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2012 Water Challenge Report for The Greater New Orleans Foundation The Idea Village by Steve Picou, LSU AgCenter & Grasshopper Mendoza May 17, 2012


2012 Water Challenge Final Report

Acknowledgement & Thanks The 2012 Water Challenge represents the best of why we live in New Orleans. A true collaboration dedicated to the well-being of all, funded by visionary philanthropic leadership that understands the complexity of elements that constitute the sometimeselusive and overarching value we call quality of life, this event is the culmination of years of work by a broad range of active and concerned citizens who believe in our potential to live here and live well. The challenges facing South Louisiana are enormous. There are times when many of us question whether we can sustain the energy and the imagination needed to confront the issues we face. The Water Challenge is a bold stance, a declaration of resistance and interdependence; it is a collective gauntlet thrown-down before all that threaten our very existence in this indescribably special place. It is not tepid statement; it is a bold shout: We can do this! A literal investment in innovation by a rare merging of philanthropy and entrepreneurialism, this initiative reflects the qualities, aspirations and faith of every person involved. For that, and for so many other reasons, we give thanks to all who make this amazing series of events possible. Thank you! Team Water Challenge New Orleans LA May 2012

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2012 Water Challenge Final Report

Table of Contents The Setting and Backstory !

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Implementation!

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Advisory Committee!

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Applicant Eligibility Criteria!

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Application Process !

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Analysis of the Application!

Promotional Efforts!

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Promotional Resources!

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Website!

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Marketing/Press!

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Outreach to Coastal Residents!

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Sponsorship/Fundraising!

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International Cooperation and Participation!

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Finalists!

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Water Challenge Day!

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The Setting and Event!

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Followup/Impacts!

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New Alliances and Growing Support!

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The award-winning 2012 Water Challenge!

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Summary of Recommendations! 2012 Water Challenge Important Dates!

Bibliography !

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“One thing made clear from the oil spill, is how interrelated and interdependent we are as a region.� Albert Ruesga, President & CEO, The Greater New Orleans Foundation

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The Setting and Backstory What if water in Louisiana could be a source of jobs, of entrepreneurs, of new, sustainable ideas that work with natural systems and attract the attention of the world? What if Louisiana could be a global leader in water businesses and resilient lifestyles? Those questions are fundamental to the Greater New Orleans Foundation/Idea Village Water Challenge (WC) business competition which strives to ensure that the answer to all of them is: Yes, we can do this. In 2010, Marco Cocito-Monoc of the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) and Tim Williamson of The Idea Village (IV) realized that enormous opportunity existed within the region’s many water issues. As one of the planet’s major deltaic regions, they knew that lessons learned here could be applied around the world. Tim and Marco recognized that the potential of Louisiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is connected to the health of the state’s natural ecosystem, and if successful, sustainable businesses are to be developed, entrepreneurs must lead the way. Globally, natural and man-made disasters are increasingly driving the expenditure of tens of billions of dollars annually[1]. In Louisiana, the newly adopted Coastal Master Plan calls for $50 billion over the next several decades[2]. And spending related to past hurricanes and the tragic BP oil disaster continue to stimulate the regional economy. It’s been called “the restoration economy,”[3] or “disaster economics,” but it all adds-up to the simple fact that Louisiana is positioned to turn its challenges into opportunities. Adapting to an ever-changing climatological paradigm requires myriad systems to function in harmony if we are to develop resilient communities and businesses to live, work and thrive within the context of ongoing threats of sea level rise, environmental degradation, and anomalous weather patterns. Louisiana is at the forefront of both the threats and the necessary infrastructural and entrepreneurial actions, creating a dynamic that can fuel a more prosperous future—but only if it is recognized and embraced across a wide range of disciplines, systems and interests. The Water Challenge represents some of the first openly public steps being taken to discover the economic opportunities hidden within the urgent needs of coastal and deltaic communities. It is a competition, and a training system, that brings together the interdisciplinary and complex mix of resources needed to address regional challenges. With the assistance of a growing cadre of media, community organizations, academic, business and political leaders, the WC casts a wide net, reaching-out to stimulate the imagination of Louisiana residents, creating hope and opportunity. The Water Challenge’s second year more firmly set in motion a process that captures all of these concepts, needs and steps. This report takes a comprehensive look at the inputs, actions and ongoing outcomes. It examines successes and shortcomings, and makes recommendations for improvements. It concludes with a look forward into how this process can more fully engage all appropriate resources to continue the overall 5


