Water Innovation Lab Australia

MAY 19-25, 2018


The Water Innovation Lab (WIL) Australia is about developing future water leaders who can think holistically, design innovatively and communicate across sectors and generations.

Waterlution’s global Water Innovation Labs are front-running, immersive leadership development experiences designed to accelerate collaborative innovation, fast-track global knowledge sharing and devise new innovations that improve water security for the planet, and support emerging leaders (20-35 yrs) to implement SDGs (goal 6) in their organisations and projects. With leadership training at its core, WIL global experiences equip the next generation of young water researchers, policy-makers, and waterpreneurs with mindsets and skillsets for beyond 2020: collaboration, creativity, global-engagement, complex problem solving, impact-oriented thinking, social intelligence, multilayered teamwork and intercultural communication. Our groundbreaking, cross-sector, cross-disciplinary approach has become a proven new model for global engagement, co-innovation leadership, and a catalyst for co-created change.

Check out webisodes from the most recent Lab – WILEurope 2017

WHY WIL Australia?

Australia, one of the driest inhabited continents on earth and among the world’s highest consumers of water, is facing an insecure water future. With its dedication to implementing strong and concerted efforts for integrated water management across the country, Australia placed itself in the ranks of water leading nations over the past years. WIL Australia offers an opportunity to learn first-hand from Australia’s advances, risks and persisting challenges in meeting its water demands and vision for the future.  

Given water challenges are also highly complex, encompassing not only technical and engineering issues, but questions of governance, power, consumption and society, now, more than ever, new ways of thinking are needed, particularly on cross-boundary water issues. In these complex contexts, innovation labs are seen as effective ways to surface inspired solutions and approaches. The water leaders of the future need to learn to connect diverse knowledge, disciplines, sectors and skills to build a more resilient water system.

At WIL Australia, we will investigate some of the major challenges and opportunities facing water management across the country, and the role emerging water leaders can play. Themes include:

  • Drought and Flooding
  • Agriculture and irrigation
  • Traditional knowledge for water management
  • Urban water quality
  • Coastal water systems and marine restoration
  • And more…

Important Dates

December 20, 2017
First round of applications closes

December 22, 2017
First round of acceptances issued by email

February 12, 2018
Deadline for new applications

February 27, 2018
Final round of acceptances issued by email

March 27, 2018
Date for a participants webinar with our team announced, final schedule shared, and we begin to build the network.

Note: where possible, strong applications from outside Australia will be notified by mid-late January to allow for greater travel planning time.

Who will be at WIL Australia

WIL Australia is designed for 20 to 35 year-olds from a diversity of backgrounds and nationalities who are enthusiastic about innovating within the Australian water context. Participants do not need to be experts in water issues yet demonstrate how water is involved in their work (along with many water savvy people, we are always seeking artists and creative thinkers and social innovators that offer a unique lens or practice on the subject matter). Waterlution believes the most compelling dialogue comes from having a mixture of knowledge and perspectives together in a facilitated experience. Participants include:

50 Young Leaders

(Australia, and Global) – water professionals and researchers, waterpreneurs, social scientists, community leaders engaging in facilitating processes of collaboration around water resources.

10+ Resource Guests Visionaries

with experience in water policy, technology and management, indigenous water management, community engagement and the Australian context. They bring the reality, policy, challenges and opportunities to the table.

5+ Facilitators 

From Waterlution, Melbourne and our community partners to skilled at designing and hosting an engaging, meaningful and learning-based process

Is WIL Australia for you?

Are you 20-35 years old, passionate about water ?

Do you have a water project, business idea, or artistic intervention that you would like to develop?

Do you want to meet, learn with, and inspire other young water leaders from around the globe?

You don’t need to be immersed in water issues to be a valuable contributor or to benefit from the Water Innovation Lab. Simply by having an interest in protecting water for current and future generations, a desire to contribute your ideas, a craving to be a part of real-time innovation, and a need to make real connections with others, you will find your place.

If this sounds like you, join us in Melbourne, Australia for a transformative week of engagement, innovation and change-making in 2018.

Why attend a WIL?

“Participating in a Water Innovation Lab by Waterlution is a life changing experience. You will meet amazing people, learn incredible new knowledge, and leave feeling profoundly inspired. If you get a chance to participate in WIL, definitely do it. You’ll be glad you did.”
– WIL India participant, 2017

“This experience has widened my mind to the diversity of possibilities that are open to me within the water world – my boundaries have been blown open.”
– WIL Netherlands participant, 2017

“All of a sudden, I started thinking of my knowledge as more useful, and myself as a more valuable asset to a team. I always saw myself as younger, less experienced and less knowledgeable than everyone else in my field, but now I realize that I have real skills, and what I needed was more confidence and the tools to bring those skills into a collaborative work space.”
– WIL Scotland participant, 2015

“Different parts of our brain were activated each day. Building water entrepreneurs and the Pro-Action Café were a great mix so people could test their ideas with a wide range of participants. There were so many great ideas, I was left wondering which ones would go forward and I really want to follow the stories from this WIL.”
– WIL Canada participant, 2013

Learn More About WILs

Applications for WILAustralia are now open.

Apply by February 12, 2018 midnight AEDT

Recent & Upcoming WILs