Following the success of previous years’ Milton Keynes Rowing Club (MKRC) Regattas, a further event is being held in 2018. This year’s event will take place on Saturday 22nd September on the picturesque Caldecotte Lake. As with previous years’ events, this will be an open event, run under British Rowing rules of racing.
A fun day out! Unlike many events, spectators can see the entire course from the club house, which makes for excellent viewing of the day’s racing. There will be an all day barbecue, hot and cold drinks and there is the legendary MKRC Cake stall too!
Want to know more? Click here!
World Rivers Day 2018
World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways. It highlights the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness and encourages the improved stewardship of rivers around the world.
“Rivers are the arteries of our planet; they are lifelines in the truest sense.”
~ Mark Angelo
World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways. It highlights the many values of our rivers, strives to increase public awareness, and encourages the improved stewardship of all rivers around the world. Rivers in virtually every country face an array of threats, and only through our active involvement can we ensure their health in the years ahead.
A brief history
In 2005, the United Nations launched the Water for Life Decade to help create a greater awareness of the need to better care for our water resources. Following this, the establishment of World Rivers Day was in response to a proposal initiated by internationally renowned river advocate, Mark Angelo.
The proposal for a global event to celebrate rivers was based on the success of BC Rivers Day, which Mark Angelo had founded and led in western Canada since 1980. A World Rivers Day event was seen by agencies of the UN as a good fit for the aims of the Water for Life Decade and the proposal was approved. River enthusiasts from around the world came together to organize the inaugural WRD event. That first event in 2005 was a great success and Rivers Day was celebrated across dozens of countries. Since then, the event has continued to grow. It is annually celebrated on the last Sunday of every September. Last year, several million people across more than 60 countries celebrated the many values of our waterways.
Connecting cities – Local solution for global challenges
Connecting Cities strengthens network-based approaches to global challenges by connecting local and regional authorities from across Europe. Together, we can transform challenges into solutions!
The Climate Alliance International Conference and General Assembly is held every year. This gathering of Climate Alliance members and other interested parties is the highlight of the Climate Alliance year and sees well over 200 representatives of local authorities from across Europe gather to delve into hot topics in the field of climate action and climate justice while sharing experiences on local level projects and initiatives. Local level administrative and technical staff as well as mayors and high-level local decision makers are in attendance, making for some very fruitful exchanges. In addition to a number of side events, excursions and working groups, the event incorporates the Climate Alliance General Assembly, where each member can have a say in network affairs. Importantly, this is where the resolutions used by the Secretariat for lobbying activities are also passed by the membership.
This year’s conference focuses on the idea of connecting – on partnerships and cooperation and exchange. These guiding themes have always been at the heart of Climate Alliance’s work. By emphasizing them, we are putting forth an approach that starkly contrasts the isolationist currents which characterize the political situation in so many countries today.
Some of this year’s sessions and workshops include:
- Co-creating adaptive and resilient cities and regions – A multi-level approach, which will explore how local authorities can cooperate with different sets of stakeholders at various levels in order to take action on adapting to climate;
- Energy transition in cities and regions – Implementing a local and people-driven energy transition, which will tackle technological, financial and governance-related aspects of the energy transition with a focus on models of local energy production including public energy suppliers and energy cooperatives.
- Water challenges in cities and regions – A circular economy approach. This session focuses on an integrated nexus approach for supplying, preserving and saving water, energy and materials across sectors. In this light, participants will look at the role of both municipalities and their residents.
And lots more.
Interested in finding out more? Click here!
The social and political consequences of digital platforms – POWER Industry Panel
The combination of social, technological and political innovation might be a more effective solution to tackle the current environmental issues than traditional policy mechanisms. In particular, the sustainable cities of the XXI Century will have had to resolve the many challenges related to water, from scarcity to flooding, from quality to conservation. The present Industry Panel aims at providing an insight on how technology can empower industry and municipalities. Specifically, we introduce and discuss how digital social platforms (DSP), such as the one provided by the EU-funded POWER project, can be exploited to enable large-scale social innovation, with particular focus on the water management.
