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The Nature Conservancy Debuts First Open-Source Water Leadership Training and Cooperative Board Game in Stockholm at World Water Week

Water for Tomorrow board game shows through cooperative play why collaboration and constructive dialogue are critical to addressing water crises.

Stockholm, Sweden

The Nature Conservancy in New York presents a new open-source curriculum designed to train community members and organizational leaders from the non-profit, business, academia, and government sectors and guide participatory decisions on how to manage local water supplies given current and future challenges ranging from water scarcity to pollution to water governance.

While today’s water crisis is global, many of the choices and consequences about how water is managed and used are local. Increasing demands by industry, agriculture, and consumers, coupled with a changing climate, make the need to manage water resources more urgent than ever before. Even in places like New York State, communities face water shortages and contaminated water supplies. Statewide, aging and inadequate water treatment infrastructure is contributing to unsafe drinking water for people and polluted water bodies unable to support aquatic life.

“Effective water leadership needs strong local stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue toward broad sustainable water resource solutions,” said George Schuler, New York director of the sustainable water initiative for The Nature Conservancy. “We designed this open-sourced curriculum to provide leaders with the specific skills they need to engage in constructive dialogue on water resource issues. We believe that this training can have a real impact on how water decisions are made at the local level.”

The curriculum focuses on three interwoven modules: leadership, conflict transformation, and community engagement. The program is customizable and through a combination of lectures, individual, and small group activities, participants develop practical skills applicable to their work in individual communities.
The curriculum, includes a cooperative board game entitled Water for Tomorrow, designed to raise awareness of the complexity and interconnectedness of water resource issues and establish a collaborative atmosphere for stakeholders to participate in the decision-making process.

“Players become part of a community where at one-time water was plentiful, but now most of what’s left is polluted and unusable,” explains Schuler. “With the main goal being for everyone to win, players need to work together while also protecting their own interests. It underscores the choices we face regarding our water resources – do we look out for only our own interests or do we cooperate, so everyone wins together?

The training was designed by The Nature Conservancy and partners, including the TESA Collective, creator of custom board games for social change.

The Nature Conservancy will host a Water for Tomorrow showcase on Monday, August 27, 2018 from 16:00 to 17:30 pm (CET) during World Water Week at the City Conference Centre in Stockholm, Sweden.

For more information on the Water for Tomorrow leadership training and its companion Water for Tomorrow board game, contact George Schuler at gschuler@tnc.org

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.