Water Sustainability the focus of the first Pacific Connect Virtual Dialogue

The International Centre for Democratic Partnerships (ICDP) will hold its first Pacific Connect Virtual Dialogue tomorrow, Thursday 28 May, with 28 Australians and Pacific Islanders coming together to network, brainstorm solutions and collaborate on project ideas that relate to technology and water sustainability challenges in the Solomon Islands.

In a first for the Pacific Connect program, this Virtual Dialogue will be held in an online and face-to-face context with Australians & Fijians online and Solomon Islanders meeting in person, to enable the people-to-people relationship pillar that underpins the program’s Second Track process. Thirteen Australians will join their 16 Islander counterparts, to turn a passion for water sustainability into action by discussing challenges and opportunities, and identifying projects that can apply technology solutions to improving the water future of the Solomon Islands.

Under the theme of ‘Australia-Pacific connections for the digital future’, the Pacific Connect Network Dialogue brings together small groups of dynamic, emerging leaders across the region to build capacity and foster collaboration. Delivered using the ‘Second Track’ process and incorporating the Pasifika concept of ‘talanoa’, the Dialogue aims to set realistic goals related to technology and water sustainability in a trusted and safe environment. Facilitators will encourage participants to share ideas and develop practical steps to reach them, whilst ensuring different perspectives and the expertise of others is valued in a respectful, cultural context.

Our participants, with career experience across government, academia, and business including: hydrology, IT, health, engineering, agriculture and the environment, will be led by co-facilitators Shaun Kies-Ryan, Director and Hydrogeologist at ‘earth water people’, and James Kana, Managing Director of Ueniusu’unu Agribusiness Group. Shaun has 13 years’ experience as a groundwater scientist working in Australia and the Solomon Islands. For the last five years, he has been in the Solomon Islands working on designing and constructing rural water supplies, studying the vulnerability of groundwater systems in a variety of environments, building capacity of people and standards for developing and managing water resources, and helping to secure Honiara’s water supply.

Having attended the last Dialogue in the Solomons (on freight and logistics) as well as the Ideas Exchange, James Kana is well versed in the Second Track process that underpins all Pacific Connect events and will provide critical context for Australians wishing to know more about Solomon Islands. James’ business aims to be the commercial hub connecting local and global markets to Small Malaita, where sustainable and environmentally friendly use of resources generate income.

ICDP will be providing live updates from all sessions on our Facebook, Twitter, Linked and Instagram channels. To take part in the conversation don’t forget to use the hashtags #PacificConnect and #DigitalPacific.