Water governance in the digital age – how technology can empower industry and municipalities
Program of the Panel
Program of the Industry Panel
15.15 Welcome participants
15.30 Presentation of POWER – CUBIT
15.45 Introduction of discussion topic: The social and political consequences of POWER – Richard Elelman
16.25 Discussion session with participants of the audience – moderator: Richard Elelman
Topic: how governance analysis can be applied to the different municipalities
17.15 Introduction of second discussion topic: presentation by Selma Mergner about climate change adaptation and heavy rain
17.30 Discussion session with participants of the audience – moderator Wolfgang Hofstetter
Topic: how new technologies and in the specific the DSP can help in climate change adaptation for Industries and municipalities
18.15 Concluding remarks by POWER consortium – CUBIT
18.30 Close of the panel
Participation is free. Booking is recommended via Facebook -> https://www.facebook.com/events/278073856249510/
Recinte Escola Industrial
Carrer Comte d’Urgell, 217, 08036 Barcelona
Many ICT services are being developed to tackle social challenges but their deployment is hampered by the fact that both social and economic actors are often reluctant to adapt to new implementation tools, institutional arrangements and regulations. Broad-based innovation is required to overcome resistance to new approaches. POWER Water Community Platforms provide a tool to support this vital engagement and water governance.
During the event, participants will be able to join the POWER project and become active members of the community and contribute to a direct participatory process. The sharing of knowledge, opinions, and best practices about different local issues will be facilitated and social innovation by the ‘network effect’ will be reached. We will bring together researchers and experts from diverse backgrounds to share their views on the digital platforms in an open dialogue and we will identify strengths and barriers of this approach.
The session will be run as a roundtable, as such experts from different fields will be discussion pressing questions about each topic and will be receiving questions from the audience and also from social media.
About our speakers:
Dr. Richard Elelman studied Politics in the UK before living in France, Spain, Portugal, the Middle East, Sudan and India. He is currently Head of Public Administrations at EURECAT-CTM, and is the founder and Director General of the Network for Water in European Regions and Cities, NETWERC H2O. The former Deputy Mayor of Figueres, he is a political analyst who has, in recent years, specialised in Environmental and Scientific Policy and the links between Public Administrations, the world of Research and Development, Diplomacy and Citizen Engagement. He has worked in collaboration with many supranational organisations as well as public authorities in different countries and is a regular speaker at numerous international conferences in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. He is at present a member of the EIP WATER Steering Group, the Coordinator of the Horizon 2020 BlueSCities project, the creator and leader of the Dubrovnik Declaration of Intent and is currently preparing the launch of the political mechanism, CONCENSUS.
Selma Mergner works for the City of Worms, Germany, on the protection of the environment with special attention to adaptation to climate change. She studied Sustainable Economy in the Master’s degree, in Bachelor’s degree Philology Románica, Business Administration and Pedagogy. Prior to her studies, she spent a year in Peru, where she completed a voluntary social year. Since November 2017 she has been implementing the concept of adaptation to climate change for the City of Worms. It consists of 48 concrete measures aimed at Worms in 13 fields of action (from urban planning, agriculture, biodiversity, forestry, industry, tourism, urban green areas and transport infrastructure to the protection of the population). Ongoing projects are being carried out in the fields of heat and heavy rain, health and awareness connected to climate impacts. These include the Regen // Sicher // Worms project, which aims to raise public awareness concerning the consequences of heavy rains. Another project is the KlimaFolgenDialog (Dialogue on Climate Change Consequences), in which companies focus on adaptation measures.
The European Week of Regions and Cities is an annual Brussels-based four-day event during which officials from regions and cities’ administrations, as well as experts and academics, can exchange good practices and know-how in the field of regional and urban development. It is also an acknowledged platform for political communication in relation to the development of EU cohesion policy, raising the awareness of decision-makers about the fact that regions and cities matter in EU policy-making. The European Week of Regions and Cities is the biggest European public event of its kind.
6 000 participants and 600 speakers from all over Europe and beyond gather together in Brussels for a programme of some 100 working sessions, exhibitions and networking events on regional and local development. The programme is adapted every year to the specific context of the EU agenda. Participation to the event is free of charge.
Some of this year’s highlights include:
- OPINION PIECE: How can Europe Get Closer to its Citizens?
- European 2020 strategy: reducing urban poverty through design
- Recipes for Happy Citizens and Thriving Business: The Finnish Model
Interested in finding out more? Click here.
The final event of the European Commission-funded project RESIN – Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures will take place on 9th October 2018 in Brussels.
RESIN city partners (Bratislava, Bilbao, Paris and Greater Manchester) will share their experience as users of the tools and methodologies that the project has produced, including a European climate risk map, a risk-based vulnerability assessment methodology, a database of all kinds of adaptation options, and an online decision support tool for planning and implementing adaptation actions. The tools will be demonstrated in real-time, project partners will share policy-relevant messages for adaptation action, and all participants will explore future pathways for research and practice.
A closing panel will reflect on the prospects of cooperation between cities and regions to share holistic working methods and build long-term urban resilience in Europe, and will explore where adaptation research should go from here.
