In October 2017, the executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Erik Solheim said: “One year after the Paris Agreement entered into force, we still find ourselves in a situation where we are not doing nearly enough to save hundreds of millions of people from a miserable future”.
In communities threatened by water little is known about the actual threat and community based interventions that are possible to mitigate risks or become adaptive and creative amongst it. By connecting water experts, and community leaders from various disciplines, people can create a shared understanding of the urgency and can come up with possible new pathways.
The water domain as of now, is dominated by engineers and water scientists, with little eye for human design or the user perspective or need. There is shared value in connecting knowledge institutions (universities and research institutes) and the creative sector (artists, architects, makers, facilitators, community leaders).
For knowledge institutions to become aware of how to translate knowledge to make it accessible and applicable to a wider audience. For the creative sector to understand how to become part of the water solution by being able to include applicable knowledge in their designs, projects, and artworks. Bringing together artists, architects, researchers and business owners is beneficial to create new perspectives on the topic of water that none of the stakeholders alone would achieve.
Water expert gatherings create space for open dialogue between diverse thinkers to generate new ideas and translate scientific knowledge, through the perspectives of art, design and architecture. While simultaneously growing awareness amongst citizens about the complexity of the water cycle and the urgency of understanding it in an area that is both fresh water scarce and under threat of climate induced sea level rise.