Mission-driven innovation: delivering a high-ambition future for water security

Mission-driven innovation: delivering a high-ambition future for water security


August 21, 2023    
9:00 am - 10:30 am


Event Type

Session ID 11105


This session will bring together practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and representatives of the private sector to identify trajectories for innovation through the mission-driven framework that emerged from the Transformative Futures for Water Security initiative. This session will catalyze aligned action across sectors within the water innovation system and drive forward the

Session Description

The session will give insight on the research, innovation, policy and intervention needs for key water security implementors from multiple stakeholder representatives. It will contribute to a better understanding of future water risks across stakeholders and improve our knowledge on how mission-led research can help deliver strengthened impact. It will generate new alliances and strengthen existing coalitions to deliver the missions and will highlight how integrating areas of specialism can catalyze greater collective innovation. Additionally, this session aims to explore existing gaps in research and innovation tracks and assess current innovation systems’ potential for meeting future water challenges captured in the TFWS missions’ demand and identify innovative ways to reduce fragmentation in water systems research, converge efforts across sectors and implement transformative pathways for water security.

Our desired impact is a joint visioning of innovation pathways to help drive a mission driven approach to water innovation.


Welcome and introduction

Moderator of the event: Carolina Tornesi Mackinnon 


Keynote – Innovation System for Water Security

Dr. Jennifer Molwantwa – Chief Executive Officer – WRC South Africa


Why is innovation not delivering water security? Keynote presentation to provide an overview of innovation systems and critical challenges which reduce the effectiveness of innovation for collective action in water systems at scale.


TFWS short video

Conversation Starter – Mission-Driven Collective Action for Water Systems Change

Moderator?: Carolina Tornesi Mackinnon


Testimonials from regional voices: Why are these missions important to me?

Gonzalo Germán Meschengieser, Foreign Affairs Manager, Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos AySA 

Ashton Mpofu, Expert Analyst: Water at GreenCape and TFWS youth co-host


Panelists react to the testimonials

Xavier Leflaive, Environment Directorate, Principal Administrator, OECD

Mark Fletcher, Director and Global Water Business Leader, ARUP 

Manohara Khadka, IWMI Nepal Country Representative 



Panel 2 – Policies for More Effective Innovation Systems for Water Security

Moderator: Inga Jacobs-Mata


Policy – a representative from the Department of Water and Sanitation Government of South Africa;

Private Sector –  Michael Alexander, Global Head of Water, Environment, Agriculture Sustainability, Diageo

Finance –  Sergio Campos Gonzales, Chief of the Water and Sanitation, Division Inter-American Development Bank

Research – Dr. Veena Srinivasan – Executive Director, WELL Labs, Bengaluru, India

Youth – Maitreyi Koduganti Adivi, President of the Water Youth Network – TBC  

Civil society missing – TBD



Closing and wrap up

Mark Smith, Director General, IWMI

Closing speaker gives synthesis of key messages

Thanks and closing remarks


  • Alliance for Water Stewardship
  • Arup
  • Global Water Partnership
  • Government of South Africa National (Department of Water and Sanitation)
  • International Water Management Institute
  • South Africa Department of Water and Sanitation
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • University of Oxford
  • World Youth Parliament for Water

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