We are delighted to host our first WIL Global event—bringing together Canadians and global partners into a newly re-designed virtual learning journey. Originally, WIL Global 2020 was to be hosted in British Columbia, Canada. British Columbia will remain in focus, with many resource guests and mentors coming from the province, while simultaneously bringing global water leaders into the program to provide a rich diversity of knowledge and experience. WIL Global 2020 will blend applied leadership skills training with opportunities for regional, national and global collaborations around water. This is paired with multiple funding & mentorship opportunities for collaborative water innovation projects. At this time, we endeavor to keep the field tours in place for September 26th and 27th in the lower mainland of BC, we will be following Public Health recommendations and may need to adjust field tour delivery, which will be re-assessed into July 2020.

What themes will be explored?

Two over-arching themes will be explored throughout WIL Global 2020, focusing on British Columbian context, and with national and global connections:

  • Water-Energy-Food Nexus
    Framing for this theme: The challenge of meeting increasing water, energy, and food needs is linked not only to growing demands globally, but also to the tight interdependence of these interconnected resource systems. Proposed interventions to address these challenges must be multi-faceted and need to acknowledge the multiple dimensions of the biophysical water, energy, and food systems, as well as the multi-sectoral actors connected with them. Whether policy, technological, or social interventions are considered, these need to be localized and contextualized.
  • Coastal Communities & Resiliency
    Framing for this theme: Coastlines are dynamic systems that, as a result of climate change and sea level rise, are predicted to face increased changes to their environment that will impact the landscape, infrastructure, communities and cultures that exist there. Hazards that are predicted include increased storm frequency and intensity, flooding and erosion. Coastal resiliency plans are place-based, and allow communities to develop a range of strategies to adapt to these changes, support hazard mitigation, and also recognize potential benefits.

In addition, WIL Global 2020 will offer training on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the goal set-out within the UN Decade for Ocean Science.

What Are Water Innovation Labs?

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 and support emerging leaders (18-35 yrs) to implement SDG targets connected to water 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, and impact-oriented thinking. 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. Now more than ever, the skills we train on during WIL are timely for an ever adapting world, one that has increased stress on water resources, and a great need to creatively look for solutions that address the cultural, economic, social and environmental aspects intertwined with water management across the globe

Never been to a WIL? Check out these videos from past WILs

WIL Global 2020 also offers


For new water innovation projects developed during WIL Global 2020

Why join WIL GLOBAL 2020?

WIL is a timely opportunity to greatly expand your career opportunities by building water and leadership related skills, experience inter-generational and cross-sectoral learning at both a local and global level and collaborate with other young leaders, experienced mentors and facilitators, expand your local and global networks, and play an important role in innovating around critical water issues. Additionally, WIL Global 2020 is an opportunity to develop, share and pitch your water ideas to a formidable group of individuals, companies and institutions to position yourself as a key implementer towards solving global water challenges.

In addition, You will:

  • Learn critical skills, which you can apply to your own reality, around scenario planning, and the Theory-U system-change model
  • Connect with visionary resource experts across water disciplines who will share their local, regional and global knowledge in the water sector, and can share opportunities for future employment opportunities
  • Cultivate unparalleled innovation and leadership skills that can be transferable to your work or projects
  • Learn through dynamic programming that ignites your passion and sparks innovative ideas to approach the future of water management
  • Develop collaborative innovation projects in multi-disciplinary teams that address a water challenge, and have a chance to get support to test/prototype/pilot your idea post-WIL!
  • *Participate in in-depth field tours that are place-based and demonstrate local knowledge, innovation, and collaboration. *this component is still in place, but may be adapted
  • Be part of a newly designed online learning journey, that can be adapted in the future for your own needs or that of your organization or community
  • Build lasting relationships and grow your network.

Who will participate in WIL Global 2020?


Young Water Leaders

(British Columbian, Canadian, Global)


Resources Guests

(British Columbian, Canadian and Global)


Waterlution Facilitators

(WIL Global team from Canada, Brazil, Lebanon, Africa and Europe)

Ready to join WIL Global 2020?

Are you…
  • 18-35 years old?

  • A community leader, graduate student or young professional interested in solving water challenges and increasing your leadership skills?

  • Able to make a meaningful contribution around the two WIL Global themes?

  • Able to commit to the online learning program – between June 11 and Nov 15, 2020?

    (please note: all sessions will happen on same day of the week, and be recorded when possible, we encourage active participation, we operate with a “respectful flexibility” mindset, this means give the best of what you can offer in terms of time, and we understand everyone cannot be present every time)

  • Envisioning a career related to the water sector that can be enhanced through a national and global network for water innovators and community leaders?

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Canadians between the ages of 18-35 that have never attended a WIL. As WIL Global has field tours in Lower mainland area of British Columbia, we are seeking 40+ participants from BC.

  • Global citizens (non-Canadians) between the ages of 18-35 that have never attended a WIL

  • Waterlution continues to learn from and with Indigenous Peoples, and include traditional stories and teachings as a part of WIL programs. Within this approach, WIL Global 2020 has a minimum of 10 places reserved for Indigenous Youth Scholarships.

  • Canadian and Global WIL Alumni- for those who participated in a previous Water Innovation Lab.

We are keen to bring our global network together, and we will be looking to make a selection, so all regions are represented. It is important that all applicants submit a strong application, aligning their work, passions, water innovation ideas and research with the two overarching themes.

Important Dates 2020

April 16
Applications open

June 1
Applications close

June 11 – November 12
Program runs


“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 and ready to go deeper with your water work. If you get a chance to participate in WIL, definitely do it!!”
– Emily Taylor, Researcher – Water Management, Alberta Innovates, Canada,

“WIL really fosters an opportunity for youth to spend time on changing the way we do business. It’s unique space for ideas and innovation to flourish and we don’t protect that kind of sacred space nearly enough.”
– Elizabeth Hendriks, VP, Freshwater Conservation, WWF-Canada

“The experience that WIL offers you will change the way you come to solve water problems, as it forces you to think outside the box and challenges you to run at the same speed in which the current world runs.”
– Luis Alberto Bojórquez Rodríguez, Program Director, Conselva, Costas y Comunidades, A.C.

WIL Global

Karen Kun

President & Founder, Waterlution


Megan Cornall

WIL Global Co-ordinator