Embracing Change: Sunny-Thomas Obasuyi’s Journey on the RICS Governing Council
News | January 10, 2024
2 min read
At the heart of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) lies a commitment to shaping the future of the profession while upholding professional standards and fostering inclusivity. Among the esteemed members of the elected Governing Council stands Sunny-Thomas Obasuyi, who holds the Next Generation Seat (previously named Young Member Seat), bringing fresh perspectives, voices of younger professionals and unwavering dedication to the table.
Sunny’s journey to the Governing Council was not a simple step, but rather a testament to stepping out of his comfort zone. “When I turned 30, I made a decision to take on 30 things outside of my comfort zone, and this was one of them,” Sunny shares. His desire to become a member of the council was driven by his passion for growth and his aspiration to contribute to diversity and inclusion within the profession.
The path to the council was no easy feat. An extensive selection process demanded credibility, dedication, and support from peers. Sunny navigated through a rigorous process culminating in a successful bid for the Next Generation seat with a significant share (26%) of the member’s vote.
Since joining the council, Sunny has embarked on a transformative journey, embracing the challenges and opportunities that come with being at the forefront of shaping RICS’s future. “It’s been a massive learning curve,” he admits, highlighting the overwhelming but insightful nature of the role.
Michael Bichard’s independent review of RICS presented 36 recommendations for change and improvement. One of these recommendations was the introduction of the Young Member Seat (now known as the NextGen Seat). Sunny successfully won the seat and is the first member to hold it in RICS’ 155-year history.
As a council member, Sunny finds himself immersed in discussions about critical issues concerning RICS members such as public issues such as the RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) issues concerning schools and public buildings. Sustainability, technology, diversity, and inclusion have been focal points of his agenda, aligning with his manifesto pledges. “I’m an ambassador for the profession,” he emphasises, recognising the responsibility to promote and safeguard the interests of RICS and its members.
Balancing responsibilities between his role at HartDixon and the Governing Council requires discipline and dedication. “Managing time can be tricky,” Sunny admits, “but being on the council benefits not just me but all RICS members.”
Sunny’s vision extends beyond his role—he aims to make the profession more accessible and attractive to a broader audience. His tech-savvy nature sparks ideas for a potential RICS app to streamline information for members.
In addition, his support for neurodiversity is grounded in his own experiences with personal struggles. Having dyslexia, he recognizes the significance of promoting awareness and providing sufficient assistance for neurodiverse individuals in the field. As a result, he was named a finalist in the Neurodivergent Achiever of the Year division at the Neurodiversity Awards 2023.
With over two years remaining on the council, Sunny is steadfast in his commitment to fulfilling his manifesto pledges. His aspirations include enhancing diversity, so others don’t experience the same barriers, making the profession more accessible, and advocating for neurodiversity within RICS and the industry.
Sunny-Thomas’s journey exemplifies dedication and resilience. His presence on the Governing Council signifies a commitment to steering RICS toward a more inclusive and forward-thinking future, and we count ourselves lucky at HartDixon that we get to share in his passion for positive change.