There are numerous meetings that are held in different parts of the world each year on water-related issues. However, overwhelming number of these meetings are simply activities which have no impacts, contribute to no progress and have no real achievements. They are what the Centre calls SOS (same old stuff) type of meetings. They seldom contribute to development of new ideas or solutions. They primarily take place because they satisfy the needs and the agendas of certain specific institutions and/or individuals, but seldom contribute to new ideas or solutions.
In order to break out of this unfortunate pattern, the Centre has initiated a new type of meetings. Taking a leaf out of the World Economic Forum, the Centre and its partners, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, and Singapore International Water Week, have initiated a new format of water meeting a la Davos.
For each meeting, the Centre carefully selects 15-18 “movers and shakers” of the water world from academia, government, private sector and international organizations whose influence and expertise in the specific water-related area are beyond any doubt. These specialists are then invited in their personal capacities to discuss only one specific issue candidly and in depth.
The first such meeting was organized in Singapore on July 1st, 2012, and the topic was “Water Infrastructure in Asia: What is needed and what is likely to be a Reality.” This small and very exclusive meeting broke many new grounds. Over the next 6-8 months, several papers, opinion pieces in major international and national newspapers and a definitive text will be published.
7th World Water Forum, Daegu, Korea
Vibrant Gujarat, Gandhinagar, India