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Published: 10.20.2018

2030 WRG side event at the Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit

WEF Summit Sep18

October, 2018 – At the recent World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit, held at the end of September in New York, 2030 WRG organized a side-event that served as an opportunity to showcase the work and impact of 2030 WRG through partners’ stories.

Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice President Sustainable Development, offered some remarks on the positioning of water in the 4IR space, the importance of pushing advancements in water, harnessing disruption and exponential change and accelerating demand-side management through value-chains to make impact.

Opportunities for collaboration and scale

She was followed by Bea Perez, Senior Vice President and Chief Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability at The Coca Cola Company, who offered insights into the benefits to the multi-stakeholder approach, and involvement into 2030 WRG. Shamima Akhter, Sustainability Head for Coca Cola in Bangladesh, then spoke in more detail about her experiences at the country-level, in Bangladesh, working alongside 2030 WRG Steering Board partners. She spoke about agricultural challenges, coordination challenges, and opportunities for collaboration and scale.

ABInBev Director of Water Sustainability, Andre Fourie, then shared his experience with embedding innovation in collaborative water management, specifically in Africa.  Minister Gugile Nkwinti from the Water and Sanitation Department of South Africa, subsequently shared how from a government-standpoint, we need to leverage public, private and civil society partnerships altogether, to tackle the challenges from the front-lines, against a backdrop of economic growth, policies and frameworks that support transformation at scale, and valuing water.

Changes in government

Mercedes Castro, Peru 2030 WRG partnership Steering Committee Chair, CEO of Agualimpia NGO, and former Peru sherpa to the UN High Level Panel on Water, then explained how best to deal with realities on the ground, including changes in governments, as we have recently witnessed in the case of Peru. She shared how the Peru collaboration has elevated the MSP to a high-level decision making body where many other decisions are taken now as well as the platform proved to be versatile in its delivery and mechanism and a great, neutral place where relevant stakeholders can come together to talk about concrete projects.

Manual Sager, Director-General for the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), finally shared with the participants how he sees 2030 WRG as incubators for such 4IR and technological innovative projects, to test and showcase how successful projects can be replicated and scaled for transformative impact.

Overcoming obstacles

Moderator, Jane Nelson, Director of the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, then led the discussion on overcoming obstacles in transforming value chains, how 4IR can help reduce demand for water, thereby ensuring communities and the environment have sustainable water, how collective action can achieve impact at scale and how to ensure that inequalities are not deepened more in society.