In aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the water crisis in Cape Town, emergency response is being re-examined. The 2018 Symposium explored the intersection of gender and water, infrastructure and investments, and waterborne disease forecasting in the context of the rising frequency of natural disasters. Over 80 individuals from a variety of sectors joined together to discuss the changing terrain of humanitarian crises. Some highlights of the symposium include the dynamic breakout sessions that featured Tufts' professor Daniele Lantagne, who spoke on the changing dynamics of emergency response in short and long-term disasters, the critical importance of creative solutions when supplying water in conflict zones, and the imperative in recognizing social constraints relating to resource access. Reese Tisdale, the president of Bluefield Research, lead another breakout session in her discussion of the necessary utility innovation to the water infrastructure of the U.S. The "Cape Town Day Zero" panel was the penultimate event of the conference, with leading experts including Dr. Kenneth Strzepek, professor of Water Management and Development at the Harvard Kennedy School, Dr. Larry Susskind, Professor of Environmental and Urban Planning at MIT, and Dr. James Cullis, a native South African who runs a water consulting firm in Cape Town and is currently working on the crisis. The event concluded with a tech session, featuring a TEDex style presentation of innovative, technology-driven water solutions. Special thanks to our sponsors The Stockholm Environment Institute The Tufts Hitachi Center for Technology and International Affairs, The Tufts Institute for Global Leadership (IGL), The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Tufts' Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP), Voces and Planetary Health Alliance.
2018 Symposium Team
(left to right): Emrat (Tatiana) Marzan, Hiromi Hashimoto, Katherine Florio, Colleen O'Brien, Andrea Becerra, Mariela Medina Castellanos, Azra Tanović, Stephanie Alimena, and Julia Miller