2012 Water Challenge Final Report

mission to build a resilient and thriving Louisiana that is recognized as a world leader in water-related lifestyles and businesses.

Implementation The WC serves a dual purpose. GNOF funds the WC under the auspices of their Coastal 5 + 1 Initiative (C5+1) which seeks to improve the quality of life of the region by instilling principles and techniques of resilience into the people and institutions of the coastal parishes of Southeast Louisiana. Additionally, the WC seeks to build the economy of the state by serving as a process to discover and nurture entrepreneurs to help build a globally significant set of water-related businesses and expertise in Louisiana. The WC uses C5+1 as a guiding document to maintain continuity of purpose, and to ensure that principles of social equity, and harmony with nature are paramount. The 2012 WC solicited applicants from a 9 parish area to submit their water-related business ideas. The 3 finalists joined other cohorts working with the Executives-inResidence (EIRs) at The Idea Village for the 6 month IDEAxcelerator program which mentors and provides guidance, strategy and connections to sharpen business plans and presentation skills. On Monday, March 12, 2012, during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), the 2012 Water Challenge day was staged at the New Orleans BioInnovation Center. The event included speakers, panels, music and the business pitch competition between the 3 finalists for a prize of $50,000 of investment capital. A thematic element of flood management was highlighted in this year’s outreach and applicant submission process. To reinforce this theme, the Advisory Committee was expanded to include two Certified Floodplain Managers and a local drainage engineering expert. Management of the WC differed slightly from the previous year in how the event was staffed and produced. Grasshopper Mendoza again served as the program director with assistance from Steve Picou of the LSU AgCenter (a convening partner), and in November, Thomas Rush was hired as a part-time program manager to assist with outreach activities. Due to the short time frame of the 2011 WC, the IDEAxcelerator program and its months of mentoring were not components. For the 2012 WC, finalists were able to interact with the EIRs and other entrepreneurs on a weekly basis over a 6 month period, a significant opportunity. However, as with the prior year, the timeframe for communication and outreach to solicit applicants was too short (one month), and there were fewer applicants than the inaugural WC. This report recommends creating a specific application window, and launching outreach weeks in advance of that window. Several new steps were taken to help the 2012 WC improve communications and outreach. For example, in the spirit of C5+1, diverse promotional tools were created to spread information about the application process, including a multi-lingual effort, with 6


2012 Water Challenge Final Report

WC information flyers distributed in Spanish and Vietnamese. Outreach to promote the WC extended to coastal communities even after the application period closed in an effort to nurture the movement and stimulate the imagination of the front lines in the most challenged areas. Social media is an increasingly important promotional tool. The WC team and network expanded email, social media and web presence, resulting in a much larger potential audience of recipients. Email, Facebook, Twitter and websites were more extensively utilized in promoting the 2012 WC. Assistance and cooperation in using these electronic tools with the growing WC network of NGOs, press, businesses, government and individuals was a key component of communicating the application opportunity, and contributed to targeted awareness within the core groups the WC seeks to engage as participants in WC events. The WC day was scripted to give participants a whole-model perspective, covering government, finance, culture, equity, vision, competition and future policy. It started with the setting of current affairs, used music to ponder the conflict of our economic and environmental actions, explored how money and finance are moving into water businesses, shared the responsibility and lessons of solving the global water crisis, celebrated the entrepreneurial vision of the finalists, and concluded with a serious look at the rapidly changing and vital legal and policy aspects of water. A statement used in the 2011 report bears repeating: By design, the day was a complex-but-cohesive event of words and images intended to set a standard for scalable entrepreneurial endeavors aimed at restoring, re-imagining and reinforcing the region’s economy, communities and ecosystems by discovering and nurturing innovative water businesses. The 2012 WC was all that and more.

