Addressing evolving water and climate challenges in the Gulf region, Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) will host a ground breaking conference on November 12-13, centring the critical issue of water security at the intersection of human development and environmental sustainability.
Held under the theme “Sustaining the Oasis: Envisioning the Future of Water Security,” the conference is a collaboration between GU-Q and the Earth Commons Institute at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Experts, policymakers, industry leaders, and stakeholders will examine the intersections between science, technology, policy, and international affairs to offer historically informed and actionable insights that secure the future of water in the region despite the ongoing cultural, political, and environmental challenges.
World-renowned author, journalist, and thought leader Malcolm Gladwell will open the conference. Named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people, and Foreign Policy’s top global thinkers, Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, including The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and Talking to Strangers. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, which produces his award-winning podcast Revisionist History.
Gladwell’s keynote address will kick off an engaging programme featuring panel discussions, interactive workshops, and breakout sessions covering five thematic areas that consider the region’s unique socioeconomic and ecological contexts.
“In a region at a critical crossroads, where water is an increasingly scarce and challenged resource, the conference will explore solutions that honour our past while safeguarding our future. We look forward to drawing on compelling global perspectives that help shape an innovative, inclusive vision for a water-secure future,” said conference co-organiser Raha Hakimdavar, senior adviser to the dean of GU-Q and the dean of the Earth Commons Institute.
High-level panels will focus on water security and stability in the Gulf region, including the impact on food supply, with insights from international and regional speakers, including Abdul-Rahman al-Eryani, former minister of water and environment, Yemen, currently at Earthna, and Mohamed Hossein Emadi, former ambassador and permanent representative of Iran to the UN’s food programmes.
Engaging sessions will highlight the significance of culture and heritage as catalysts for change. This will include a dialogue on water stewardship, and cultural heritage led by Sheikha Nouf Mubarak bin Saif al-Thani from Qatar Museums on the first day, followed by an inspirational talk and student performance on the second day. The conference is open to the public at Four Seasons Hotel, Doha.
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