A debate on sustainable water management brought together experts, practitioners and academics of different backgrounds at BSL yesterday, April 29. The aim of debate, organized jointly by BSL and Waterlex, was to provide a platform for different viewpoints and establish an open and constructive dialogue.
Unlike a typical conference, the event was hosted as a “collaboratory” – an open-space method designed to generate innovative solutions to transdisciplinary problems such as reducing water usage. Dr. Katrin Muff, Dean of BSL, facilitated the multi-stakeholder dialogue which included 60 participants representing various industries in business, civil society, academia and research.
A broad group of experts including Carlos Carrion-Crespo (International Labour Organization), Jean-Benoit Charrin (WaterLex), James Holleran (Professor of Sustainable Tourism), Christopher Cordey (Futuratinow), and Mark Smith (IUCN), set the scene for this important discussion by sharing their perspective on facing water supply challenges.
“Water problems are solvable but not simple”, said Mark Smith, Director of the IUCN Global Water Programme. He expressed hope that helpful solutions can be found.
Participants in the debate stressed the importance of introducing a legislative framework to secure a sustainable water management. The critical role of education in the tourism and hospitality industry was another point that was addressed.
“Water is a system, it is complex. We should focus on problems and fix them,” commented Dr. Tobias Schmitz.
The event concluded with an agreement of organizing a second meeting to build on this broad discussion by focusing on specific water issues and turning collective ideas into actionable next steps.