Advisory Committee As noted, the Advisory Committee was expanded this year to include more members and a broader range of expertise. The group included: Miriam Belblidia, City of New Orleans Hazard Mitigation Office Robin Barnes, Greater New Orleans Inc. Brad Case, City of New Orleans Hazard Mitigation Office Mark Davis, Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy Beth Galante, Global Green Louis Jackson, CDM Smith Engineering Marco Cocito-Monoc, Greater New Orleans Foundation Doug Meffert, Louisiana Audubon Society Steve Picou, LSU AgCenter David Waggonner, Waggonner & Ball Architects

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The Advisory Committee provides essential vision, advice and support to the WC. The advisors met several times at various stages of the WC process to evaluate, and to contribute ideas and guidance. The committee also reviewed the applications, assisted with the selection of the finalists and contributed valuable time and effort to making the WC process and day successful.

Applicant Eligibility Criteria The 9 parishes included in the 2011 and 2012 WC—Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John, St. Tammany and Terrebonne— constituted the designated residency area for all applicants. Because the WC is aimed at nurturing startup businesses, basic guidelines regarding revenue, size and potential for growth were emphasized. These criteria included: • For-profit venture in the water industry • Located in the Greater New Orleans area (as defined by the 9 parishes served by GNOF and IV) • Less than $1 million in annual revenue and fewer than 10 full time employees • Solves regional problems but has global potential

Eligibility for the 2012 Water Challenge was limited to these nine parishes.

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Application Process To be eligible for consideration, entrepreneurs were required to complete a three-step, online process that included an application, a detailed executive summary, and a Powerpoint presentation based on a template of 15 business plan components including: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Vision Define Problem Solution Define Market Technology/Design/Method Target Customer Value Proposition Revenue Model Sales Strategy/Customer Acquisition Competitive Marketplace Management Team Summary Financials Current “State of the Business” Funding Plans Your Ask

The 2012 application process opened on August 29 and ended on September 30. A total of 13 applicants completed the online process and were reviewed over the next 11 days. On October 12 three finalists were selected and announced. The finalists then became part of the IDEAxcelerator cohort of more than 50 entrepreneurs working with The Idea Village EIRs Doug Walner and Kevin Wilkins, and connecting to months of programming, mentoring and opportunities culminating in NOEW, March 10-16. Analysis of the Application The online application system is a valuable tool for creating consistent data. Rather than create a special application for the WC, the same form was used for all NOEW applicants. The format challenged the applicants to think-through their business ideas to a much greater degree than was asked of the 2011 WC cohort. This is perhaps why fewer applications were received. (A survey of the WC applicants has not been conducted.) However, there were complaints about the process, mostly involving the Powerpoint component. Overall, the applicants who submitted to the 2012 WC did a good job inputting their information and the reviewers had few complaints about the resulting applications. It should be noted that in the final report for the 2011 WC the lack of images and graphics in the application was highlighted as a weakness in the application/review. The 9


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inclusion of slides was one way to give applicants a chance to showcase designs, charts and other potentially influential graphics, giving the reviewers more information. In last year’s report, there was a specific recommendation that applications be analyzed post-event, and that both applicants and reviewers be surveyed to determine the effectiveness of questions used in the application. This layer of evaluation is another aspect of the overall WC process that requires time and effort and should be factored in planning and budgeting. Although it was assumed that the 2012 application likely intimidated some to not apply, an important data gathering opportunity was missed by not creating a step that required input of a small amount of information to access the full application. This step is important in determining the effectiveness of promotional efforts and could provide other useful information. For example, it would be good to know how many people visit the application site with the intention of learning more and possibly applying. Statistically, we could then determine a ratio of interest to applicants, an important measure that could help guide promotional and outreach efforts. RECOMMENDATION: Create a data gathering step as a requirement for accessing the full application information to determine how many people actually visit the application site and to improve followup communication and outreach. RECOMMENDATION: Design a post-application survey to assess ease-of-use and other aspects of the process, also include questions that assess the applicants’ business skill levels.

