and governments promoting greater solidarity. With his in-depth understanding of men, cities and global issues, he continues his mission through the Initiative.

Current Activites
Since leaving the International Union of Architects, Gaetan Siew has pursued his goal for better human development and solidarity cooperation for a sustainable world through conferences around the world. He also teaches at the University of Montpellier, France and the University of Tsinghua, Beijing, China. He currently serves as board member to a number of organizations ICOMOS, Advisory Board to the Tongji, Shanghai College of Urbanism and Architecture. He engages as an Expert to the European Commission for Policies Cohesion and Coordination on Eco-Innovation. He is also active in think tanks with a number of partners of the industry, namely Orange-France Smart Cities and Innovation and Plastic-Europe Innovative sustainable materials in transport and construction.

UIA Past President - UAA Trustee
One of Gaetan Siew’s main priorities as UIA President  was a comprehensive programme of structural transformation aimed at revitalising the Union and making the professional world body more effective.  He was a constant advocate for fairer mobility of the 1 500 000 architects within the 130 member countries establishing international practice norms engaging with WTO, setting up international qualifications recognition in collaboration with UNESCO and the creation of a global Continuous Professional Development system. He developed an efficient strategy of communication to bring the organisation closer to the global public by forging ties with civil society, the private sector and other partners, positioning the profession as a global partner with a new social role.

Mr. Siew undertook wide-ranging diplomatic initiatives – MoUs, partnerships and agreements - with a large range of partners meeting Chief of States, Nobel Prize champions, to intervene jointly in several areas. In the field of post-disasters intervention and urban poverty alleviation, he signed MoUs with UN-Habitat and UNECE, brainstormed with the Rockefeller Foundation. For world heritage protection and cultural identity, he developed joint strategies, with UNESCO, ICOMOS, Docomomo, ICCROM and the Aga Khan Foundation.  In the vast topic of sustainability he initiated discussions with UNEP and engaged in a series of participations at the World Urban Forums since 2006. Finally he connected the profession back to the industry through MIPIM, Cityscape, Batimat, Reed, Holcim, Arcelor-Mittal, Philips, Legrand, Kone, Velux and others, convinced that innovation will be the future competitive edge of the profession.

In terms of governance, his efforts to strengthen the UIA’s management, coherence and accountability involved major investments in training and technology, the introduction of new policies and financial structures and steps aimed at improving co-ordination at the country level. The Union had a future vision and strategy for the first time in its 60 years existence. He is still involved as UIA Vision and Strategy Chair.

Having served the profession in Africa, he has maintained an emotional link with the continent and act as a Trustee to the organization.

Early Career
Trained as an architect, this is where he developed his creativity. Throughout his professional career he has learnt that being an architect means to translate the imagination into reality. The same methodology applies to resolve complex problems into concrete solutions. As founding partner of Lampotang & Siew Architects Ltd since 1981 in Mauritius, he worked internationally (Mauritius, France, India, Madagascar, Mayotte, Seychelles, Swaziland, and Tunisia) on projects such as Airports, Hotels, Commercial and Leisure, Urban planning and Heritage projects.

Travels
Gaetan Siew is a world traveller. During the past 20 years, he has been through over 100 countries and visited over 250 cities in all five continents. Last year he engaged in an adventurous 3-month father and son trip through the Silk Road from Istanbul to Xi’an, China.

Travel was a real school through cultures and people, giving him a deep understanding of the issues of the world of today about the human potential, the distribution of resources and their creativity for a better living. After all these visits to far destinations, all these people met, things seen and heard, lessons learnt, notes written day and night. What is left is an optimistic vision of the world by the close intimacy developed with the people and their values.

Distinctions
  • Canada: Presidential Medal – Royal Institute of Canadian Architects
  • Egypt: Honorary Medal –Society of Egyptian Architects
  • France: Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite
  • Japan: Honorary Fellow – Japan Institute of Architects
  • Mauritius: Grand Officer of Star and Key of the Indian Ocean
  • Mexico: Honorary Member - Consiglio Superior d’Arquitectos de Mexico
  • Russia: Honorary Medal – Union of Architects of Russia
  • South Korea: Honorary Fellow – Korean Institute of Architects
  • Spain: Honorary Medal- Consiglio Superior d’Arquitectos de Espana
  • USA: Presidential Medal – American Institute of Architects

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