Innovate East: Decision Making in the Face of Climate ChangeBy Copperleaf
Copperleaf™ was excited to participate in the successful launch of the first-ever Innovate East event, which took place from September 10-12 in Ipswich, UK. Created by our customer Anglian Water, alongside Essex & Suffolk Water, Innovate East was born from a joint passion and commitment to tackle climate change and other pressing challenges facing the water industry today. This marks the first time that two water companies have come together to work on shared business challenges.
Attendees from a variety of industries and backgrounds participated in fast-paced sprints, hackathons, and workshops focused on solving issues facing the water industry, the east of England, and wider society. As Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive of Northumbrian Water & Essex And Suffolk Water commented:
Copperleaf’s Vice President of Customer Experience, Miranda Alldritt, led a sprint session on the topic:
How do water companies make better asset investment decisions in the face of climate change?
The goal of the sprint was to explore how to minimize the negative impacts of climate change on our infrastructure and develop solutions to inform better investment decisions for the benefit of current and future generations. The team worked through four discussion topics:
- How can we build out value models to capture the risks and needs associated with climate change?
- How can we, as an industry, work with regulators to better understand the longer-term needs faced by our infrastructure?
- How can we pull together climate and asset data owned by various stakeholder groups to paint a more complete picture of the interactions between different systems (e.g. drinking water, water recycling, river management, electrical systems, etc.). How can we use this data to enable system-level thinking about the options available to us a society to improve resilience?
- How can we build a methodology to refine the way in which we include climate change, and specifically severe weather, in our modeling?
A number of great ideas came out of each discussion. We made progress on developing models in areas #1 and #3, and got a good start on creating a discussion paper around adaptive timing and regulation to address area #2.
While additional work and collaboration will be needed to flush these ideas out further, Miranda Alldritt commented, “The sprint facilitators did a fantastic job of really drawing people out and making sure that all of our ideas got captured and evaluated. It was wonderful to see so much talent come together to work through how to respond to the changes that we are seeing today in the climate, and perhaps even more important, how to plan into the future to mitigate the risks facing our critical infrastructure.”
Copperleaf is proud to have been a sponsor of this inaugural event. We saw some amazing ideas come out of the sprints and look forward to attending Innovate East 2020 and continuing to be part of the discussion in solving big problems.
Learn more about Copperleaf’s work in the water and wastewater industry.