Promotional Efforts The first press release for the 2012 WC was issued by The Idea Village on August 30, 2011 announcing the opening of the application process. The website went live the prior day. Efforts were launched to reach leadership in the 9 parishes to leverage NGO and government communications/public relations resources. Information sheets and flyers were developed, including flyers in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Promotional materials were widely distributed via email and hand-delivery. Regional media were contacted to secure airtime to promote the application window. Specific successes regarding media contacts are included in the Supporting Documents section of this report. Promotional efforts continued after the closing of the application window as part of an overall plan to broaden the constituency of people interested in participating in the process of solving water-related issues, and to build bridges of communications between widely distributed groups of people. This extension is a tie-in to the WC’s role as a component of C5+1. With the hiring of Thomas Rush in November, ideas for formal outreach sessions in rural coastal regions were planned and executed (details follow). As with the 2011 WC, the timeframe for outreach to promote the application process was short and coincided with the actual application timeframe. 10


2012 Water Challenge Final Report

RECOMMENDATION: Establish a specific range of dates for the application window, preferably aligned with the other Idea Village tracks, and begin the process of promoting the timeframe earlier. Promotional Resources The expanding WC toolkit included: printed materials, events, social media, and video. Each aspect required many hours of preparation, editing and planning. Outlets for video presented the biggest challenge. The 2011 WC utilized a special YouTube page featuring candid video statements by a diverse group of people talking about the meaning of integrated water management. Thanks to a grant from the Roy A. Hunt Foundation’s Next Generation Fund, an inspirational 3 minute video featuring David Waggonner and highlighting the finalists was produced. This video raised the bar for the production of promotional materials for the WC. It was showcased at outreach events and used to start the WC day. The video was embedded into the main Idea Village webpage devoted to the WC, and was also hosted on a Vimeo page with a link that could be shared. According to statistics on the Vimeo site, there were more than 600 views as of early April 2012. RECOMMENDATION: If budget is available, produce a 30 second video to promote the application window and a 3 minute video to promote the process and event. Website Last year, a special blog site was established, and garnered more than 700 views in 4 months. For 2012, all WC information was channeled through the main Idea Village website. This reduced the amount of information that was (or could be easily) shared

Flyers in 3 languages.

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publicly and did not generate easily accessible WC-specific statistics that could be useful for future planning. It is important that this aspect be examined to determine if the overall goals and needs of all the partners were well-served by this year’s web presence and what improvements could be made. RECOMMENDATION: Branding is critical to all aspects of the WC. The program lacks a logo and key branded catchphrases. The WC needs branded tools across all outreach and communications including a website, blog, and social media. Marketing/Press In its first year, the WC staged a press event to launch the initiative and generate interest in the application process. For the 2012 WC, no independent press event was staged. Standard press releases were utilized and the resulting press coverage did not happen in a cohesive fashion. A small paragraph appeared in the Times-Picayune, and a few key writers who were supportive last year again did stories this year. However, this coverage was not “front-loaded” in advance of the application window and was spread over the application timeframe. For example, an article in the papers in Houma and Thibodaux ran when there was only a week left in the application period. Because the 2012 WC repeated the prior year short timeframe of announcement and application window, we again recommend that more lead-time be allocated to gearing-up for the press announcement, and that the announcement be done in a grander fashion, either with a press conference or some other attractive event. RECOMMENDATION: Prepare for, and stage a press event––or series of events––to announce the application window.

