The Most Powerful Thing in the World: Turning an Idea into a Movement by Using Affordable Educator Housing to Transform Communities

February 10, 2017 by Thibault Manekin
Thibault Manekin

Thibault Manekin is the co-founder of Seawall Development, a company whose mission is to help improve communities by breathing new life into historic buildings and then filling them with people who make our cities better places. During his presentation, he will discuss the power of a great idea, the importance of building from the inside out, and he will also illustrate how Seawall’s deep listening created a movement that resulted in affordable housing for teachers and collaborative office space for education focused nonprofits.


About Thibault Manekin:

Thibault Manekin – Thibault grew up in Baltimore and graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in business and marketing. His first year out of school was spent in Coast Rica helping to start a United Way International office in San Jose. Upon his return to Baltimore, Thibault spent a year with United Way of Central Maryland. In 2001, he helped create Peace Players International, whose mission is to bring together children from war torn countries from around the world through basketball and open dialogue. Thibault helped to grow the program from a $10,000 a year budget to a $3,000,000 operation with a staff of over 150 people worldwide. Countries the program currently operates in are South Africa, Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland and Cyprus.

In 2006, Thibault moved back to Baltimore with the idea of reinventing what it means to be a real estate developer. Thibault co-founded a firm called Seawall Development where social entrepreneurs would use the built environment to make neighborhoods better places. Seawall’s mission is to help improve communities by breathing a new life back into forgotten old historic buildings while at the same time filling them with people who in their everyday lives are making cities better places. Seawall is the creator of the Center for Educational Excellence model that provides discounted class A apartments to teachers and collaborative office space for education focused nonprofits. To date the company has completed or is under development of over $200,000,000 of creative adaptive reuse projects.

Seawall’s projects have received numerous awards, including: President Obama’s Champion of Change Award, The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, Novogradac - Real Estate Qualified Low Income Community Investment of the Year, United States Environmental Protection Agency – National Award for Smart Growth Achievement, Urban Land Institute – Jack Kemp Models of Excellence in Workforce Housing Award, Council of State Community Development Agencies – Presidential Award for Innovation, Baltimore Heritage – Preservation Partnership Award, NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association – Best Historical Renovation, NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association – Community Impact Award, Baltimore Business Journal – Heavy Hitters, Best Residential Development, Maryland Chapter – US Green Building Council – Special Recognition Award, American Institute of Architects, Residential Knowledge Community – Green Housing Award, Urban Land Institute – Wavemaker Awards.

If you would like to learn more about February’s Hot Lunch with Thibault Manekin, you can view his Hot Lunch slide deck.

Thank You

Thanks for your interest in the Hot Lunch "The Most Powerful Thing in the World: Turning an Idea into a Movement by Using Affordable Educator Housing to Transform Communities". The Donnell-Kay Foundation will contact you on February 03, 2017 to let you know if you are registered or on the waitlist.

The Most Powerful Thing in the World: Turning an Idea into a Movement by Using Affordable Educator Housing to Transform Communities

The Donnell-Kay Foundation will then email you directly one week before the event (February 03, 2017) to let you know if you are registered or on the waitlist.