Keynote & Speakers

Thought-leaders from the water sector and beyond

Jacob Amengor
Jacob Amengor
Eva Martinez
Eva Martinez Diaz

Keynote Speakers 2019

Eva Martinez

Eva Martinez Diaz

Digital Disruption in the Water Utility Value Chain

“What are the trends in digitalisation, how does it disrupt current practices, and business models, but moreover how to start implementation of something so big that it is hard to make it tangible?”

Tuesday 25th June 2019
Read Eva Martinez’s interview for the International Water Association: Digitalisation: Disruptive or Effective?

Learn more about the speaker

Responsible for the Smart Services within the Innovation Department at Aqualia, taking part in the assessment of state of the art of smart technologies, implementing, evaluating and optimizing them within the integral water cycle through international research and development projects. She coordinates several R&D projects from LIFE+ and H2020 European programs, being responsible for the strategy and configuration of consortia in Europe.

She is currently working for the European Commission as expert evaluator and belongs to several expert councils within the theme of digital transformation in water (Smart Water Network (SWAN) Forum and Aquatech). Lecturer in several water congresses (e.g.: SWAN 2015, International Water Association (IWA) Leading Edge Technologies 2016, European International Partnership Water 2017, IWA Ideas 2018 …).

She studied Agricultural Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Valencia.  She then continued her studies in the UK with a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Sciences at Coventry University and obtained an MSc in Integrated Environmental Management at Nottingham Trent University. After working at IBM España for three years as focal point for Emerging Countries, she coordinated and managed a number of large environmental and biotechnology research projects, i.e., FP7, LIFE, Eureka, first in Germany and later in Spain.

Eva has more than 15 solid years of professional experience as leader in strategy development, innovation, leading and conducting business with public and private entities in the field of water management, environment and sustainability.

Jacob Amengor

Jacob Amengor

Young People: Our Water Future
Co-creation, Partnerships and Community Mobilisation

“There is a need to go beyond our traditional silos and develop more partnerships and interactions to churn out pragmatic innovations. Young people are more connected and digitally inclined to lead the creation of partnerships among ourselves, as well as with senior professionals and established institutions. Young people have the energy to mobilize resources and bring stakeholders together to co-design innovative solutions to various water challenges in our communities.”

Wednesday, 26th June 2019
Read Jacob Amengor’s interview for the International Water Association: The role of integrated partnerships in the development of sustainable water and sanitation solutions

Learn more about the speaker

Jacob Kwasi Amengor is a young water professional, who hails from Volta Region of Ghana. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Water and Sanitation from the University of Cape Coast in 2014, and currently, he is pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering. Jacob is a RECIRCULATE Ambassador with Lancaster Environment Centre, and a member of the International Water Association, a member of the Young Water Professionals Global Coordination sub-committee, a member of the Water Supply and Collaborative Council and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.

Jacob started working with the Ghana Water Company Limited in 2014 as a National Service Person and he was appointed a Management Trainee in 2016. Presently, he is serving as an Assistant Water Quality Assurance Officer, where he responsible for the water quality operations at the Kpeve Headworks.

In 2015, Jacob brought a group of young people together to start the Water Satellite Programme with the objective of sensitizing people on best practices in water and sanitation. As a result of his continuous passion in the Water Sector, he was selected as a Young Water Fellow by the Young Water Solutions and he has been equipped with both technical skills and funding to help accelerate access to clean water and sanitation in rural communities with an entrepreneurial approach.

Jacob served as the first General Secretary of the Water and Sanitation Students’ Association of Ghana. He has also been instrumental in forming the IWA Young Water Professional Chapter in Ghana and voluntarily serves as its Co-Chair. Jacob volunteers as a content creator for siro360 (media website), where he writes articles on environmental sustainability. He loves to mentor, inspire and motivate young people to find solutions to challenges existing in the water sector because he believes that the successful realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals depends on the abilities of young people.

Jacob has secured a land as a first step of achieving his vision of setting up a water research and management institute that will focus on carrying out research studies, training young professionals on varied areas within the water sector, organizing professional development courses and engaging industries and policy makers to implement the outcomes of research studies for the sustainable development of the water and sanitation sector in Africa. Ultimately, Jacob wants to see an Africa, where access to clean water and sanitation is no longer a reserve for the privileged few; rather, a human right realised for all regardless of place, class and status.

