Water for Food

World Water Week 2016: Water for Food Global Institute shines a light on the roles of policy and communication to address global water challenges

July 22, 2016

By Nam Tran, Water for Food Global Institute intern

This year marks the fifth year that the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska will participate in World Water Week, the central forum on global water issues since 1991. The annual conference brings together more than 3,000 water leaders to Stockholm, Sweden under the direction of the Stockholm International Water Institute. This year’s event takes place Aug. 28-Sept. 2 and will focus on “Water and Sustainable Growth.”

The goal of the conference is to exchange ideas and discuss a wide range of the world’s water and development issues through plenary sessions, panel debates, workshops, seminars and more. WFI’s approach to World Water Week is to educate and share its expertise, as well as the University of Nebraska’s strengths and leadership in water management for agriculture, through academic seminars, workshops or research posters.

“WFI was created to have an international impact,” said Jesse Starita, education outreach associate. “Being a player in a conference like World Water Week just makes sense.”

WFI is changing things up this year by focusing more on communication and policy.

WFI will co-convene two workshops on Aug. 30: “Telling Your Story to Make an Impact” and “Role-playing How Water Markets Improve Food Security and the Environment.”

Telling Your Story to Make an Impact” will focus on communicating advancements in water and food security. Oftentimes researchers, students, policymakers, business leaders, non-profits and others have made remarkable scientific breakthroughs, but information about their research projects and results fails to reach those who need it most. This workshop will explore how to best share these advancements in a way that supports knowledge transfer and behavior change.

WFI Director of Communications and Public Relations Molly Nance will co-lead the workshop along with representatives from CGIAR’s Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystem (WLE) led by the International Water Management Institute, KickStart International and Redstone.

“This session is looking strategically at communications and how you can more effectively achieve results by using communication in this science and environmental arena,” said Nance. “A lot of benefits are there for the taking if they use communications effectively and really think about it.”

Role-playing How Water Markets Improve Food Security and the Environment” is intended to help people better understand the use of water markets and transactions to address water scarcity — complex processes that are often difficult to navigate. This event will illustrate the basics of water transactions while giving participants an interactive format to try it for themselves. The session will also highlight the roles of the public, private and philanthropic sectors in developing markets.

WFI Director of Policy Nick Brozovic will co-lead the session along with Rockefeller Foundation Managing Director for Ecosystems Fred Boltz and Mammoth Trading Co-founder and President Richael Young.

“Water markets pop up a lot in the news and media, but they’re often portrayed in a way that is confusing to people or can generate misconceptions about what water markets are,” said Young. “The purpose of this session is to break down some of those misconceptions and let people try their hand at it.”

If you plan to participate in World Water Week 2016, please consider attending these WFI workshops to learn how to advance important global water issues through improved communication skills and policy knowledge.

Follow the institute on social media during the event on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as the larger discussion surrounding the event by using the official #WWWeek hashtag.

Nam Tran is a communications and public relations intern at the Water for Food Global Institute. Tran will graduate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in August with bachelor’s degrees in both journalism and advertising and PR.

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