The future: creative and irresistible

Monday 24th April

How do you make a change and deliver a sustainable future? By being creative and making the change ‘irresistible’.


Muyiwa Oki, the incoming president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, will speak about the fear of failure and how it impedes creativity. He argues that fear of humiliation, rather than material suffering, is what we (people) fear most. Oki believes that fear is a great enemy of creativity at both the personal and corporate level. To overcome this, he advocates for making irresistible change and using creativity to deliver a sustainable future.

Oki acknowledges the challenging scale of the task ahead, with the world already on track to exceed the 1.5 degrees C warming target and a population of almost 11 billion people by 2100. He believes that creatives will be essential in building civic spaces to accommodate the growing population. Cities, in particular, are critical to this endeavour, but few are aesthetically and socially appealing, despite the advancements in technology and design.

Oki encourages individuals to set themselves free from the fear of humiliation and embrace failure as a necessary part of the creative process. He believes that we need to make our cities and places irresistible, not just economically appealing, to deliver a sustainable future.


As an architect at Mace Group focused on technology and innovation, Muyiwa Oki delivers off-site manufactured solutions for major estate public programmes as a technical assessment lead.

During his time at Grimshaw Architects, he was the founder and chair of the Multi-Ethnic Group and Allies network and drove global cultural change for colleagues. Muyiwa was an external speaker and mentor for aspiring architects for the POC in Architecture, Scale Rule, Grimshaw Foundation programme, which all exist to encourage greater social mobility within the industry.

Throughout his career Muyiwa has worked on large-scale infrastructure projects – such as HS2 Euston and the North London heat and power project – in collaboration with public estate department clients that have a strategic mission to revitalise neighbourhoods using design.

He presents at EDI Practice Clinics and speaks on RIBA panels, events and radio programmes. Muyiwa also contributes to the next generation of architects as an Ambassador for the Mayor of London: Design Future London challenge.

Nationally he was profiled in Portrait of Black Britain, a major public exhibition by Cephas Williams of the Black British Network, which aims to be ‘the largest showcase ever of the contributions Black Brits make to society’.

Muyiwa became President-elect of the RIBA on 1 September 2022 and takes up the presidency in September 2023 for a two-year term.

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