Dynamic speaker line up set for Aquatech Innovation Forum

With little under two months to go until its inaugural event, Aquatech is pleased to announce that the Innovation Forum conference programme is now 100 per cent complete.

Over 40 speakers, including 15 utilities from over 15 countries have been confirmed to deliver engaging talks and discussion in Amsterdam.

With a tagline of ‘Mastering Water’s Digital Transformation’, the Innovation Forum will take place on Monday 4 November to dovetail ahead of the well-established Aquatech Amsterdam exhibition.

The mission is to bring some of the world’s most digitally progressive water utilities together in one space to share knowledge and network.

Water utilities confirmed to speak include Aarhus Vand (Denmark); South East Water (UK); Emschergenossenschaft (Germany); Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (US); Gothenburg City (Sweden); Coliban Water (Australia); Vitens (The Netherlands) and many others.

Examples of digitalisation in the global water market will be shared in a platform designed to promote honest and open discussion.

Topics including Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, smart cities and the role of Water 4.0 and blockchain, among others, will provoke heated discussions across the day.

Balanced panels, not all-male
Ensuring the panel discussions are diverse and balanced is a core ambition of the Innovation Forum, and the forum has confirmed the following high-profile female speakers:

  • Rebekah Eggers – WW Leader, IoT for Energy, Environment & Utilities Business, IBM, US
  • Anna Poberezhna, Founder & CEO, Smart4Tech, UK
  • Gaetane Suzenet, Managing Partner, International Impact Partners, France
  • Samantha Ostridge, Optimisation Team Lead, South East Water, UK
  • Emma Weisbord, Marketing Lead, Emagin, Canada
  • Kimberly Solon, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Ghent University
  • Gigi Karmous-Edwards, President, Water Sector, Karmous-Edwards Digital Consulting, US
  • Carla A. Reid, General Manager/CEO, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), US
  • Trine Stoltenborg, Strategic Project Manager, Skanderborg Forsyning, Denmark.

Disrupting the conventional model
Another development is the inclusion of two’ Unconferenced sessions’. With no planned agenda or speaker list, the Unconference sessions will put the conference agenda into the hands of the audience in a free-flowing, impromptu discussion.

Two leading moderators have been secured to host these discussions: Will Sarni, founder and CEO of Water Foundry and Andrew Walker, CEO of BlueGold Marketing.

The first Unconferenced session, led by Walker, will focus on broader innovation across the water and wastewater industries. A second unplanned session will follow, led by Sarni to dive deeper into the digital world.

Partner and sponsor support
As well as the conference development, Aquatech has secured support from key organisations as supporting partners: International Water Association (IWA), ICT4Water, Bluefield Research, Water Alliance and the Smart Water Networks Forum (SWAN).

Spanish solutions provider GoAigua has been confirmed as the ‘Headline Sponsor’, with other sponsors including Sensus, a Xylem brand, as the ‘Great Wall’ sponsor, Acciona Agua as the ‘Breakfast Sponsor’, DuPont Water Solutions as the ‘Wi-Fi sponsor and Rezatec as the ‘Silver Sponsor’.

Quenching the digital appetite
The Innovation Forum will be the third piece of the Aquatech puzzle and completes the trifecta of events taking place in the same week: the Aquatech Innovation Forum, Aquatech Innovation Award ceremony and large scale, water-focused exhibition with over 23,000 visitors expected.

All of these components are part of the wider Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW).

Kim Schotborgh, project manager, Aquatech Innovation Forum, said: “The Innovation Forum will be a chance to refresh and reignite the traditional conference concept, all hinged on the theme of innovation and specifically, digital innovation in water. We’re proud of this strong speaker line-up, and the conference will provide a great kickstart to the Aquatech Innovation Award dinner and grand exhibition opening the following day.”