2012 Water Challenge Promotional Video 12


2012 Water Challenge Final Report

Heavy reliance on email, social media and the web is an important aspect of the WC. However, as recommended in the prior report, engaging a professional publicist or reputable agency to assist with initial promotion likely will produce better coverage. Personal relationships with local media have no doubt grown as a result of the past 2 WC efforts. With proper planning, a more effective in-house media strategy could be implemented for the next WC. This step requires more lead-time than happened with either of the prior WC launches. Creating a vision of an effective media outreach plan and outcomes is important if the WC is to expand. Press releases and email are not enough to secure commitments for media coverage. More direct contact with reporters and editors is necessary. Phone calls and personal relationships are key. This is a role that must be undertaken during the planning stages and at least 2 to 4 weeks prior to the opening of the application window. Indeed, publicizing the application window via the website and press releases at the earliest possible stages is important to creating an “entrepreneurs application season” that could become common knowledge as familiarity grows. RECOMMENDATION: Align the language across all IV/NOEW tracks by using the phrase “entrepreneurs application season” (or similar) to designate the application timeframe for the WC and NOEW. Press coverage for the 2012 WC event was significant. Stories with WC references appeared in The Wall Street Journal, New Orleans CityBusiness, Louisiana Weekly, and Huffington Post. See the Supporting Document section of this report for more. Outreach to Coastal Residents Outreach events were staged in coastal communities of Jefferson, Lafourche and Terrrebonne Parishes thanks to the key support of BISCO. Designed to engage rural residents within the C5+1 area, the gatherings were part of a strategy to share information about entrepreneurial opportunities, to get feedback from these areas regarding underserved entrepreneurial needs and to invite the community to the WC day. At each event a WC finalist presented, giving each of the finalists a chance to practice their pitches and to share their ideas with people in the rural coastal zones. These events were made possible by collaborations with: • • • • •

Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing (BISCO) Louisiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) South Louisiana Economic Council (SLEC) Terrebonne Economic Development Authority (TEDA) South Central Planning & Development Commission (SCPDC)

This outreach connected the WC with the communities of Cut Off, Grand Isle, and Dulac. The coastal outreach events were well-attended and garnered local press coverage. They strengthened relationships and provided valuable information for both the communities and the presenters. This was a new undertaking by the WC team and the 13


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Team BISCO and AMPS’ Doug Jacobs at coastal outreach event in Cut Off LA

success of these events warrants their inclusion in planning for future WC events. A detailed report from Thomas Rush is included in the Supporting Documents. Sponsorship/Fundraising The 2012 WC succeeded in raising the bar thanks in part to the grant from the Roy A Hunt Foundation’s Next Generation Fund which underwrote the production of the short video and many of the elements of the WC day. Commercial sponsors were not directly solicited. Going forward, the WC should actively seek sponsors. RECOMMENDATION: Seek additional funding from all possible sources, and design sponsorship tiers to make it easier to promote underwriting of the WC. International Cooperation and Participation The participation of experts from The Netherlands was an important new component that created a ripple-effect of benefits. By inviting Dutch water leaders, the WC expanded its global perspective, and built important, new relationships that continue to grow. The deputy mayor of Amsterdam attended, along with presenters from the Building Resilience Workshop lll. The panel addressed challenges that are common to both Louisiana and The Netherlands with a focus on entrepreneurial opportunities, and the participants shared valuable information about lessons learned and anticipated.

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Partnership with Building Resilience Workshop lll Expands International Connections and Facilitates Participation By staging the Building Resilience Workshop lll (BRWlll) within days of the WC, both events were able to secure the participation of Dutch experts and scientists. BRWlll also featured several presenters from The Netherlands who were unaware of the WC, took the time to learn more, and offered to participate in the future. A breakout session at BRWlll focused on WC issues as a cooperative component.

At BRWlll, Pieter Bloemen of the Dutch Delta Commission included a slide with the NOEW logo and highlighted the WC in his presentation.

The WC partnered with BRWlll on accommodation expenses for some of the international participants, and helped promote the workshop by having BRWlll participate in the exhibit area on WC day. Both events shared the expertise of Netherlanders Chris Sevenberger, Ingwer de Boer, and Dale Morris. BRWlll also featured several other Dutch scientists and engineers who interacted with WC staff and participants. This sharing enhanced work done by diverse international experts in a project called Flood ProBE, a cooperative project of eight European countries who met the days between WC and BRWlll. The BRWlll focuses on resilience, security, and sustainable development in deltaic communities, and has been an important ally and partner of the WC since 2011.