Jacob is the Winner of the 2018 IWA Young Water Professionals Award

Keynote speakers are top specialists in their field. The keynote sessions aim to inspire, challenge and disrupt so as to advance and inspire change amongst the worlds top water professionals. 

Thought Leaders

Additional thought leading plenary sessions will support setting the scene, build the energy and motivation of the young professionals, and inspire development of the young water professionals water career.

Photo Virgilio Jr Rivera
Monday 24 June, 08:30 am
Part of the Opening Plenary

Virgilio Jr. Rivera, COO, New Business Operations, Manila Water Company, President & CEO, Manila Water Philippine Ventures & Manila Water Asia Pacific, IWA Board Member

Top Trends in the Global Water Sector 

Learn more about Virgilio Rivera

For nearly 25 years and as a member of the Manila Water’s senior leadership team, Virgilio, or Perry Rivera played a strategic and leadership role in shaping the performance and growth of the company in the Philippines. The transformation of service in the East Zone of Metro Manila under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Model has been extensively documented by leading institutions not limited to the Asian Development Bank, World Bank/IFC, and Harvard Business School. Arguably, it remains to be the largest and demonstrably successful mega-city water utility transformations in the world.

Under his leadership, Manila Water expanded its scope to support a dozen cities in the Philippines and in several countries in South East Asia through various Joint Venture modalities with host cities and municipalities. This enabled the company to gain significant traction in Vietnam and Thailand and strategic foothold in Myanmar and Indonesia.

During the past 10 years, he have travelled extensively in South Asia and Southeast Asia in search of new business opportunities enabling me to reach a rich understanding of the common and unique institutional and regulatory structures and of the water and sanitation challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and formulate appropriate policies and strategies as demonstrated by our growing presence in Southeast Asia.

In his nearly 25 years of experience in the Water Sector, his involvement and gained expertise in public policy and regulatory strategy, strategic planning, and business development also made him very effective as an Independent Director of the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC), as a Founding Member of the Academy of Regulatory Professionals at Public Utility Research Centre of the University of Florida, and as an Adjunct Professor at the Global Change Institute (GCI) of the University of Queensland, Australia.

His book Tap Secrets: The Manila Water Story – An Exercise in Successful Utility Reform in Urban Water Sector, which contains my insights and vision for the urban water sector was published by the Asian Development Bank in 2014.

lou di gironimo 1
Monday 24 June, 08:30 am
Part of the Opening Plenary

Lou Di Gironimo, General Manager, Toronto Water

Water sector from Regional Perspective

Learn More about Lou di Gironimo

Lou Di Gironimo is General Manager of Toronto Water, a division of the City of Toronto. Under his leadership, the 1,700 staff in Toronto Water focus on providing quality water services – supplying drinking water, treating wastewater and managing stormwater – essential for protecting public health, property and the environment.

The division serves 3.6 million residents and businesses in Toronto and portions of York and Peel, and has more than $28.2 billion in infrastructure.

Lou has a diverse background in both the private and public sectors at the municipal and provincial levels of government. Some of the organizations he has been associated with include the City of Hamilton, the Ontario Clean Water Agency and the Ontario Development Corporation. He has also worked for private engineering and land development companies. During his career, Lou has had extensive experience managing municipal infrastructure and urban development issues.

Monday 24 June, 08:30 am
Part of the Opening Plenary, Panel on SDGs

David Nabarro, Strategic Director of 4SD and Professor of Global Health at Imperial College, London, UK

Video Message: SDGs and the youth

Learn More about David Nabarro

David Nabarro is a medical doctor, international civil servant and diplomat, who served as special adviser to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change.

Dr David Nabarro is Professor of Global Health at the Imperial College London and supports systems leadership for sustainable development through his Switzerland based social enterprise 4SD. Furthermore, he Co-Facilitator for the Climate Action Summit in September 2019, Advisor at the Global Commission on Adaptation in Rotterdam, and curator of the Food Systems Dialogues. David secured his medical qualification in 1974 and has worked in over 50 countries – in communities and hospitals, governments, civil society, universities, and in United Nations (UN) programs.

