Sydney Water’s Innovation Festival is an Australian first, a “twin” event hosted in parallel and in collaboration with Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival – making it a truly global event. 

Northumbrian Water has been holding their extremely popular Festival since 2017, and the Innovation Festival will take place online between October 18-20.  

The festival will play host to an impressive list of guest speakers including Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Craig Reucassel, host of the popular ‘War on Waste’ television series. 

The festival will also explore how water connects us, through a panel led by key experts on Aboriginal culture and knowledge, Phil Duncan, Brad Moggeridge, Elle Davidson, Veronica Murphy and Marcia Ella-Duncan. 

The speakers will lead a range of keynote discussions, Shark Tank themed innovation pitch sessions, design sprints and smart city hackathons.

“There are so many challenges in sustainable water management,” Dr Karl Kruszelnicki said. 

“These problems will not go away; in fact, they are getting worse. We need to have these conversations around innovation and water now!”

The festival will play host to three days of workshops, conversation and debate that will change the way we think about innovation and what we do in water services.  

Whether it’s a discussion about sustainability, climate change, or how technology can offer a better future, this is an event based around positive engagement, inclusivity, and fun. 

The key themes of the festival include amplifying the voices of Aboriginal peoples, circular economy, water security, liveability, smart cities, and customer experience.

Dr Nicola Nelson, Manager, Research and Innovation at Sydney Water said, “The aim is to create an event which brings together water utilities and their customers, councils, community, academia, government, industry partners and key stakeholders to generate new ideas and to solve key challenges, where we can work together in a fun way to create a better life for our communities. The key focus is innovation, but to do so with the fun of a ‘virtual spring festival’.

“Ultimately, we all have a role to play in achieving this shared vision and collaboration is key to share ideas and solutions from around the world. 

“We want to tackle some of the toughest societal and environmental problems using the best of digital platforms and tools, to inspire fresh ideas and to create tangible outputs.

“An integral part of the fun element of the festival will be ‘The Brilliant Debate – The Splashes’, the equivalent of the Ashes in cricket for the water sector where Australian and UK Brilliant Debate teams will be competing to determine who is better at innovation.” 

Dr Alex Cech, Chief Technology Officer at Isle Utilities (Asia Pacific), the Delivery Partner of the festival said, “We are delighted that Utility Magazine has come onboard as a sponsor of the Sydney Water Innovation Festival.

“We hope that all of the subscribers and readers of Utility Magazine register and take part in the many sessions, conversations and debates throughout the festival. We want the festival to be as inclusive and interactive as possible.”

General Manager, Business Development at Sydney Water, Chris Gould, said, “Our festival is going to bring together a whole range of stakeholders, who are either directly or indirectly involved in the water sector, but we will also be engaging with key players and innovators outside the water industry.

“We are going to showcase and develop innovative solutions towards some of the biggest problems and challenges that face the water industry, particularly around water security and resilience.

“We are really looking forward to hosting as many guests as possible from around the globe to take part in the festival. 

“This is an event you do not want to miss!” 

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