The Water Challenge

A two-day innovation Bootcamp at the Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab, University of Exeter, for business, NGOs and academic researchers. By the end, participants defined 6 actionable, fundable collaborative projects.

The Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab is a partnership of seven, world class Devon-based organisations, and their dedicated project team is a link into a wealth of academic and industrial expertise and data. The Water Resilience Challenge brought together over 70 academics, large corporations, innovators and entrepreneurs, to tackle some of the key issues in managing water risks and building a resilient world. Everyone needs water and the day tackled the increased pressure on the finite supply due to a rising population. 

The Bootcamp* began with presentations from the main sponsors highlighting the challenges they face. Participants were encouraged into cross-disciplinary groups, and we retained a flexibility where experts could move among the groups. A design thinking sprint followed to identify a core project for each group, which they then worked on the following day. All six groups completed a project map by the end of the second day, and pitched it to all participants. As far as we know, there were 6 project proposals that were submitted for funding after this workshop.

*This 2 day bootcamp was co-funded by Southwest Water and The Eden Project.

“Sawsan was an invaluable asset to our 2-day challenge event. Warm and engaging, she inspired our diverse audience to form groups and develop impressive prototypes in a very short space of time.”Kathryn White, Innovation Manager