With our 2016 website now up, we’re getting registrations of interest coming in at a quick pace and that gets me to thinking about why the Global Water Summit, now in its 11th year, still rates as an experience not to be missed in the international water sector.
It boils down to why people go to conferences in the first place. If you spend any amount of time at the Global Water Summit, you’ll soon realise that most of the people attending are too busy to even be there. You’ll also notice that they are not always the same people you saw at the last water conference you went to. That’s a powerful combination. We get the CEOs of major water utilities and industrial water users – the two cohorts with the highest stake in making the world of water work better – and bring them together for an intense two day forum on water. They talk to technology experts with brains and know-how and sit across from the business decision makers with money to invest and have the kinds of conversations that spawn new markets, new ways of doing business and a new way of understanding what the water sector is and what it can do.
So people come to the Global Water Summit to meet the people they aren’t likely to meet anywhere else and for the kinds of conversations that aren’t likely to happen anywhere else. That’s part of it.
The other part is serendipity. People come to our Summit for the unpredictable; the chance meetings in corridors, the follow up question that led to a contract, the Round Table discussion that went overtime with the excitement of a new idea.
It all adds up to the Global Water Summit being an unusual mix. We don’t have water people talking to water people and spending two days agreeing with each other. We have the sectors that need water and use water, i.e. utilities, energy, oil and gas, mining, petrochemicals, manufacturing and micro-processing, talking to people with the water solutions that can make their businesses and economic growth sustainable and responsive to the environment.
The main thing about the Global Water Summit, though, is the way it captures change. The future sustainability of water and of the businesses that use water lies in developing new business models and new forms of finance. A conference that gets the sectors that use water talking to the sectors that provide water solutions is one that tracks the most vital transformative conversations that are taking place in the international water sector right now.
That’s the Global Water Summit.