Interdisciplinary workshop on water and innovation

Bakker EW group 1An interdisciplinary workshop on ‘water and innovation’ was held at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Research on January 29th-30th. It was attended by scholars from the humanities and social sciences, natural sciences and medicine from UBC and other North American universities. In addition, representatives of global, national and regional organizations attended, including the OECD Water Governance Program, the UN’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation and the BC Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services.

The workshop sought to explore concerns for water security from an interdisciplinary perspective, identifying potential innovative strategies and solutions. Its three key objectives were to (1) foster interdisciplinary dialogue on innovative solutions to some of our most pressing water problems; (2) identify key areas for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research on water issues; and (3) support the development of major research grant applications.

The workshop was comprised of seven closed sessions held over two days, together with a public talk, which focused on interdisciplinary perspectives on water health. The closed sessions involved presentations from key scholars on contemporary water issues, global water governance, innovations in sustainability and water research, water values and innovation in the public sector. In each session, panelist presentations were followed by an open floor discussion of the ideas and questions raised by the presenters. The workshop sessions concluded with a small group strategizing session, in which groups were challenged to present proposals for innovative interdisciplinary research projects on water.

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