Interested? Learn more about the event on the project website
Future Water Association’s Water Dragons provides a unique opportunity for companies to pitch their innovative products, services or processes to a panel of water sector specialists. Based on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, the Future Water Association has appointed a panel of Water Dragons – senior water industry executives – to sit in judgment on innovations presented by both Future Water Association members and non-members. The competition is open to all companies with ideas that can help meet the challenges faced by the Water Utilities, Water Retailers, the supply chain and the Regulators.
The second heat of the Water Dragons 2018 is being hosted by The Water Hub, during which there will be two separate competitions with opportunities available for two categories of innovation:
- Future Water Association Water Dragons Entries
- The Water Hub Entries
The Challenge: How can we develop smarter ways to use water? Products, services or processes put before the Water Dragons must be able to demonstrate clear and distinct benefits and presenters will need to explain how their innovation can make or save money for their clients – the water companies.
In an 10 minute pitch, followed by questions from the Water Dragons, entrants must be able to:
- Identify the Market need – what challenges is the innovation addressing?
- Explain clearly and succinctly what makes your product, service or process innovative compared to alternatives.
- Provide evidence on the potential savings and operational benefits your product or service could generate. The Dragons will be looking for forecasts based on sustainable assumptions.
- Provide evidence that you have thought how best to market your product or service to prospective clients
- Convince the Dragons that your product or service can fit into existing work practices and cultures
The two highest scoring pitches will be chosen to attend the Water Dragons final in the early part of 2019.
Interested? Got a good idea? Find our more here.
Imagine: No water to drink, or even to make coffee with. No water to shower, flush the toilet, or do laundry. Hospitals would close without water. Firefighters couldn’t put out fires and farmers couldn’t water their crops.
Imagine a Day Without Water 2018 is the fourth annual day to raise awareness and educate USA citizens about the value of water; a national education campaign to engage stakeholders, public officials, and the general public about how water is essential, invaluable, and needs investment. It will take place on 10 October 2018, and includes events, resolutions, social media engagement and more across the country.
Anyone with a water story to tell can join in the effort….companies can host events and other activities to try and educate and engage the public and stakeholders about how essential water is to everyone and everything.
The 2018 event will be the fourth annual Imagine a Day Without Water. The Value of Water Campaign launched Imagine a Day Without Water as a USA national advocacy and awareness day in 2015, when 185 organisations signed up to participate. In 2016 participation doubled to 300, and in 2017 over 750 organisations took part.
Everyone can do their bit and are encouraged to join this day of action to secure a sustainable water future.
Interested? Take a look at the toolkit!
The conference “Nordic solutions for robust societies” will take place on 23-25 October in Norrköping, Sweden. It will welcome all climate change adaptation practitioners in the fields of science, coming from local communities, governments and municipal administration, ministries and national authorities, politics, businesses, industry and NGOs.
The conference aims to:
- exchange ideas of adaptation methods and opportunities across many sectors
- increase knowledge of the latest climate science developments
- discuss how to integrate solutions for adaptation and mitigation
There will be many diverse sessions during the conference, which will highlight, discuss and be inspired by Nordic adaptation solutions. Examples of these sessions are as follows:
- The Climate models of the future – design and communication
- The role of the citizen in adapting to climate change: how to engage residents in developing robust, attractive and low-carbon societies
- Sharing and learning from successful (or not!) local adaptation actions
Interested? Click here for the full programme.
Developing a Smart, Resilient, Digital Society
Low Carbon Britain 2018 is a unique conference and exhibition that will address Great Britain’s current carbon reduction position and allow us to hear from those leading and driving the policies and proposals. One of the main focuses of the conference is to discuss how public sector along with towns, villages and cities can reduce their carbon emissions. The current situation will be highlighted and a discussion surrounding how this can be improved and delivered will play an imperative part within the conference.
Smart water management, from smart meters to reducing water consumption, is also going to be part of the areas covered by the conference. In particular, water is one of the themes on which smart and future cities shall be built.
More information and registration instructions can be found here:
On Friday 2nd November, EIPCM (The European Institute for Participatory Media) hosted the first contest design sprint bootcamp at their offices in Berlin, Germany. There were 13 participants who developed and uploaded 13 new ideas to the POWER platforms of Leicester and Milton Keynes, and generated 27 comments overall in just one day. We consider this a big success for the POWER project and the contest.
