2020 Water Summit

Houston, Texas

Revised dates to be announced

 

About the 2020 Summit

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF KNOWING

The third annual Ten Across Water Summit will draw on examples of resiliency from across the southernmost tier of the U.S. Houston area conditions will be featured to demonstrate how water touches on all aspects of our daily lives including planning, infrastructure, housing, finance, economic security, data analytics, and risk assessment.

In addition to case studies from the breadth of the Ten Across region and the related science, special emphasis will be placed on communication of complex and urgent issues to a public which is challenged to respond to an unprecendeted flow of fact, fiction and uncertainty. Conversations around water and resilience in the Ten Across region reveal complex issues and choices ahead.

Speaker and session details will be updated when the current public health emergency is resolved and it becomes possible to identify a new date for the summit.

Agenda Highlights

Below is a summary of the 2020 Summit agenda.

PRE-SUMMIT WORKSHOP: SEEING WATER DIFFERENTLY

The use of data visualization across varying scales fosters holistic water resource thinking and informed water policy discussions. This workshop will bring together researchers and public and private sector representatives looking to create/improve/expand their own water visualization tools. The half-day workshop will use Arizona’s Water Blueprint as a point of departure—an innovative, interactive map of the state’s water resources and infrastructure created by the Kyl Center for Water Policy—for dialogue around creating and deploying both state-level and local water visualization tools across the 10X transect.

 

DAY 1

 

SESSION 1: TEN ACROSS IN CONTEXT

Contemporary events—whether global, national, regional or municipal in origin—are vividly presented on the Ten Across stage. Expert commentators with deep experience will help set the context for this unique point in time and discuss how these externalities will impact key Ten Across topics such as water, energy, immigration, climate change, international trade, and governance.

 

SESSION 2: THINKING AT SCALE - HOW THE LARGEST STATES DRIVE THE NATION

The Ten Across geography includes the three most populous states and some of the fastest-growing cities in the country. Representatives from these places of great influence will share their observations on the issues most likely to shape the future, the value of a regional agenda, and the roles of the public and private spheres in creation of effective strategy.

 

SESSION 3: RESILIENT HOUSTON – PREPARING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

In 2018, Houston became the 101st city in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program. Contributors will define aspects of resilience, equity, and the attributes of effective planning in a city known for resisting convention.

 

SESSION 4: ENERGY IN TRANSITION – ENTERING THE 4TH ENERGY REVOLUTION

The notion of Ten Across as a platform for understanding the future is greatly enhanced by the having the energy capital of the world in the selected geography. Houston presents an opportunity to understand how changes in the energy landscape will alter society as we know it and thus must be carefully managed, if not significantly altered, for the benefit of generations to come.

 

SESSION 5: GETTING REAL ABOUT RISK—AND WHO WILL PAY

Risk is not easily quantified given the scale of the challenges ahead. As our cities expand, our reliance on critical infrastructure increases, and systems become ever more complex and intertwined, are we confident that we have assembled a comprehensive and informed risk equation?

 

SESSION 6: HEATWAVE – ADDRESSING THE IMPACT OF RISING TEMPERATURES

Ten Across encompasses the warmest areas of the country. What does the future hold for people, health, cities, ecosystems, water, energy, agriculture, and the economy as temperatures escalate? What can the rest of the country learn from the Ten Across region as a living laboratory on the front lines of heat-related impacts and the necessary adaptations?

 

DAY 2

 

SESSION 7: COMMUNITIES OF WATER – A RESOURCE TO BUILD AROUND

Water shapes our communities and is an essential building block of societal development. Houston and other Ten Across cities offer some exemplary points of reference with water as an underlying issue relating to security, housing, civic amenities, health, and general wellbeing.

 

SESSION 8: TIME MANAGEMENT – COMPREHENDING THE PROXIMITY OF THE FUTURE

Understanding climate change requires recognition of a terrible urgency and rapidly looming deadlines which will curtail aspects of contemporary life. How can this information be presented in a manner that acknowledges loss but ultimately inspires determination, skill-building, leadership, and global awareness? And what defines a meaningful education in such an environment?

 

SESSION 9: REPORTS FROM THE FIELD – JOURNALISTS ON THE FRONT LINES OF CHANGE

In this concluding session, journalists, writers, and thought leaders speak to what resonates in the contemporary media landscape, what is drowned out, how truths are assembled, and why language matters more than ever.

 

BUFFALO BAYOU FIELD TOUR (LIMITED SLOTS AVAILABLE)

A tour of the Cistern and views of the Buffalo Bayou will frame a locally-curated conversation about the integration of waterways into the urban fabric.

 

SHIP CHANNEL FIELD TOUR (LIMITED SLOTS AVAILABLE)

A boat tour of Houston’s Ship Channel and port, one of the busiest and most diverse in the world.

Speaker Highlights

Top to bottom, left to right, below: Mayor Sylvester Turner, City of Houston, James Fallows, national correspondent, The Atlantic and Co-author of Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America, Margaret Spellings,CEO, Texas 2036; former secretary of education; former president, UNC System, Jeff Goodell, contributing editor, Rolling Stone; senior fellow, New America, Honorable Lina Hidalgo, JD, Harris County Judge, Yvonne Forrest, deputy director, City of Houston Public Works.