IF Water 2013

IF Water room
To watch the speakers at IF Water, visit the Wave 3 IF Water page.
Thanks to everyone who attended this year’s IF Water Conference at the Ali Center! We are so grateful for the support of everyone who attended. If you weren’t able to attend, here’s a quick recap of what was discussed.
Opening remarks were made by Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Ali Center. He introduced the day’s events and spoke about the Ali Center’s new initiative, Generation Ali, which engages young people to use Muhammad Ali’s six core principles to take on social justice issues in the world around them.
Our CEO, Mark Hogg, opened up the day with a talk about WaterStep’s vision, the power of mobile technology, and how local business and individuals can get involved in our cause. He also officially kicked off the WaterBall campaign.
Next, U.S. Representative for Kentucky John Yarmuth spoke about the World Water Act and the effects of politics on water. Yarmuth discussed the need to expel big money from politics and the general need for sensibility in modern politics.
Greg Heitzman, executive director of MSD brought an administrative view to the water crisis. As a former CEO of the Louisville Water Company, Heitzman brought his expertise of the water industry to his discussion of the challenges and trends facing the industry and how innovation in technology can make water a bigger player in the global economy.
Gregory Long and Ann McCormick from Ford Motor Company came to talk to us about Ford’s efforts to save water during production and how these efforts will go forward in the future.
After lunch we held an interactive activity for all the participants to brainstorm about how WaterStep can raise awareness, connect people with training, and raise money. From relay races with the WaterBall to outreach education with high school students, the attendees came up with some fantastic ideas.
Keynote speaker Charles Fishman, author of The Big Thirst, shared his experiences while writing his book to show how water plays so many roles in our lives. He spoke of us his time carrying water with girls in India, visiting the IBM ultra pure water treatment plant, and the emotional power of water.  He told numerous anecdotes of individuals’ interactions and relationships with water, and how many in the world take it for granted. His extensive discussion of the availability and importance of the world’s most precious resource brought perspective to a problem that we at WaterStep are so passionate about ending.
IVY Tech’s Jeff Pittman and Lacie Crone spoke about their initiative to create a new way to administer distance learning courses for WaterStep’s training in health and hygiene education and water purification. After extensive researching and testing in the field, they have jump-started a program to teach these valuable skills to people throughout the world via Blackboard.
Tori Murdon McClure, President of Spalding University and the first woman to cross the Atlantic solo, wrapped up our speeches for the day with a talk about the diplomatic powers of water. Although she joked about thinking she was giving a speech to sixth graders, she explored the topic of the simultaneous scarcity and abundance of water very deeply.
Closing remarks were given by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. Two Maasai warriors from Kenya, Wilson and Jackson, joined Mayor Fischer to speak about their experiences as warriors and how water has impacted their community.
Thanks to everyone who made IF Water possible this year, we’re already planning for next year!

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