IF Water Conference to explore Earth's most precious resource

From WaterStep:

Exploring the questions and ideas centered around Earth's most powerful and precious resource -- water -- is the goal of the 2nd annual IF Water Conference at the Muhammad Ali Center Tuesday, September 24.

The IF Water Conference will submerge participants in one intensively interactive day of addressing issues facing the world of water. Through virtual and hands-on interaction, attendees will experience exhibits of worldwide water collaboration, brainstorming discussions that address frontline water issues, and thought-provoking question-and-answer conversations lead by renowned water activists. This conference will sync the public's ideas with a global network of water leaders and create the wave of momentum to put these ideas into actions.

Keynote speaker Charles Fishman, author of The Wal-Mart Effect will discuss his recent work, The Big Thirst, billed as a surprising and mind-changing narrative that explores how water runs our world in awe-inspiring ways while most people take it for granted. Fishman is a former metro and national reporter for the Washington Post. He has worked for the business magazine Fast Company since 1996. Fishman has won numerous awards. He is a three-time recipient of UCLA's Gerald Loeb Award, considered by many to be the most prestigious award in business journalism.

Other speakers include:

  • U.S. Representative John Yarmuth who, according to the organization WaterStep, will provide a congressional update, touching on his work to improve education, revitalize manufacturing in Louisville and advance economic security for American families as well as his current focus of reducing the influence of special interests on elections, strengthening U.S. gun safety laws and developing comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
  • Spalding University President Tori Murden McClure, who will explore the Samuel Taylor adage, "Water, water everywhere/Nor any drop to drink," and its contemporary applications, particularly water's role in community and compassion. Using the Charter for Compassion (charterforcompassion.org) as a guide, McClure will look at its guiding principle as it relates to water: "Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and put another there, and to honor the inviolable sanctity of every single human being." McClure is also an adventurer, having become the first woman to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by rowboat the first American to ski overland to the South Pole.
  • Gregory Long and Ann McCormick , who will highlight Ford Motor Company's water saving related sustainability initiatives and discuss how a large pervious pavement installation at Louisville Assembly reduces the amount of water entering combined sewer overflow receiving streams.
  • Greg C. Heitzman, Executive Director of MSD and past President/CEO of Louisville Water Company, who will present The Value of Water - How Water Will Transform Our Economy. Heitzman will discuss the top challenges facing the water industry, the top trends and the opportunities for building a water-centric economy through technology and innovation.
  • Mark Hogg, founder and CEO of WaterStep, who will discuss the possibilities surrounding a virtual water utility implemented in the developing world. Using the power of digital reporting technology, expanded global communication platforms, water as local enterprise and key education tools, an expansive network can readily make available the potential for safe sanitation and water practices to be sustained.
  • Jeff Pittman and Lacie Crone, both with Ivy Tech Community College, and both of whom have been instrumental in creating an innovative distance learning project for water with global reach, will discuss how they partnered with WaterStep and GE volunteers to create the vision of the program and provide up-to-date beta testing results from the field.
  • Dr. Bill Smock, the police surgeon for the Louisville Metro Police Department and medical director for WaterStep, who will be included in a presentation on the changing and ongoing medical issues that emerge throughout a woman's life as she carries water day after day. WaterStep is on the cutting edge to unleash a new product that will make a difference in targeted geographic regions. IF Water will serve as a platform of possibility as this story comes to its full potential.

All speeches will be live streamed on wave3.com from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

IF Water is presented by WaterStep in conjunction with the 2013 IdeaFestival. For more information, call 502-568-6342 or visit waterstep.org.

About IdeaFestival: Founded in 2000, IdeaFestival is bill as a celebration for creative thinkers and the intellectually curious. It's an eclectic network of global thinkers and one-of-a-kind innovators bound together by an intense curiosity about what is impacting and shaping the future of the arts, business, technology, design, science, philosophy and education. The conference is held every fall at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. Visit ideafestival.com for more information.

About WaterStep: WaterStep is a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Louisville that works to fight the global water crisis by addressing the root causes of waterborne illness. By combining training and technology, WaterStep empowers ordinary people to provide safe, sustainable water and hygiene solutions in their own communities. WaterStep is also the home of an internationally recognized indoor hand pump repair center -- one of only two of its kind in the world. Since 2001, WaterStep has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in almost two dozen countries including Haiti, Kenya, India, the Dominican Republic, Pakistan and Costa Rica.