When architecture firm Gensler moved its regional headquarters from Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles last year, it took a boring bank space that had been empty for a decade and turned it into a design statement, complete with retractable skylight and hanging staircase.

It turns out there are side benefits, too.

Starting this week, Live Talks Los Angeles will present the second season of its business speaker series at Gensler’s City National Plaza office. The first speaker will be Bill Gross, founder and chief of Idealab, on Sept. 13.

Ted Habte-Gabr, producer of the series, said that the reimagined site is a good fit.

“It’s a creative space we think will foster conversation and the exchange of ideas,” he said.

Habte-Gabr has lined up a roster of notable speakers to engage in morning discussions “so people can hear compelling speakers and be back at their desk by 9:30.” The emphasis will be on technology and entrepreneurship, reflecting changes in the local economy.

Following Gross will be Harley Manning, a director at Forrester Research, on Oct. 4. Other planned speakers include Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine; John Mackey, chief executive of Whole Foods Market Inc.; Ed Whitacre, former chief executive of General Motors Co.; and A.G. Lafley, former chief executive of Procter & Gamble Co.

– Alfred Lee

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