Water Innovation Agenda – Centre for Nature and Climate
Permanent contract with 5-year funding term
The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, and other leaders of society to build coalitions, projects and initiatives – digitally and physically – to address industry, regional and systemic issues.
The Centre for Climate & Nature seeks to bring innovation and frontier approaches to help the international system be more agile and equipped to respond to today’s challenges. The Centre does this by helping the international community leverage public-private cooperation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, systems thinking and a platform approach for improved management of the global commons and building sustainable markets for the 2030 development goals.
The Global Water Initiative is seeking a Community Specialist for the Water Innovation Agenda, reporting to the Lead, Water Innovation Agenda at the World Economic Forum. The Community Specialist will work closely with the Forum’s UpLink team. This role will lead the build-out, management, and active engagement of the water innovation community within a new track of work to accelerate the innovation agenda for healthy and resilient freshwater ecosystems.
Why we are recruiting
Whether “too much, too little, or too polluted”, the world’s water systems have long been imbalanced and vulnerable. Hindered by chronic under-investment and the impacts of climate change, water insecurity is a top global social and economic risk.
Water must be seen as an enabler and impact-multiplier – creating domino effects across SDG agendas, revitalizing jobs and ensuring global health – rather than competing against these equally important economic and social priorities. Innovation – in the form of new ideas and applications of technology, fresh approaches, and models of collaboration – is required at scale and speed.
The UN Water Conference set to take place March 2023 is a major international milestone for the water agenda. The first in over 44 years, the conference has the potential to be a watershed moment to address the systemic shortcomings and inequities of our global water systems.
In this context, the Forum’s Global Water Initiative will ramp up its activities to shine the spotlight on the risks and opportunities that water plays in a successful transition to a green economy, bring together industry and regional leaders and water champions in action-oriented multi-stakeholder partnerships, and accelerate an innovation and entrepreneurship agenda for healthy and resilient freshwater systems. At its Annual Meeting 2022, the Forum announced a new partnership with HCL, a global technology company, to support water-focused entrepreneurs – “aquapreneurs” – to drive innovation in freshwater resource management.
Reporting lines and interactions
The role will be based at the World Economic Forum’s Geneva office, within the Centre for Nature and Climate (CNC), reporting to the Lead, Water Innovation Agenda, who is based in the Forum’s Geneva office. This position will work closely – in tandem – with the Forum’s UpLink team. In addition, this person will work with colleagues in the broader CNC, as well as a wide range of other Forum teams and colleagues. Externally, this person will work with Forum partner companies, and a broad range of stakeholders including governments, multilateral development organizations, civil society, and academia.
The selected candidate will be responsible for:
Strategy Development and Project Management
- Support the Lead, Water Innovation Agenda to manage the workflow and keep the project and deliverables on-track and meeting timelines
- Support the development of a strategy for the water innovation agenda
- Lead the efforts to build-up a core group of high-level champions to raise ambition and commitments on water and innovation
- Build and manage strategic relationships with key partners from business, government, and academia.
- Engage with key external partners to build and ensure continued interest and engagement across the innovation workstream and wider water work
- Engage with all relevant internal teams to ensure visibility and understanding of the work and how their respective constituents can contribute, and to shape an attractive value proposition. This includes, but not limited to, teams in: CNC, UpLink, industry, regional, public engagement, partner engagement, finance.
- Develop and keep updated partner engagement materials
- Exhibit the One Forum spirit and actively drive linkages and identify opportunities to strengthen the value proposition across initiatives.
- Help shape the Forum’s engagement and its key stakeholders in the run-up to and during the 2023 UN Water Conference
Programme Development and Delivery
- Lead the delivery of programming and community interactions, events and/or sessions to help deliver on the strategy, which includes conceptualization, organization, logistics and operations, and on-site/virtual delivery
Preferred requirements and experience:
- Professional with 5-8 years of experience and a graduate degree (or equivalent experience) in sustainability and sustainable development.
- Good understanding in sustainability and the issues core to the global water security agenda, including climate change, resilience, nature, and circular economy
- Demonstrated ability to interact and work with leaders across all sectors
- Strong network-building, relationship management, and collaboration skills to effectively build trust-based relationships and networks, and foster cooperation across stakeholders
- Responsible, independent and self-driven; demonstrates excellent organizational, strong work ethic, project and time management skills, and possess high attention to detail
- Creative thinker with ability to frame compelling ways to convey information and insights
- Ability to thrive in a flexible environment and situations of ambiguity
- Strong communicator with excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to be concise and clear. Fluency in English
- Proficiency in using CRM tools
Why work at the Forum:
The Forum believes that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to improve the state of the world by building awareness and cooperation, shaping mindsets and agendas, and driving collective action. Join us and become a driver for positive change!