Some moments from the Bootcamp:
Following the success of this first Design Sprint Bootcamp, further bootcamps will be forthcoming in the near future. The first of these will be in Sofia, Bulgaria on 18th November, co-organized by POWER and United Ideas for Bulgaria (the organisation that is providing hands-on assistance in Sofia). Participants can develop their own idea proposals that solve sustainability issues on local level and upload them onto one of the POWER platforms.
The International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD) will celebrate its 18th Conference in Barcelona on the 25th, 26th and 27th of November.
This year, the topics will be:
Direct democracy – this direct dimension is essential in a democratic system. A democratic town or city must be able to provide its citizens with these channels for participation and decision making. The following topics will be discussed and debated:
- Benefits of and the problems caused by direct democracy channels
- Successful cases and implementation problems
- Interaction of direct democracy with other kinds of participation channels
- Direct democracy and digital technology
- The problem of competences in relation to direct democracy
Citizens’ initiative – citizen initiative can play a significant role in the construction and improvement of the community itself, and can even serve to redesign the relationship between citizens and public institutions. The topics under discussion will be the following:
- Citizen initiative, in its different versions
- Interaction between citizen initiative and institutional initiative
- Community empowerment
- Common urban assets and the community management of public services
- Citizen initiatives and social movements
- Citizen initiatives and digital technology
Ecosystems of inclusive democracy -it is essential to think of local democracy as an ecosystem in which different kinds of mechanisms and instruments coexist and interact. Subjects include the following:
- The legal regulation of local participation
- Systems of legal guarantees for participatory mechanisms
- Digital channels and their interaction with other instruments
- Interaction between instruments of participation
- The inclusion of different communities, through different instruments
- Participatory budgeting
The conference is open to any interested in the implementation of participatory democracy at a local level, such as, but not limited to, the following:
- Local government representatives
- Members of research centres
- Activists and people involved in social movements (such as those participating to the POWER water communities)
- Representatives of NGOs with an interest in participatory democracy
You can also present your products/services by having a stand within the exhibition area.
Interested in making your voice and opinion heard? register today!
Digital Social Innovation for Sustainability – Design Jam & Idea Contest
Our communities are facing sustainability problems that need to be addressed. The POWER Idea Contest for Sustainable Communities, funded by the European Commission under the project “Political and social awareness on water environmental challenges” (POWER), is looking for ideas for solutions to sustainability challenges that local communities face and provides effective support to implement them. Learn more about the contest at: http://www.power-contest.org.
In this context, the De Montfort University, Leicester (UK), is organising and hosting a “Design Jam for Sustainability” event, free of charge and open to all members of the public, be they students, innovators, creators and visionaries. Develop your ideas into prototypes in just 4 hours! You will learn how you can create a prototype of your idea that is just real enough to get an authentic response from potential users, and you will do it really fast!
The design jam is based on Google’s innovation methodology and will help you find new approaches to societal challenges. We will not only show you how to gather feedback from users who interact with your solution, but also show you how to submit your validated concept to the POWER Idea Contest for Sustainable Communities where you can win support for the implementation of your idea.
Participants will be provided with a free lunch. Places are limited, so sign up today!
Registration is available here.
Learn how to co-create innovative solutions to sustainability issues.
The POWER Idea Contest for Sustainable Communities, funded by the European Commission under the project “Political and social awareness on water environmental challenges” (POWER), is looking for ideas for solutions to sustainability challenges that local communities face and provides effective support to implement them.
Within this context, researchers from the EU H2020 POWER project are organising a one day Design Jam for Sustainability in Milton Keynes, UK. Open to all members of the public, you will learn how to co-create innovative solutions to sustainability issues, create a prototype of your idea that is just real enough to get an authentic response from potential users, and we will also show you how to submit your validated concept to the POWER Idea Contest for Sustainable Communities where you can win support for the implementation of your idea. Learn more about the contest at: http://www.power-contest.org.
So… Innovators, Creators and Visionaries… join our hands-on design jam to learn how you can make use of Google’s proven innovation methodology that helps you to solve problems through designing, prototyping, and testing ideas with users in a very short time.
Refreshments are provided for all participants, but places are limited. Sign up now here.
Managing Yesterday’s Infrastructure Using Tomorrow’s Technology is the theme and the challenge being explored at Future Water Networks 2018, a Future Water Association event.
How can new intelligent technology help to reduce water leakage, wastage and sewer flooding? This challenge, and how to overcome it, will be explored at Future Water Networks 2018.
The conference will open on 3rd December with the third heat, of the highly regarded Water Dragons which will take place in front of a live audience and judges from across the sector where the focus will be on innovation in the ‘Wastewater network’. Companies pitch their innovative product or service to the ‘Dragons’, who cross-examine the presenters, focusing on three key areas:
- Have they clearly identified the potential size and value of the market?