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Finalists The 2012 WC finalists were: Aquaponics Modular Systems (AMPS), Bayou Natives and Tierra Resources, LLC. AMPS products grow high-yield, organic food vertically using aquaponic systems that combine fish and plant processes in a closed-loop that uses up to 90% less water and prevents excess fertilizer from entering watersheds. These systems can be rapidly deployed and easily set-up to address critical food needs. Bayou Natives is a scalable native plant nursery model that seeks to establish itself as a primary resource for restoration of natural spaces, coastal wetlands and forests, as well as general horticultural applications for residences, businesses and public works projects. Native plants naturally absorb vast quantities of water during storm events, build soil, are low maintenance, recharge groundwater and reduce demand on drainage and energy systems. Tierra Resources, LLC developed the world’s first certified methodology to transact wetland carbon credits to fund large-scale wetlands restoration. Healthy wetlands absorb carbon, improve water quality, reduce flooding and provide hurricane protection. Tierra’s methodology could provide billions of dollars of critical funding for the restoration of deltaic landscapes.

2012 WC finalists’ first public pitch opportunity, October 28 at the Global Green/Idea Village Clean Energy/Green Economy Forum.

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The WC cohort participated in 100+ hours of mentoring via the IDEAxcelerator program, helping them shape their business plans and honing their pitches. Additionally, the finalists practiced their pitches publicly at several functions such as Horizon Initiative Water Committee meetings, Coastal Community outreach events, Toastmaster’s, and more.

Water Challenge Day The Setting and Event Theme: Inspiration, Innovation and Investment The New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC) hosted the 2012 WC and proved to be a very good space for all aspects of the event. The lobby was spacious enough for the Information Fair tables and the multi-purpose room had the right mix of size and technology to help the day run smoothly. A sculptural work of art from Thomas Mann titled “where do you get yours?” depicting “the delicate balance of energy sources and use relative to the degradation of the natural environment through the metaphor of the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, and the environmental disaster which followed and continues to be a serious issue,” was prominently featured in the lobby.

Sen. Mary Landrieu “We can’t just build a string of levees. We need to re-engineer our plans and set our sights much higher. We have to understand the flows of our rivers, lakes and bayous, and we have to get smart really fast.”

Three prominent local leaders served as WC hosts, Jim McNamara of New Orleans BioDistrict, Steve Picou of the LSU AgCenter, and Harry Shearer, whose documentary The Big Uneasy digs deeply into the causes of the levee failures during Hurricane Katrina. The room filled quickly with more than 100 attendees (not including presenters and staff). 17


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The day began with morning host Jim McNamara and welcoming speeches by Ellen Lee of the Greater New Orleans Foundation and Tim Williamson of The Idea Village, setting the stage for a day of inspiration, innovation and investment. The opening keynote, US Senator Mary Landrieu, spoke eloquently and passionately about the importance of re-thinking how we deal with coastal issues, and about the impacts of water across a broad range of business, government and cultural realities. She introduced Nick Speyrer of SSA Consultants and The Water Institute of the Gulf (TWIG) who elaborated on plans for a world-class applied-research institute focused on water issues to be housed in Baton Rouge. The audience was given time to ask questions of both Sen. Landrieu and Mr. Speyrer. Next, musician Drew Landry sang two original songs about the need to balance the environmental and cultural resources of the region with development and energy extraction. Accompanied by his acoustic guitar and by images of the people and landscapes of coastal Louisiana, he gave voice to elements also expressed by artist Thomas Mann’s sculpture. Landry’s CD Bandryland was given to all of the day’s speakers, panelists, judges, finalists and advisors as a token of appreciation and a reminder of the invaluable connection of cultures and art to the quality of life in the state. The day continued with a capital landscape panel of financial experts and investors comprised of Will Donaldson of Resource Environmental Services, Murray Starkel of

The capital landscape panelists discussed opportunities in the growing water sector.