David worked for the British government in the 1990s as head of Health and Population and director for Human Development in the UK Department for International Development. From 1999 to 2017 he held leadership roles in the UN system on disease outbreaks and health issues, food insecurity and nutrition, climate change and sustainable development. In October 2018, David received the World Food Prize together with Lawrence Haddad for their leadership in raising the profile and building coalitions for action for better nutrition across the Sustainable Development Goals.

jamie saxe
Monday 24 June, 08:30 am
Part of the Opening Plenary, Panel on SDGs

Jamie Saxe, Senior Director Xylem Watermark and Corporate Social Responsibility

Panelist: SDGs

Learn more about Jamie Saxe

Jamie Saxe, Senior Director Xylem Watermark and Corporate Social Responsibility, is responsible for expanding Xylem Watermark, Xylem’s corporate citizenship program, by increasing global employee engagement and program growth to engage key customers, suppliers, and  business partners. She is also leading the development of new commercial offerings that will serve populations and markets most vulnerable to water insecurity globally along with building awareness of Emergency Response capabilities and solutions. Jamie led the team in eight disaster response deployments in 2018 along with closing out a 3-year engagement program in December, where over 100,000 employee volunteer hours were logged and 45% of the employee base engaged in 730 events globally, resulting in a record year for the Xylem Watermark program.

Prior to Xylem, Jamie has worked in the Water Technology Infrastructure space focused on commercial sales and marketing with companies including GA Fleet Associates, SJE-Rhombus, & MultiTrode (now owned by Xylem). While at GA Fleet, Jamie led the Hurricane Sandy response efforts from planning to execution & deployment to provide assistance to those who needed critical water-related assistance rapidly in greater New York City.

Jamie serves as past chair, on the board of directors, for the New York Water Environment Association, and has a BA in Kinesiology from the University of Kentucky.

Monday 24 June, 08:30 am
Part of the Opening Plenary, Panel on SDGs

Marvin DeVries, Past President of Trojan Technologies

Panelist: SDGs

Learn more about Marvin DeVries

Mr. Marvin R. DeVries served as president of Trojan Technologies from 2003 to 2018. Trojan is the global leader in the supply of ultraviolet light (UV) based treatment systems for municipal water and wastewater treatment, with more than 10,000 successful installations over 100 countries. Under Marv’s leadership, the Trojan business has successfully supplied and installed several of the world’s largest UV projects, including Orange County, California, New York City, Paris, Rotterdam and Chicago.   Marv is a professional engineer, with specialization in water resources engineering (B. Sc. Eng. – Univ. of Guelph) and water and wastewater treatment (M. Eng. – Western Univ.).  Prior to joining Trojan, Marv worked as a professional manager on water-related and infrastructure development projects in Bangladesh, India & Haiti.  In his retirement, he remains involved in efforts to improve water quality in First Nations communities in Canada.

Monday 24 June, 08:30 am
Part of the Opening Plenary, Panel on SDGs

Palash R. Sanyal, M.W.S., Work Placement Coordinator, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan

Panelist: SDGs

Learn more about Palash Sanyal

Palash Sanyal is a development practitioner who works on multiple sustainable development goals in a different capacity. With degrees in environmental engineering, development economics and water security, Palash has worked with TEDTalks, Soliya, WaterAid, IFAD and other organizations. His work has focused on the innovative design process for new technologies, facilitating conversations on water and climate change in marginalized and pro-poor communities, and changing the perspective on the water, over continents. “Which communities will be the hardest to bring under sustainable development goals and why?” is his crucial research area. A Clinton Global Initiative Alumni Ambassador and Senior Facilitator for Soliya, Palash currently works with the University of Saskatchewan as Work Placement Coordinator. He was one of the Young Diplomats of Canada during the OECD Forum 2019, working on the future of work in the environmental sector. He has been named one of the 30 under 30 leaders 2018 in Sustainability in Canada by Corporate Knights, the outstanding Youth Action Leader 2019 by Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM), the Water’s Next Young Professional Leader 2019 Award and the Blue Cities Young Water Leader of Tomorrow 2019.  Palash is also the organizer of Blue Drinks Saskatoon, and he is organizing TEDxUniversityofSaskatchewan event in September which you are all welcome to join.

