"Empowering the leaders of tomorrow for the future of Canada's water"
The Water Initiative for the Future (WatIF): Graduate Student Conference is designed to empower graduate students to become strong, passionate leaders in future water-related careers. The backbone of WatIF is its emphasis on the future, where students will discuss the implications of their research to the future of Canada's water. This multidisciplinary conference will encourage collaboration and communication among students, and will provide students from across Canada an opportunity to take a leadership role among their peers and share their research at every stage from ideas to a finished product.
This conference will bring together hundreds of Canadian graduate students who are linked by their aspirations for water-related futures in research, policy, governance or industry. One aim of the conference is to foster long-lasting professional relationships across disciplines and geographical locations. This union will result in more effective collaboration, communication and innovative problem solving as students take on water-related challenges in Canada.
Education and innovation are primary focuses of the conference, and this will be achieved through students educating students. Graduate students have a great understanding of their specific research area, and by bringing hundreds of graduate students from across the Nation to one location, a wealth of multidisciplinary knowledge can be bridged. This conference provides novel mean of presenting research to promote alternate methods of communication and enhance learning. In addition to the classic oral and poster presentation format that other conferences often follow, presenters will be asked to discuss how their research is innovative and how they believe it fits in the "big-picture" of the future of Canada's water resources. The conference will provide an opportunity for students to share their own ideas and to discover new approaches to addressing similar problems thereby opening space for communication and collaboration. This will allow them to step outside of their academic silos, giving these future leaders a set of multidisciplinary tools to tackle Canada’s future water related challenges.
Students attending the conference will clearly have a vested interest in water, but this conference will provide a unique opportunity to inspire a greater passion for water in students. The conference will allow students to feel as though they are a part of a movement and that their research is positively contributing to the future of Canada’s water. Also, the conference will remove the feeling of isolation that researchers often feel when they become specialized. Students will not feel overwhelmed by the water-related challenges that our current generation faces. Rather, students will gain confidence in their own abilities as well as the abilities of other future leaders to responsibly, ethically and professionally guide water management and protection.