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ThinkWater Initiatives Featured in White House Press Release



ThinkWater Initiatives Featured in White House Press Release

Commitments to State-Based National Water Network and Online Systems Thinking Course Highlighted.

Washington, D.C. March 22, 2016

Two ongoing initiatives of ThinkWater--an online systems thinking course and a national coalition of state-based water networks--were mentioned today in a White House Press Release.

ThinkWater is a USDA-funded national campaign to promote enhanced thinking and caring about our national water issues. The Press Release, connected to the White House Water Summit, included the following about ThinkWater:

ThinkWater is a national campaign supported by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and led by the University of Wisconsin-Extension and Cabrera Research Lab to help people think differently, and care more deeply, about water. Today, ThinkWater is committing to work over the next two years to build a national coalition of at least six state-based networks to engage water researchers, educators, and extension agents in solving water-related problems through better systems thinking. This effort will begin this spring with the Wisconsin Water Thinkers Network. ThinkWater expects to directly engage approximately 200 experts and practitioners directly involved with water issues through the Wisconsin network, and approximately 1200 once all networks in the coalition have been established. In addition, ThinkWater is announcing that this spring it will launch “Systems Thinking Made Simple,” a free, interactive online course designed to introduce systems-thinking concepts, tools, and resources to water researchers, educators, extension agents, and citizens across the country.

Dr. Jennifer Kushner, Principal Investigator on the ThinkWater grant, explained that water is inherently place-based but also part of the “commons:”

"ThinkWater understands the power of networks to work across borders of all kinds and to leverage resources in service of water. We are working toward a network of networks that shares the common languages of both water and systems thinking."

Dr. Jeremy Solin, Wisconsin ThinkWater Coordinator, added that

"the growing network gathers “those of us passionate about water education, outreach, and research to develop a shared vision, understanding, and culture in order to become a nation of water thinkers.”

Dr. Laura Cabrera, ThinkWater grant co-PI, stated:

"The creation of an online training in Systems Thinking that is available to the masses is a big step forward in developing systems thinkers out of all Americans. Using translational research and focusing on public understanding of science, systems thinking, and water issues, this training makes sophisticated tools, techniques and concepts in systems thinking accessible to anyone at any age."

The online course is roughly based on the book, Systems Thinking Made Simple: New Hope for Solving Wicked Problems (Odyssean).

Click here for the full text of the White House's Commitments to Action on Building a Sustainable Water Future.

About ThinkWater
ThinkWater is a national campaign supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and led by the University of Wisconsin-Extension and Cabrera Research Lab to help people of all backgrounds and ages think and care deeply about water. It does so by applying systems thinking to existing water education and research efforts and by actively engaging people in a new way around water issues. Our Mission-Vision is to Engage, Educate and Empower 7 Billion Systems Thinkers to solve wicked water problems.

Media Inquiries:
Laura Cabrera, PhD
Co-Director and Co-Principal Investigator
Tel. 607-592-1540