The Keys to a Blue Economy

Water Canada presents its newest online discussion series: The Keys to a Blue Economy.

This four-part series focuses on how Canada should define its blue economy and all of the key elements that will ensure a strong national water sector.

Each session will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. eastern time on the third Wednesday of the month from January 2021 to April 2021.

Upcoming Webinar: Innovating in the Blue Economy


Innovation comes from a pressing need, often involves disruption, and is best deployed when there is an urgency for new solutions. As an example, the pandemic forced global governments, health care, and scientific communities to innovate quickly in order to protect ourselves and develop vaccines. Similarly, there is urgency in Canada’s water industry to adopt clean technologies, change our habits, and think outside the box to help provide safe drinking water, more effective wastewater treatment, and better managed stormwater.

In our final session of the Blue Economy series leading up to the Canadian Water Summit this June, we’ll dive deeper into questions such as: What drives (or hinders) municipalities to adopt innovative technologies? Who are the champions of water innovation? Where are the projects that demonstrate positive impacts for the communities and companies involved? What’s in the crystal ball for Canada’s Blue Economy in 2026?

Speakers include:

  • Kariann Aarup—Aqua Forum: Kariann has been with Aqua Forum since 2017, focusing on scaling its flagship program, the AquaHacking Challenge, and building new programming to fill gaps within the water tech development-implementation process. Motivated by sustainability-focused outcomes, especially those that engage stakeholders from multiple sectors, Kariann enjoys finding the sweet spot around which partners can collaborate to amplify impact. Originally from Montreal, enjoying the freshwater lakes of the Laurentians, Kariann grew up in a family enterprise and holds an MBA from McGill University.
  • Jeanette Jackson—Foresight: Jeanette Jackson is the CEO of Foresight, a cleantech ecosystem accelerator that is empowering entrepreneurs and energizing a world-class cleantech industry across Canada. A successful entrepreneur across multiple industries, Jeanette has secured millions in investment dollars, project funding, and revenue. She has also led cross-functional teams and developed innovative programs for entrepreneurs, industry, and investors. Jeanette is driven by her fundamental belief that collaboration is a critical success factor to large-scale transformation. She is currently leading ground-breaking pan-Canada sector engagement projects to align Canada’s long term economic, social, and environmental goals.
  • Rahim Kanji—Ontario Water Consortium: Rahim’s unique experience has deeply entrenched him in the water technology development and adoption ecosystem, which feeds his passionate curiosity about the application of new technologies to solve pressing water, climate, and environmental challenges. Through the work of the Ontario Water Consortium, Rahim advances Ontario’s water innovation capacity. Rahim has led innovative partnerships in Ontario to foster multiple new solutions demonstration and adoption; with his impacts spanning from instigating technology development projects and collaborations, leading expert working groups, creating programs to advance industry commercialization, and opportunities to share knowledge and experience across industry stakeholders.
  • Steven Liss—Ryerson University: Steven N. Liss is Ryerson University’s vice president, research and innovation, and a professor  of Chemistry and Biology in the Faculty of Science. Liss returned to Ryerson in April 2017 following a decade of distinguished service at the University of Guelph and  at Queen’s University, where he served as vice principal (research) and a professor of  Environmental Studies and Chemical Engineering. For his contributions to Canada’s research and innovation ecosystem, Steven was  awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He has also held numerous positions on a number of boards and councils and  continues to play an important leadership role nationally in the advancement of support  for digital infrastructure.
  • Todd Latham—Actual Media: With an eclectic mix of cross-industry knowledge and contacts, Todd is the ambassador, advisor, and communicator in Canada’s water, infrastructure, and environment space. With over 30 years experience in these industries, Todd is Actual Media’s founder, chief creative officer, and president. He’s everywhere, but if you can’t find him check his social media channels or look to the finish line at an upcoming triathlon.

Register now.

Past Webinar: Defining the Blue Economy

The United Nations definition of the blue economy is based on the “the improvement of human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.” However, we believe that definition is too narrow and needs to be more all-encompassing of the entire water sector from coast to coast to coast.

In our first session, we explored why the wider definition is warranted, why it’s important for the future of the Canadian water sector, and the importance of gaining a greater appreciation of all of our Canadian watersheds.

Past Webinar: Building the Blue Economy

Following our webinar on “Defining the Blue Economy,” we shifted our focus to “Building” the Blue Economy. Where are the infrastructure demands that can help ensure the Canadian water sector continues to prosper?

This session explored how municipalities are moving forward in the face of new and ongoing challenges like public funding, ratepayer demands, and health concerns. How are municipalities managing the operation and maintenance of their existing drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure at the same time as building new capabilities and services? Where do municipalities need more support? What are water technology and consulting firms doing to provide solutions that meet the environmental, social, and economic needs of municipalities and their water utilities?

Past Webinar: Governing the Blue Economy

Who’s in charge of our water? How can we break down geographical silos and avoid politically influenced water regulation? In order to have a functional and prosperous blue economy, Canada will need to have an alignment between municipal, provincial, and federal policies. Citizen engagement and stakeholder inclusivity will be critical to achieving new governance models that work for the benefit of all Canadians—while also protecting our most valued resource.

In our third session of the Blue Economy series leading up to the Canadian Water Summit this June, we took a look at the existing policy regimes across the country and where new governance structures are being proposed (or are needed). We also took a look at how water sector leaders can influence government bodies to make the changes needed to ensure real actions that can drive effective governance of Canadian water in both the short and the long-term.

Each session will feature speakers from throughout the Canadian water sector, providing multiple perspectives on each issue. We’ll touch on impacts on drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, water resources, and more.

Interested in being at the forefront of one of the Blue Economy discussions? Contact Nick Krukowski at to learn about sponsorship opportunities associated with each session.

To inquire about speaking opportunities for the Blue Economy series, please contact Water Canada’s Event Manager Natasha Mawji at