Leading voices and thought-leaders

Yuriko Koike
Yuriko Koike
Toshio Koike
Toshio Koike
Silver Mugisha
Silver Mugisha
Rebekah Eggers
Rebekah Eggers
Sudhir Murthy
Sudhir Murthy
Mark van Loosdrecht
Mark van Loosdrecht
Lars Therkildsen
Lars Therkildsen
Rudy De Waele
Rudy De Waele
Claudia Sadoff
Claudia Sadoff
Shinichiro Ohgaki
Shinichiro Ohgaki

Agenda setting thought leadership from the most prominent figures within the water sector and beyond. Keynote speakers are the top specialists in their field and will provide the overarching narrative for the congress. Keynotes and supporting panels will frame the key discussions and topics that will be addressed during the week of the congress.

Sunday 16thSeptember
16.00 to 18.00

Rudy de Waele, Belgium

Rudy de Waele is a futurist, innovation strategist and change agent, content curator and author. He assists global brands, entrepreneurs and startups, companies and organisations with cutting edge open innovation strategy using new methodologies to re-invent and transform business.He has helped diverse global brands such as BMW, IBM, Coca-Cola, Google, Intel, Louis Vuitton, Mastercard, Microsoft, Orange, PayPal, Samsung, Telefonica, Vodafone and World Bank.His latest book shift 2020 – How Technology Will Impact Our Future delivers impactful insights into how future influences such as IoT, Genetics, Robotics and AI will have on our collective daily lives and includes foresights by some of the world’s leading technology experts.He is an associate of The Futures Agency, a member of the IoT Council – a global think tank for the Internet of Things, and Strategic Advisor and Ambassador to Smart Cities World.

Monday 17thSeptember
09.00 to 09.50

Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo

For a Sustainable Urban Water Cycle 

Tokyo is working to build a sustainable urban water cycle. Along with an increase in the global population and the growing concentration of the population in cities, the world is currently up against various risks including climate change due to global warming and large-scale disasters such as earthquakes. Tokyo had faced many difficulties in the past, such as water pollution and a drastic increase in demand for water during Japan’s high economic growth period, but by leveraging its technologies and experience, Tokyo was able to overcome these challenges to become one of the world’s leading cities with a population of 13 million. The governor of the congress’s host city will speak about the initiatives taken to realize resilient and sustainable water supply and sewerage systems in Tokyo to support the urban water cycle.

Toshio Koike, Director, International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM)

Recent developments in the field of risk identification, reduction and management.

How do international commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 9 building resilient infrastructure and SDG 11 liveable cities), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework translate into national policy frameworks for disaster risk reduction, and in what ways research can fill the knowledge gaps to support a further strengthening of such policies with solid evidence? Which are some of the most effective resilient solutions to floods and to earthquake- and climate change-induced water-related disasters? How can utilities prepare best for situations where service delivery comes under stress?

Monday 17thSeptember
17.30 to 18.15

Silver Mugisha, Chief Executive Officer, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Kampala, Uganda

The institutional issues in strengthening and expanding a utility in the socioeconomic context of lower and middle income countries.

What is the legal and regulatory framework that is most conducive to institution building? What are the challenges of expanding water and sanitation from major urban centres into secondary towns and beyond? What criteria apply to decide whether to invest in optimal expansion or in reaching out to the most vulnerable and poorest? What is the optimal balance between centralized and decentralized approaches, both in technical terms (such as the choice between one major wastewater treatment plant or a grid of decentralized wastewater treatment plants) and in managerial terms? How can the rapid dissemination of new technologies be promoted in formal institutional set-ups?

Panel Discussion

MC: Hamanth Kasan, General Manager, Scientific Services, Rand Water – South Africa
Moderator: Eleanor Allen, CEO, Water for People, USA
Panel:
Rosie Wheen, Chief Executive, WaterAid, Australia
Roshan Shrestha, Senior Program Officer/Lead, Urban Sanitation Market, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA
Marcus Rink, Chief Inspector for England and Wales,DWI, UK
Rafeala Matos, Researh Coordinator, LNEC, Portugal

Tuesday 18thSeptember
09.00 to 09.50

Claudia Sadoff, Director-General, International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka

The status of and outlook for Sustainable Development Goal 6.

In view of IWMI’s past and on-going work on management approaches to dealing with water scarcity, including the establishment of an evidence base for “water fit for purpose” and the development of business models to promote re-use, focus is on SDG targets 6.3* and 6.4**. Water and sanitation practitioners and regulators are likely familiar with SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2, which are close to their professional remit, but what is the role they can play in contributing to the other targets? While universality, sustainability and accountability all seem to have been addressed to a smaller or greater extent, there has been little attention for the importance of pursuing resilient solutions in a time when the world is faced with increasing levels of uncertainty and where, without built-in resilience, the breakdown of services can cause important set-backs.

