TRANSFORMING WATER GOVERNANCE THROUGH SOCIAL INNOVATION
The Water, Innovation, and Global Governance Lab is a group of researchers fascinated by the seemingly insurmountable social-ecological challenges being faced in watersheds throughout Canada and the world. We believe that improving water governance in the future will require innovation, and not just technological innovation, but social innovation. With that interest in mind, we undertake case studies from across the province, the country, and the world, to find out how to build the existing capacity for social innovation in watersheds to address the most complex issues for water. We attempt to understand and characterize the conditions required for social and governance innovation, the agency involved, how and when transformative and innovative governance changes occur, and what could improve the change process.
Questions that we are currently investigating
1) How is scientific information used in water governance change processes?
2) How might domestic or transboundary water governance arrangements be developed to support social-ecological resilience and the capacity of a watershed to adapt or transform to unexpected events?
3) How do you scale up the impacts of the social learning that occurs during community-based monitoring or community-based watershed planning initiatives?
Our work focuses on two thematic areas
1) Examining Canada's contributions to global water governance and innovation, and
2) Building capacity for water governance innovation in Canadian watersheds.
This work draws heavily, although not exclusively, on the theoretical concepts of resilience, social-ecological systems, transitions management and networked governance.