22 October 2015
Mid-September, over 220 government, industry and research participants in the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) gathered in Brisbane for the 2nd Water Sensitive Cities Conference. The conference, managed by the CRCWSC, featured 50 researcher and industry case study presentations and 12 industry-led panels.
For Carol, who attended on behalf of Clearwater, one of the highlights of the conference was a presentation made by Tony Wong, CEO of the CRCWSC, in conjunction with David Pannell, from the University of Western Australia.
Their case study, entitled ‘a whole of government approach to delivering Water Sensitive Cities’, is part of Project A3.3: Strategies for influencing the political dynamics of decision-making. The idea was for the research team to make a case for a water sensitive city in front of a mock-up government led by Brumby. The experiment was particularly interesting given its novel approach and the willingness of the project team to take risks in a fail-safe environment.
The outcomes from this case study were as follows:
The research team acknowledged that in past times, scientists were ‘trusted advisors’ whereas in today’s world, they are increasingly politicised – a difficult space to be operating in. Some of the lessons learnt included:
The boldness of the presentation and frank admission to failures and associated learnings of this experiment were an incredible statement of strength and commitment to pursue the case, learn by doing and do better next time around!