Addressing the evolving water and climate challenges in the Gulf region, Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) will host a groundbreaking conference on 12 and 13 November, to discuss 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.

Hiwaraat Conference Series Sustaining the Oasis

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 behind 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.

Exploring solutions

According to event co-organiser Raha Hakimdavar, GU-Q Dean Senior Advisor and Earth Commons Institute Dean, the conference will explore solutions that honour the past while safeguarding the future.

We look forward to drawing on compelling global perspectives that help shape an innovative, inclusive vision for a water-secure future.

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 former Minister of Water and Environment in the Republic of Yemen HE Abdul-Rahman Al-Eryani (currently with Eartha) and former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Iran to the UN’s food programmes Mohammed Hossein Emadi.

The conference 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. Breakout sessions will consider the next generation of cutting-edge research and best practices such as the role of data in water security, non-conventional water resources and innovative financing.

The conference, which will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel Doha, is open to the public. Programme information and registration details are available on the conference website.

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