Workshop - Perspectives on Innovation: What does it mean to be innovative in water policy-making and what is involved?

This event is co-organised by the Water Policy Innovation Hub Jean Monnet project and the Institute for Water Futures, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

Innovation is certainly one of the most popular words of the modern world. It is used to describe change and novelty and newness in a large sense. However, the term is contested and has been characterised and thematised in various ways. In the water management context, innovation could mean different things to different policy settings and different geographies, and actors can approach it in different ways to accomplish differing goals.

Understanding the very notion of innovation will help water researchers and practitioners to better understand the water system (actors, networks, structure), to identify different kinds of complexities associated with innovation processes, as well as to shape the direction and research avenue for future studies.

Drawing on concrete case studies, this workshop aims to understand what counts as innovative knowledge, practice, and solution in the context of water management, and what that means for tackling radical change. This is the first event out of three events which collectively aim to explore the idea of innovation in the 21st century as it appears and is understood in water policymaking within different contexts. We conclude this event by highlighting some areas of thematic discussion for next events in Berlin and Montpellier.

The workshop will benefit from the insights of experts, professionals and researchers working in the related area. The invited guests will lead discussions about the question of innovation, each with a rapporteur specifically looking at how innovation is dealt with in that discussion.

Contributions are invited specifically on experiences and ideas about water and innovation policy challenges including but not limited to governance, technology, participation, and legislation.

Participants include:

  • Quentin Grafton, Australian National University
  • Anita Milman, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Ehsan Nabavi, Australian National University
  • Sarah Loudin, IRSTEA, France
  • Jamie Pittock, Australian National University
  • Phil Saksa, Blue Forest Conservation, California

If you are interested in presenting, please contact

As part of the Water Policy Innovation Hub Jean Monnet project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, some funds are available to support travel.