1st Edition

Creating 21st Century Abundance through Public Policy Innovation Moving Beyond Business as Usual

By William Sarni, Greg Koch Copyright 2018
    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is the problem of how the public and private sectors can sustain economic development, business growth, social well-being and ecosystem health in the face of accelerating demand for water, energy, and food. "Business as usual" projections of scarcity in water, energy, and food predict a lack of these resources sufficient to sustain economic and business growth as well as an adequate standard of living worldwide.

    Developments in technology are well documented, but this is the first book to explain the role of innovation in public policy and governance, a topic which is frequently overlooked and often frustrates developments in technology and business. Without innovation in public policy and governance, innovation in technology solutions will face persistent headwinds for adoption. The book showcases these innovations and creates a roadmap of what needs to change to drive economic development, business growth, social wellbeing and ecosystem health in the 21st century.

    Foreword: Stanley A. Motta


    Chapter 1: The Problem with "Business as Usual"

    Chapter 2: The Challenge of the Nexus

    Chapter 3: Tough Choices – The Trade-Offs

    Chapter 4: The Opportunities

    Chapter 5: Creating Abundance: The Path Forward

    Closing: Anders Berntell


    William Sarni is an internationally recognized leader on water strategy and innovation and CEO of Water Foundry, Colorado, USA. He has authored numerous publications and presented on the value of water, water technology innovation and the energy–water–food nexus. He works with multinational companies, NGOs and startups.

    Gregory Koch has some 30 years of experience and is a globally recognized leader in water resource management and water stewardship. Formerly, Greg led The Coca-Cola Company’s global water stewardship program where he collaborated with bottling partners, governments, NGOs, aid/development agencies, and communities across the world.

    "Excellent. Greg Koch and Will Sarni have taken on the challenge to set out in clear and practical terms how strategic forms of multi-stakeholder collaboration can help governments and policy makers strengthen their governance of wicked problems like water resource management or the food-water-energy nexus. They succeed with clarity and finesse. Packed full of useful examples and interviews Creating 21st Century Abundance through Public Policy Innovation is a smart, cogently argued and easy to understand analysis of what innovative partnerships look like, why they matter and how they can be used to help policy makers address our systemic natural resource challenges. With the delivery date for the Sustainable Development Goals now just 12 years away, Koch and Sarni provide a perfectly-timed proposition of how a platform of partnerships for the goals can actually be built."

    Dominic Waughray, Visiting Scholar, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, USA


    "In an era when amorphous water risks are becoming profound realities, make no mistake, lack of action in the boardroom will leave companies adrift and exposed to potentially devastating disruptions. With masterful narratives and revealing context, Greg Koch and William Sarni guide readers through tumultuous waters, providing historical grounding and clear channels for the critical decisions ahead. In Creating 21st Century Abundance through Public Policy Innovation, readers will learn how to set bold goals, apply best problem-solving skills, and have faith in the collective abilities necessary to embrace the challenges ahead. We live in a new world where water is the metaphor for survival in business and in life. In this important and accessible work, Koch and Sarni align the value and values that will separate success from failure."

    Carl Ganter, Co-Founder and Director, Circle of Blue, USA


    "'Business as usual' is a state of mind, and this is generally the way humanity looks at water. Obviously, this is the wrong approach. Will and Greg have managed to analyze very clearly the weak points of the water sector and to highlight the necessary steps needs to be taken in order to correct it. This book is a must for every person that is concerned with our future."

    Oded Distel, Director, Israel New Tech & Eco Systems, Isreal


    "Equitable water governance is the linchpin to addressing most of the water challenges we face.  Greg and Will have drawn on their extensive pioneering experiences in the corporate water stewardship space to elucidate concrete ways we can all work toward this goal."

    Jason Morrison, Head, UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate


    Water, Energy, Food, Cities, Climate and Poverty. Limits to Growth. Conflict. Environmental Crises. Disease. Migration. Economic Collapse. We are regularly reminded that of one or more intersections or nexus of these issues as an existential challenge that human societies face in the 21st century. Complexity or wicked are words used to describe the challenge, suggesting a bleak future for humans who may be unable to overcome these challenges. The book by Sarni and Koch does indeed expose this drama. But it goes well beyond. It traces a history of private and public effort at scales that range from a farm to a corporation to a nation to global entities like the World Bank to trace a sequence of events in the 21st century that speak to how different groups have addressed the challenge, the new vernacular that is emerging around these solutions, the participatory nature of the solutions, and innovations in financing, technology, policy and corporate action, linked to social pressures, initiatives by non-government organizations and the participation and refocusing of the public sector that has been emerging around the world. The book is highly accessible, highlighting in first person the diverse experience of the two authors, who have been intimately immersed in this transition. They engage the reader with insightful interviews of some of the key thinkers who have participated in the recent evolution of thought and action in the area, and put the developments in the context of the sustainability transition that our 21st century world is going through. It is a lively, must read, that I highly recommend.

    Upmanu Lall, Alan & Carol Silberstein Professor of Engineering; Chair Dept of Earth & Environmental Eng, and Director, Columbia Water Center, Columbia University, USA


    "This thought-provoking book opens with the premise that the singular water strategy we’ve been pursuing for centuries – "let’s go get more water" – needs to be set aside in the 21st century so that we can move into the real work of trying to figure out how find true security and well-being within the limits of water availability. These two authors – who have spent their lives working on water challenges around the globe – offer rich perspectives on the innovation that we need so urgently, and they’ve tapped a deep well of stories that illustrate the way forward."

    Brian Richter, President, Sustainable Waters, USA