NGP Global Adaptation Partners, and David Doherty of Iberia Bank who discussed issues such as water rights, mitigation, and technologies that motivate investment in the growing water investment sector. Ideas discussed were infrastructure, coastal 18


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protection, energy, clean energy alternatives, tax incentive programs and engineering education. The event then paused for lunch from La Divina Gelateria, and the audience was encouraged to spend time with the exhibitors assembled in the lobby.

Networking started as soon as the audience broke for lunch.

Organizations exhibiting included: • • • • • • • • •

Greater New Orleans Foundation C5+1 GNO Inc. Comprehensive, Sustainable Integrated Water Management Strategy (WMS) GroundWork NOLA Stormwater Management Building Resilience Workshop lll UNO Center for Hazard Assessment, Response & Technology 2011 Water Challenge winner NanoFex Natural Hazard Mitigation Association Regional Planning Commission, Metro New Orleans Sourcelink

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Martha Landrum and Julia Boyer of GNOF share C5+1 information.

Following lunch, Steve Picou assumed hosting duties by introducing keynote speaker Elisa Speranza, president of CH2MHill Operations & Maintenance Business Group, who spoke about her work with international NGO Water for People, which strives to make assistance into a more entrepreneurial experience for aid recipients. Marco CocitoMonoc of GNOF then moderated a panel of experts from The Netherlands made up of Ingwer de Boer of Room for the River, Chris Zevenbergen of Dura Vermeer, Dale Morris

WC finalist Doug Jacobs presents AMPS plan to the audience and judges.

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of the Royal Dutch Embassy, and local water visionary David Waggonner. The panel discussed how The Netherlands invests in water management, lessons learned, and how they built and globally market their reputation as water experts. The program then transitioned to celebrity host Harry Shearer who spoke briefly about the work and research that went into making his documentary about the levee failures, and how some of the contributing factors of the flood are not unique to Louisiana. Harry then proceeded with the WC pitch competition by introducing the judges and the contenders. Each finalist was given 10 minutes to present followed by up to 10 minutes of questions from the judges. The 2012 WC judges were: " " " " " "

Ingwer de Boer, Room for the River, The Netherlands Bob Brown, Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region Bob Miller, Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans Dale Morris, Royal Dutch Embassy, Washington DC Elisa Speranza, President of Operations & Mgmt, CH2MHill Jerome Zeringue, Director, Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority

Tim Williamson observes the judges as they score the competition.

As the judges retired to a private room to score the competition, Mark Davis, Director of the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy eloquently addressed the audience regarding the many compelling water issues facing Louisiana and the United States, and how we are uniquely positioned to lead in areas of policy and implementation, setting the stage for the future. 21


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After a lengthy deliberation, the judges arrived at a decision, and Marco Cocito-Monoc and Tim Williamson announced the winner, Tierra Resources, LLC. The audience then enjoyed a final networking opportunity during the Water Challenge Happy Hour in the lobby and courtyard of NOBIC with refreshments courtesy of NOEW alumni Cordina and NOLA Brewery.

2012 Water Challenge winner Sarah Mack, PhD, of Tierra Resources, LLC.

Observations The 2012 WC was well-attended with 110 registrants representing a wide cross-section of the region. The audience remained throughout the day, and frequently it was standing-room only. The presentations ran smoothly thanks to the technology capabilities of the facility and the organizers. No outside audio visual equipment was needed. However, an important technology element was missing. The day was not recorded to video to be hosted online for later viewing. This aspect was not built into the budget of the 2012 WC and it needs to be. Since the intent is to stimulate entrepreneurial imagination across the state, the information and educational opportunities of the WC must be widely shared. RECOMMENDATION: Budget for full audio/video recording of the next WC, and for formatting and hosting the day’s presentations on the web. The 2012 WC day was scripted to the minute. The day was designed to present an arc of knowledge, starting with the perspectives of government leaders and initiatives, then explored the financial realities and requirements of participating in the water economy. 22


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The role of water in the cultural vitality of Louisiana was celebrated with music, and then the global responsibility and impact of compassionate action to address complex and preventable water problems was explored. The day then moved to the competition, which sets a stage for the future by recognizing and rewarding local entrepreneurial talent, and concluded with a look at how problems and policies are colliding, and why this presents another important set of opportunities for Louisiana, but only if we respond with wisdom and awareness of the roles of our cultural and environmental resources in motivating and shaping our leadership.

