Water Innovation Lab Australia



Victoria is our learning ground. This vibrant, attractive place to live, to work and to visit in Australia is facing two big challenges as the fastest growing state in the nation. These two challenges are climate change and population growth, as it is becoming warmer and drier, and most water resources are at their sustainable limits.

With Melbourne – a ‘city of cities’ as our entry point and backdrop, WIL Australia will offer a first-hand look at water innovations related to urban design to address water challenges as Melbourne prepares to face climate change and projections to be Australia’s largest city by 2051. (source: Resilient Melbourne Strategy)

After setting the context through first-hand experience, the next 5 training days will be spent in the heart of nature in the beautiful Yarra Valley on 13 acres of undulating parkland and magnificent views over the Yarra Ranges. Here we will take time to reflect in the wisdom of nature, while working on personal and professional skill-building, training in workshops with experts, and scenario planning and designing collaborative solutions in teams – to finally pitch these solutions.

The key question that guides our immersive training is: How can innovation, creativity and facilitation of multi-stakeholder, multi-sector collaboration enhance the way we innovate and design solutions for a more resilient water system, in Australia and globally?


Saturday, May 19
Focus and Activity

Arrival to Urban Camp

Water Ceremony

Building Connections

Learning Objective

Meeting co-learning partners

Setting the stage and understanding purpose

Macro View of Water Challenges in Australia

Sunday, May 20
Focus and Activity

Community Field Visits for Context Setting and learning in partnership with Clearwater 

Learning Objective

Depth on specific water challenges and water innovations, and socio-cultural understanding of water in Melbourne through in-situ field visits. Themes include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders traditional ecological wisdom, challenges and opportunities for water management
  • Tour of the water supply network in Victoria
  • Agriculture and irrigation fields
  • IWRM and policies with focus on key waterways that feed the city: Yarra, Maribyrnong, Monee Ponds Creek
  • Fostering Innovation within Water Utilities
  • Coastal water systems and marine restoration *more details to be shared soon.
  • Broad awareness raising of water realities among different stakeholders
Monday, May 21
Focus and Activity

System Resilience Workshop facilitated by Resilient Melbourne

Community Field Visits cont’d
Travel to ADANAC in the Yarra Valley (where we will stay for the next 5 days)

Learning Objective

Understanding what working towards a resilient water future means in the context of innovation
Identifying, exploring, and assessing potential of innovation gaps
Reorienting thinking towards innovation, creation for impact, and knowledge sharing

Tuesday, May 22
Focus and Activity

Collective Skills Development

Innovation Team Creation

Master Class

Learning Objective

Diverse workshops with Resource guests focus on knowledge and skills development:

  • Edgework/ leadership
  • System-thinking
  • Collaborative innovation
  • Resilience in the Water Sector
  • Career mentorship

Trans- disciplinary work: How can we foster strong work between engineers, policy makers, scientists, and entrepreneurs to better understand each others’ roles, capacity and contributions?

Identifying innovation projects for impact around real problem statements

Learning Deeply – master class on innovation

Wednesday, May 23
Focus and Activity

Creativity “SURPRISE” Workshop

Scenario Planning Workshop

Evening Collaborative Innovation in Action (teams immersed in project development)

Learning Objective

Focus on knowledge and skills development

  • Leaning into and learning from the future
  • Surfacing the collective wisdom
  • Inspiring potential in the team
  • Future thinking and scenario planning
  • Creativity and boundary-expanding
Thursday, May 24
Focus and Activity

Collaborative Innovation in Action
(teams immersed in project development)

Planning Next Steps

Team Pitches

Evening Celebration

Learning Objective

Focus on skills in action and Identifying Strategies for Moving ideas forward

  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Innovation mindsets
  • Presentation and communication skills
  • Receiving feedback from colleagues and experts

Depth awareness building of how others have been inspired to make water impact

Understanding where each collaborative innovation project fits in relation to the system and scale of contribution to water system

Building connections between pitched projects as way of co-creating an ecology of co-learning and larger impact.

Friday, May 25
Focus and Activity

Closing Circle


Learning Objective

Harvesting the learning and closing the journey with commitments to:

Carry forward action on projects
Implement learning in day-to-day work and life
Maintain the bonds among colleagues and this network

Become part of global Water Innovation Lab community