The world’s first drive-in convention, in partnership with Mother City Drive-in, is being held on the 8th October 2020* in Cape Town in celebration of water, when attendees will be entertained, inspired and moved to cherish, nurture and champion the world’s most precious resource. The convention aims to drive in new measures for water security and drive out the barriers that prevent access to clean water. The W12+ Drive-In will be kick-started with an online event on October 1. More details about both events will be available soon on the W12+ website and on all social media platforms.
*Pending COVID-19 regulations, the October 8 date will be confirmed.
The W12 Congress was scheduled for May 2020, when delegations from around the world intended to visit the mother city and sign onto the ‘Major Cities Best Practice Water Protocol’. W12+ has now reinvented itself in the wake of Covid-19 to become relevant to world audiences while still holding an actual event – one that is safe with all necessary social distancing and health precautions in place.
Cape Town is the city that the world knows averted a water shortage disaster and is a beacon therefore to other cities around the world about how to create a multi-faceted and inclusive campaign that enlists everyone in respecting water as a precious resource.
Organiser, W12+ Chairman, Rene Frank explains: “We are transforming what was a single W12 Congress into W12+ Programs of deeply immersive and unique exchanges. Kicking off with the ‘drive-in’ convention in Cape Town in October, our plan is to bring people together – safely – at smaller, more individually targeted and easily health-managed exchanges over the next year at least. Each will focus on catalytic solutions tackling water challenges, and each will physically bring together those people for whom they are especially pertinent. We’re going beyond classic indoor conferencing and unleashing new, vibrant and engaging experiences; we’re using technology to enable global dialogue through which we will forge the collaborations and knowledge sharing that is needed.”
The World Bank, Dupont, Xylem, Grundfos, Nedbank CIB, UNESCO, Volvo, Wesgro, and the International Water Bank (IWB) are among the W12+ global and local sponsors, endorsing this new way of reaching global audiences. They see the value in creating appealing events in extraordinary times — especially events that will showcase water as the most fundamental, but also exciting, resource we have.
W12+ organiser, Rene Frank says: “Our partners around the world see the value in an actual gathering that creates a focal point and brings people together with a shared aim.”
Nedbank CIB, Redeem Ngadze adds: “We welcome the innovative measures taken by the W12 Programs and fellow sponsors to ensure that the spotlight remains firmly focused on water, despite the challenges of our times. As financial experts who do good, our determination remains to ensure that a collaborated public and private stakeholder solution is achieved to ensure improved bankability of the water economy. Attracting available investment to roll out the necessary infrastructure to sustainably ensure the dignity and health of our people as well as enable economic rejuvenation, particularly in the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, have become very necessary.”
Future investment post COVID-19
Since the Harvard Review ‘Investment Revolution’ article in May-June 2019, which researched the investment swing to sustainable projects, the interest in pure water projects has grown from 2-7% to 13-19%. Covid-19 has also heavily impacted water resources, and this percentage is expected to rise even more considerably in the next few months.
As the Harvard Review article states: “This staggering market growth is being driven by not only millennials, but also evolving macro-economic trends. With an estimated addition of 2 billion people by 2050, global demand for food, water and energy will drive the need for innovative improvements in infrastructure to address the resource demand associated with a growing population. Clean water and sanitation, innovations in energy generation and distribution, improved health care, and more efficient transportation provide an abundance of opportunity for sustainable investment growth. As these investments continue to display a track-record of market outperformance, investors of all types will demand that their wealth and asset managers provide products that not only outperform, but also align with their values.”
Now that both government and global investment companies are realising the dire need to invest in sustainability, with water listed as the imperative enabling priority, the investment will have positive economic outcomes. The W12+ drive-in convention will showcase some of the projects that are already a reality.
Rene Frank adds: “The future is very bright. This new imperative will drive demand and help us all to get the economy going again.”