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Friday, March 27, 2009

Water And The Millennium Development Goals: A Case For Collaboration

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Session Description

Governments, international organisations and businesses struggle to achieve the MDGs for drinking water and sanitation. Join this vital, solution oriented discussion on how social entrepreneurs can contribute and collaborate in order to meet these goals. What are the most promising innovations? What is the role of non-state actors in global environmental governance and what questions of power and public / private authority do they raise? Finally, what are the ecological presuppositions of sustaining the water-related MDGs in an age of rapid climate change?


When | Where

09:00 - 10:30 Friday, March 27

Session leaders

  • Benjamin Adrion Speaker
    President, Viva con Agua
    Benjamin Adrion, a former German football league player, is the founder of “Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli”. He established the drinking water initiative in Hamburg in 2005. Since then, more than 50,000 people in developing countries have been supplied with clean drinking water from Viva con Agua, for the most part by building wells. Adrion’s organisation won several prizes, amongst them national awards under the patronage of the president and the chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • Chuks Okereke Speaker
    Research Fellow, University of Oxford
    Chuks Okereke’s research interests lie broadly in the links between global environmental governance systems and international development. His current research focuses on the relationship between business climate strategies, government policies, and international climate governance. Chuks also explores the roles of equity norms and economic ideas in global environmental governance drawing from political philosophy and international relations theories. Before joining the Smith School, Chuks was a Senior Research Associate at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA). His recent books include Global Justice and Neoliberal Environmental Governance (Routledge 2008) and The Politics of the Environment (ed.) (Routledge 2007).
  • University of Greifswald, Coordinator of the Social Entrepreneurship Research Group GETIDOS
    Rafael Ziegler coordinates the Social Entrepreneurship Research Group GETIDOS at the University of Greifswald and the Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung in Berlin. The preparatory phase of this interdisciplinary group started in 2008; its main phase is scheduled to last from 2009-2012. Dr. Ziegler is a graduate of the London School of Economics (B.Sc.Economics and Philosophy) and McGill University (Ph.D. Philosophy). He is the editor of: An Introduction to SocialEntrepreneurship – Voices,Preconditions, Contexts (Edward Elgar. February 2009). Rafael Ziegler’s main interest is the contribution of social entrepreneurship to environmental sustainability(in particular drinking water provision and sanitation).
  • Joe Madiath Speaker
    Founder-cum-Chairman, Gram Vikas
    Joe Madiath completed his studies in English literature from Madras University. As a student, he was elected as the President of Madras University Students’ Union and founded the Young Students’ Movement for Development (YSMD) to harness positively the student disenchantment prevailing during the period. In 1969, as a student, he journeyed across India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka on a bicycle for a year. In 1971, Joe led 400 YSMD volunteers to manage a number of relief camps for refugees from Bangladesh. Later that year, 40 volunteers along with Joe, moved to Orissa, which had been ravaged by a cyclone and tidal waves. Joe and a few colleagues decided to stay on in the area after relief work to work as development activists. They moved to Ganjam District in southern Orissa in 1976 on invitation from Government, to initiate development activities among the indigenous communities. This resulted in the establishment of Gram Vikas in 1979. Since its inception, till the end of June 2014 Joe has been the Executive Director of Gram Vikas and now the Chairman of Gram Vikas. Gram Vikas, today, is one of the largest NGOs in Orissa, reaching out to over 100,000 indigenous and poor families living in 1200 rural habitations with a population over 400,000. Some of the pioneering efforts of Gram Vikas have been in biogas promotion, rural habitat development and education. Gram Vikas’ current approach to convergent community action with water and sanitation as the entry point is evolving into a movement influencing local democratic self-governance and poor people’s control over development processes. Recipient of awards: Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Award; Global Development Network Award (1998); World Habitat Award (2002); Kyoto World Water Grand Prize (2006); Social Life Time Achievement Award by Godfrey Phillips Red and White Bravery Awards (2006); NGO of the Year (2006) by Resource Alliance; Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurs (2006) by Skoll Foundation, USA
  • Michal Kravcik Speaker
    Environmentalist, People and Water
    Michal Kravcík, Dipl Ing. PhD. is a founding memberand Chairman of the NGO People And Water ( He is a water management engineer (graduated at the Civil Engineering Faculty of Slovak Technical University, Slovakia). He worked for 8 years at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. He promotes sustainable programs for integrated river basin management in Slovakia, “Water for Third Millenium” and Blue Alternative. He is the author of publications including, “New Water Paradigm – Water for the Recovery of Climate” (2007),”. He is an ASHOKA Fellow and recipient Goldman Environmental Prize from 1999.