*By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally

**By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

 

Panel discussion

MC: Daniel Nolasco, President, Nolasco y Associados S.A., Argentina
Moderator: Akissa Bahri, Professor, National Agricultural Institute, Tunisia
Panel:
Cindy Wallis-Lage, President, Water Business, Black & Veatch, USA
Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water, UK
Dr. Chien-Hsin Lai, Director-General of Water Resources Agency (WRA), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Taipei, Taiwan
Kathryn Silvester, Planner (Process Engineering), Sydney Water, Australia

Tuesday 18thSeptember
17.30 to 18.15

Shinichiro Ohgaki, President Japan Water Research Center (JWRC), Tokyo, Japan

Decision making with uncertainty – challenges facing water professionals. 

Phenomena such as dynamics of population, urbanisation, and global climate change, along with the increasing occurrence of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts are a source of great uncertainty to the water sector. How should we deal with this uncertainty? To design our sustainable water future, we can no longer rely solely on our previous experience. We need to develop new knowledge and innovative technology that builds upon the lessons from past experiences.What kind of innovative changes have unleashed in science and technology that are of relevance to the water world? How could we fuse science and technology in different fields? And how do we bridge the gap between science and practice? One answer is diversity. Diverse knowledge and technologies are necessary for the future of the water sector.

 

Panel discussion

MC: Joan Rose, Professor, Michigan State University, USA
Moderator: Paul Reiter, President & CEO, ReiterIWS Ltd, USA
Panel:
Dragan Savic, CEO, KWR, Netherlands
Adrian Sym, CEO, Alliance for Water Stewardship, UK
Marion Savill, Executive Director, Affordable Water Ltd and Water Micro Ltd, New Zealand
S. Mohan, Professor Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India

Wednesday 19thSeptember
09.00 to 09.45

  • Sudhir Murthy, CEO, NEWhub, USA

  • Mark van Loosdrecht, Chair professor in Environmental Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

    Joint keynote address

The diffusion of innovation remains a big challenge.

This is as true for the dissemination of new policies (for example, those related to the SDGs and the human rights to water and sanitation) as for technical innovation. Which are the technical innovations that have been rapidly adapted by water and sanitation practitioners and what are the lessons learned that can be applied to other, less successful innovations? What are the obstacles to the diffusion of innovation? How can global commitments such as the SDGs contribute to strengthened diffusion? How can policy and practice be better aligned through a bridging role of innovative research?

Panel Discussion

MC: Marie-Pierre Whaley Northumbrian Water Limited, UK
Moderator: Paul Brown President & CEO, Paul Redvers Brown Inc., USA
Panel:
Harry Seah, Chief Technology Officer, PUB, Singapore
Jonathan Clement, Global Technology and Business Development Officer, Nanostone Water, USA
Wim Drossaert, CEO, Dunea, Netherlands
Dr. Q Hu

Wednesday 19thSeptember
17.30 to 18.15

Rebekah Eggers, Global Water Leader, WW IoT, Energy, Environment, & Utilities Business, IBM

“From Drips and Drops to Bits and Bytes”: The digitization of water and impacts on utilities.

With a strong focus on sustainability, Rebekah has 20 years of practical experience helping utilities that are striving to enable resiliency, and vibrancy add a layer of digital intelligence to their infrastructure.  During her keynote, she will discuss the underlying data science and technology constructs that are being leveraged to bridge the physical/digital divide and the resulting opportunities and risks to the water and sanitation sector now and into the future.

Panel Discussion

MC: Enrique Cabrera Professor, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Spain
Moderator:  Will Sarni Founder and CEO, Water Foundry, LLC, USA
Panel:
Patrick Decker, President & CEO, Xylem Inc., USA
Eveline Volke,  Professor, Ghent University, Belgium
Avishek Choudhury, Water Industry Advisor, Tata Consultancy
Arlinda Ibrahimllari, Technical Director, Sanitation Department in UKKO Joint Stock Company, Albania

Thursday 20thSeptember
09.00 to 09.45

Lars Therkildsen, CEO, HOFOR, Copenhagen, Denmark

The options and opportunities for a big multipurpose utility.

 An utility just  like HOFOR contributes effectively towards the efforts of a big urban conglomerate, such as Greater Copenhagen, to meet ambitious targets of becoming a healthy and livable city. What entails climate resilience planning for the region’s water supply, storm water management and sewer service? To what length can preparedness for cloudburst precipitation and other extreme weather events go and what are the adaptation and mitigation measures with proven effectiveness?  How do water/sanitation and energy service intertwine to achieve optimal results?

Panel Discussion

MC: Helle Katrine Andersen, Head os Section, DANVA, Denmark
Moderator: Abby Crisostomo, Senior Policy and Programme Officer, Greater London Authority, UK
Panel:
Bernadette Conant, CEO, Canadian Water Network, Canada
Jian Wu, CEO, Poten, China
Sylvain Usher, Secretary General, AfWA, Ivory Coast
Dato’ Tan Yew Chong, Secretary Genera, Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Past Keynotes

Agenda setting thought leadership from the most prominent figures within the water sector and beyond. Keynote speakers are the top specialists in their field and will provide the overarching narrative for the congress. Keynotes and supporting panels will frame the key discussions and topics that will be addressed during the week of the congress. Below are some keynotes from previous editions.

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