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To support the goals of the Division, the Committee is launching a blog on the website to highlight existing utilities and programs across the state. This blog will provide valuable information on existing programs and highlight how more information on the programs can be obtained, thus creating an online database of water education resources.


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Catalyst: More than a Conference

Posted By Karen E. Menard, Tuesday, July 30, 2019


Education Division – Consumer Outreach Committee Blog


All Things H2O                August/September 2019 Issue





Catalyst: More than a Conference 

By Martin, the Catalyst Intern


Catalyst is not a conference; Catalyst is a conversation. For three days in San Antonio, Texas, I experienced something unlike I had ever seen before. I have attended dozens of thoroughly enjoyable water conferences throughout my career, but Catalyst opened my eyes to what’s possible. 



Y’all, this is what a water conference is supposed to be. Catalyst was not only a celebration of our mutual love of water and our passion for the communities we serve, but also an invitation to be ourselves with art, music and creative expression. Catalyst is a mastermind program for water educators and communicators whose goal is to empower its attendees with the knowledge of assessment, branding, content and strategy, so we can better serve our communities. Catalyst is not a conference; Catalyst is a conversation brought to you by the communication innovators from Rogue Water and San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS).




As a project manager, I was torn from my comfort zone and brought into the amazing world of creatives where anything could happen. From speakers improving jazz on the piano nearby to a mash-up of 90s hip-hop and rock to a live visual demonstration of eye-tracking technology, Catalyst covered an array of topics every water professional should experience. The speakers engaged with the audience in every aspect, making you feel like part of the show.



It’s impossible to sum up Catalyst in just a few words — so here are my top three takeaways we should all implement right away:


  • Empathy is fundamental to what we do — Water professionals solve problems for people in our communities. We listen, learn about and empathize with their problems and engage them in creating solutions. If we can’t walk a moment in the shoes of those we serve, then we have truly failed the people of our community.

  • Your public meeting doesn’t have to look and feel like church or court — We can physically structure our events to allow the community to co-create solutions and provide the framework to give productive input where it’s needed. Traditional public meetings often serve us more than the communities for which they are intended. We can facilitate a better event that still meets the requirements and engages the community in the conversation.

  • You don’t sell water; you sell civilization — There is not an urban or suburban place on Earth that is sustainable without water. Everything created in our communities has been because water and wastewater services exist. Stop talking “water” and start engaging your community in conversations that matter to them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          


Experience the wonder of Catalyst for yourself and join us in revolutionizing the water industry. See you at Catalyst 2020.

About Catalyst

Catalyst is a mastermind summit designed for public educators and communicators. Catalyst is the brain child of TAWWA Education Division members Greg Wukasch (SAWS), Angelica Zuniga (SAWS) and the H2duO, Stephanie Zavala and Arianne Shipley (Rogue Water and Water in Real Life Podcast Co-founders). The goal of Catalyst is to empower attendees with the ABCS of water communication: assessment, branding, content, and strategy. Attendees engage with and learn from thought leaders from both inside and outside of the water industry. Most importantly, attendees build community and gain inspiration through tribal collaboration. Texas AWWA is the lead sponsor of Catalyst.


Tags:  2019  catalyst  public communicators  public educators 

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