JANUARY 29, 2019- CALGARY, AB - UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY- University of Calgary Schulich School of Engineering Headshots for the new website.  (Colleen De Neve/ FREELANCE for UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY)  UofC Schulich Web Headshots
Monday 24 June, 08:30 am
Part of the Opening Plenary, Panel on SDGs
Wednesday 26 June, 08:30 am
Part of the Keynote, Panelist

Kerry Black, PhD, Assistant Professor, Schulich Research Chair, Integrated Knowledge, Engineering & Sustainable Communities, Centre for Environmental Engineering Research and Education (CEERE), Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary

Panelist: Monday Panel on SDGs
Panelist: Wednesday Keynote on Co-creation, Partnership and Community Mobilisation

Learn more about Kerry Black

Kerry Black holds the Schulich Research Chair in Integrated Knowledge, Engineering & Sustainable Communities and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary.  Prior to this, she worked as an Assistant Professor at the Univesrity of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus, and worked in the public and non-profit sectors before pursuing her career in Academia.   Her research includes sustainable water/wastewater treatment and management through bottom-up participatory technology development and integrated knowledge approaches to sustainable infrastructure design. The majority of these research activities have been based in Indigenous communities across Canada.

Dr. Black completed her undergraduate in Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto, and her Master of Applied Science at UBC.  Most recently, she received her PhD from the University of Guelph with research focused on sustainable water and wastewater management in Indigenous communities. Centered on community-based participatory approaches, her research relates to engineering infrastructure and sustainable communities, with a key focus on the incorporation of Indigenous-centered research methodologies.  Her emphasis is to engage in a multi- and cross-disciplinary research platform, through the incorporation of technical engineering principles and research, with culturally-grounded processes as well as policy and socio-economic considerations.

Dr. Black has worked in both the public and private sector. Her cross-disciplinary research has been published in both engineering and social science journals.  She is the recipient of numerous awards including a CGS NSERC Scholarship Award and a Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation Award.  Dr. Black is a strong advocate for increasing diversity in engineering.  She continues to be a strong advocate for Indigenous issues, building on her time working with the Assembly of First Nations as Senior Policy Advisory in Housing & Infrastructure.

DSC_7707 linda
Monday 24 June, 08:30 am
Part of the Opening Plenary, Panel on SDGs

Arlinda Ibrahimllari, Chair IWA Emerging Water Leaders Steering Committee& Technical Director of the Sanitation Dept., Korça Water Works Utility (UKKO) Albania

Panel Moderator

Learn more about Arlinda Ibrahimllari

Arlinda Ibrahimllari, Technical Director of the Sanitation Department in UKKO Joint Stock Company in Albania, has over 10 years’ experience in the water industry. Her roles have included Water and Sanitation project management, technical support management and capacity development. In her current role, Arlinda is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Sewer System and the Municipality Waste Water Treatment Plant of the City of Korca. She sits as Chair on the IWA  Emerging Water Leaders Global Steering Committee (who lead the Young Water Professionals in our network) and is the actual Chair of YWPs National Committee in Albania. She is core member of the IWA Sustainable Development Goals Task Force.

Wes From
Tuesday 25 June, 08:30 am
Part of the Keynote

Wesley D. From, Vice President, Research and Development, Trojan Technologies

Reaction to keynote: Digital Disruption in the Water Utility Value Chain

Learn more about Wesley From

Wes joined Trojan in 2001 as Manager of Mechanical Engineering. He was appointed as Vice President, Engineering in 2004 and to his current role of Vice President, Research and Development in 2018.

In this role he has led the development of many industry-defining products and technologies. He is also credited for expanding Trojan’s engineering footprint from a single location to a network of development centers throughout the world. Before joining Trojan, Wes was involved in technology development for medical ultrasound and rehabilitation equipment.

He is also credited for expanding Trojan’s engineering footprint from a single location to a network of development centers throughout the world.

He is licensed as a Professional Engineer and has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and a Master of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in Biomedical Robotics from the University of Toronto.

Join us in Toronto!