Conversation Series

"My Water, Our Water”, a Conversation with Mr Robin Lewis and Prof. Taikan Oki

An online event discussing trends in global water issues and initiatives to help overcome water-related challenges.

- Asia/Tokyo

On 22 March 2021, UNU will host “My Water, Our Water”, a virtual conversation with Mr Robin Lewis, co-founder of mymizu, and Prof. Taikan Oki, Senior Vice-Rector of the United Nations University. This event will be held via Zoom Webinar at 18:30 (JST).

The COVID-19 pandemic has re-emphasized the vital importance of clean water and sanitation for disease prevention, while also exposing the dire situation in many developing countries where access to clean water and sanitation is limited. At the same time, the crisis has spotlighted global demand for various single-use plastics — from face shields and gloves to takeaway food containers, cups, and bottles.

In 2019, Mr Lewis co-founded mymizu, Japan’s first water refill app, as an initiative to reduce consumption of single-use plastics. With nearly 200,000 water refill spots around the world, the app includes cafes and restaurants, public spaces like airports and train stations, as well as spring water sources in areas like Nagano and Hokkaido, Japan.

To commemorate World Water Day, Mr Lewis and Prof. Oki, one of Japan’s leading hydrologists, will discuss what water means to them, current trends in global water issues, and promising initiatives to help overcome water-related challenges.

The UNU Virtual Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation via the Q&A tab. As permitted by time, a few questions will be selected for speakers to address.

Please note that this event will be in English. Advance registration (by 21 March 2021) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page. On the day of the event, registrants will receive an email with a link to attend via Zoom Webinar.

Follow the UNU Virtual Conversation Series at #UNUtalks on Twitter and Facebook.

About the speakers

Robin Lewis is a social entrepreneur based in Japan, recently recognized by MIT Technology Review in its ‘Innovators Under 35 Japan’ awards. He is co-founder of mymizu and representative director of Social Innovation Japan — a platform for social good focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals.

For over 10 years, Robin has worked with social enterprises, NGOs, and intergovernmental organisations (including as a consultant at the World Bank), and has managed humanitarian operations in countries such as Haiti, Mozambique, Nepal, and Vanuatu. In 2017, he took on a sponsored expedition to walk more than 600 kilometers along Japan’s coastline and document the changing landscapes since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis (Explore Tohoku project). Mr Lewis is a board member of Shibuya QWS, board member of Youth4Nature, and a TEDx speaker. He graduated with a MA in International Business from the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Prof. Taikan Oki is Senior Vice-Rector of United Nations University and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. He also serves as Special Advisor to the President and as Professor at the Graduate School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo.

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