Next Monday morning, I’ll deliver the opening address for WEFTEC 2012 New Orleans, LA; it will be the kickoff for the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) 85th annual technical exhibition and conference, a five-day event that is expected to draw thousands of water quality professionals and exhibitors to the New Orleans Convention Center.
Last week, I ran a blog post for the WEF ; it’s on their site via that link, and also reprinted below!
Water’s Worth It – and So Is Initiative!
by Jim Carroll
To many, it could seem that the phrase “Water is the oil of the 21st century” is one of the most common phrases in use today. After all, there does seem to be a widespread recognition both in industrialized countries and emerging economies that going forward into the future, water is certainly going to be one of our most important resources.
That’s why, when I walk up on stage to keynote the 2012 Water Environment Federation’s annual conference, I’m hoping to see a sea of faces, each bearing a look of confidence that echoes a bright future for abundant and sustainable water resources worldwide!
After all, if water IS the new oil, then it’s the folks in the room at WEFTEC 2012 who have the potential to take us to a world in which water REALLY is worth it. It is those folks in the room who will play a huge role in pursuing the opportunity for deep transformative change that is possible in the industry. It is the folks in the room who will be able to undertake the big ideas, the big strategies, the big initiatives — and the big risks — to ensure that society can best preserve, protect, recycle, and reuse water.
Should they choose to!
Even with my limited exposure to the industry so far, it is clear that with accelerating science, the rapid emergence of a new slew of water treatment methodologies, potential for chemical and metallurgical extraction and more– that there are all kinds of new opportunities for innovative thinking in the industry of water. That’s what I encounter in many industries today — the world is full of opportunities – if we choose to pursue them.
Yet it can be difficult to do so. An environment of municipal, state and federal government cutbacks makes the pursuit of big ideas ever more difficult. Many days it is simply important to get through with what you have in terms of resources, funding and ideas, rather than taking big, bold steps into the future. Ever increasing complexity of the technology and science around water makes it more difficult to source and access the right skills often necessary to pursue bold new initiatives
It’s easy to fall into a state of inertia when it comes to pursuing the future. Yet water’s worth it now and even more for the future. It’s the folks at WEFTEC 2012 who can and I hope will use the conference as a spark to turn their innovation engines on, and align themselves to the opportunities of the future rather than the challenges of the past.