- Have the presenters thought through how their innovation would be implemented?
- No innovation operates in a vacuum – how will its introduction impact on existing operations, working practices and systems?
The winner of Water Dragons will be announced after the event, during a dinner which will also include a keynote speaker from the industry.
On the 4th December speakers from a number of the water companies, regulators and the supply chain will challenge current thinking.
There will also be an exhibition area available during the event, where products and services can be demonstrated and explained.
Do you work in the water sector? Are you involved in policy and decision making in this sector? You need to be here!
Interested? Click here!
ICT 2018 Imagine Digital Connect Europe
ICT 2018 Imagine Digital Connect Europe will take place in Vienna on 4-6 December 2018. This research and innovation event will focus on the European Union’s priorities in the digital transformation of society and industry. It will present an opportunity for the people involved in this transformation to share their experience and vision of Europe in the digital age.
In an open and participatory event, organised by the European Commission and the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, citizens can join science community members, policymakers, and fellow ICT-enthusiasts to discuss the future in a digital Europe.
The Conference programme will feature influential speakers and debates around the EU’s digital policy. The programme will involve relevant parties from industry, research and public bodies. The ‘Imagine18’ campaign will reach out to generations ranging from teenagers to the elderly to learn how citizens feel about the digital revolution and its effects on daily life.
As part of the ICT 2018 Exhibition programme, EU-funded research and innovation successes will be presented to the public. Visitors will also have the chance to meet the innovators behind these projects.
The Innovation and Startups forum will bring together market-oriented innovators and investors, and will present marketable research and innovation results from EU-funded projects.
The ICT4Water cluster, supported by EASME and DG CNECT, is a “hub” for EU-funded research projects in the field of ICT applied to the water sector across various management areas, cycles and value chains. Currently, its members are immersed and engaged in the deployment of the “Action Plan for a Digital Single Market of Water Services”.
ICT4Water will be present at ICT 2018, an event organised by the European Commission and the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union that will take place in Vienna on 4-6 December 2018. In addition to showcasing some of its projects (including POWER) for the whole duration of the event, ICT4Water has also organised a networking session on 6th December.
The main goal of the session is to follow-up on ICT4Water project main outcomes aligned with digital water strategy depicted in the Action Plan as well as EU-funded projects pushing for specific actions. Four projects present their results which create impact in diverse activities of the water value chains using different ICT solutions. Topics presented range from Serious Game, Decision Support Systems, Awareness, and Real time monitoring covering different water value chains.
Get more information here.
Distribution of seedlings in communal gardens in Jerusalem
Today we’re handing out plants to community gardeners in Jerusalem.
In The Photo: the dedicated activists
Water saving activity with children in Jerusalem
Today, we met at the garden community garden on the tribe and we were taking cocoons and seedlings that were shared by the children. Thank you, for the hardworking gardeners who have held the cocoons to each garden separately and worked for the good of all community gardens.
More info here
7th European Conference on Sustainability Energy and the Environment
7th European Conference on Sustainability Energy and the Environment
“Independence & Interdependence”
The technological and logistical advances of globalisation have enabled us to become independent and empowered as never before, but at the same time made us more dependent on the very things allowing autonomy. While technologies allow us to communicate with those on the other side of the world, they can also make us detached from those immediately around us, and in some cases alienated, or lonely. And yet this increased interconnectedness offers great opportunities to work together to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, and reminds us of our responsibilities towards each other. Our independence is contextualised in the relations we enjoy with others; in our families and communities, shared institutions, in our wider societies, geographical and political entities, and finally as a part of the one world we all share.
The conference theme for ECSEE2019 is Independence & Interdependence, and we hope and expect this important thematic lens to encourage wide reflections on the importance and interrelation of such concepts as autonomy and identity, rights and responsibilities, and power and control; and within a variety of contexts from politics and geopolitics to energy, sustainability and the environment; and from education, technology and logistics, to culture and language; from psychology and security, to considerations of equity and justice.
In conjunction with our Global Partners, including the University of Sussex and Birkbeck, University of London, we look forward to extending you a warm welcome in 2019.
Kwame Akyeampong, University of Sussex, UK
Anne Boddington, Kingston University, UK
Eddie Bruce-Jones, Birkbeck College School of Law, University of London, UK
Evangelia Chrysikou, University College London, UK
Joseph Haldane, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
Tom Houghton, Curtin University, Australia
Ljiljana Markovic, University of Belgrade, Serbia
James W. McNally, University of Michigan & NACDA Program on Aging, USA