Followup/Impacts This section is based on a simple question: compared to the first WC, did we move it forward? Though the general intent of the WC is to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem for water-oriented businesses in Louisiana, the measures of its success include aspects of quality of life, of education, of equity, and of leadership. The first question to be asked, is whether participation in the WC helps entrepreneurs grow their business models. The answer, according to both WC winners, is yes. The 2012 WC winning company, Tierra Resources, LLC, is gaining momentum. The company’s system for determining the carbon sequestration value of wetlands garnered national press in the weeks leading up to the WC, making their victory part of a series of positive developments. Tierra is an active company and is growing, and the market for their services is global. Last year’s winner, NanoFex, continues to generate interest and investment. The company made significant progress over the past year and also won another entrepreneurial competition during the 2012 NOEW. New Alliances and Growing Support Compared to 2011, the WC day featured a wider array of leaders and experts, a larger audience, and built new relationships of committed supporters. The enthusiasm of Senator Mary Landrieu was noted by her staff, and an already important set of relationships with them grew. Similarly, the delegation from The Netherlands was expansive, and supportive of future endeavors. Their group included policy makers such as the deputy mayor of Amsterdam, engineers, scientists, and economic development leadership. The WC again partnered with Building Resilience Workshop to share some of these international connections, an important alliance that helps defray expenses and make for a more compelling and valuable trip for the participants. The award-winning 2012 Water Challenge Recognition of the accomplishments of the WC extended well beyond the boundaries of the 9 parishes served by the event. Tulsa Partners’ decision to recognize the 2012 Water Challenge with their annual Nania Award shines a national spotlight on the WC 23


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and create new partnership possibilities. Nania means “all together” in Cherokee, and reflects Tulsa Partners philosophy of community engagement at all levels. The Midwest’s water issues are significant as are their need for resilient structures and communities able to deal with natural hazards. The WC team is leading a workshop in Oklahoma for Tulsa Partners as part of the June 19, 2012 Nania Awards events. Adult Education Quarterly The Adult Education Quarterly reached-out to the WC for its Fall 2012 special Green Jobs issue. Steve Picou was asked to submit a proposal and article focused on the WC. The article explores the relatively new partnership between philanthropy and entrepreneurialism, its impacts on quality of life and the education opportunities spawned by the C5+1/WC initiative. If published, it will appear in the Fall 2012 issue. Next Steps The success of the 2012 WC proved the value of the initiative. Based on support from GNOF and The Idea Village, a multi-year proposal is being developed to expand the region served and to spread the messages of the WC to the rest of Louisiana. As a philanthropic endeavor in support of entrepreneurialism, the WC represents a new approach that combines values, ecosystems, equity and resilience into the mix required for successful business and economic development. It is a noble enterprise, worthy of expansion and investment, that may prove to be a pivotal program in solving some of the most pressing problems in Louisiana, and perhaps the world.

Ingwer de Boer presented finalist Colleen Morgan with a token of appreciation from The Netherlands at the Water Challenge Happy Hour.

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2012 Water Challenge Final Report

Summary of Recommendations 1. Create a data gathering step as a requirement for accessing the full application information to determine how many people actually visit the application site and to improve followup communication and outreach. 2. Establish a specific range of dates for the application window, preferably aligned with the other Idea Village tracks, and begin the process of promoting the timeframe earlier. 3. Branding is critical to all aspects of the WC. The program lacks a logo and key branded catchphrases. The WC needs branded tools across all outreach and communications including a website, blog, and social media. 4. If budget is available, produce a 30 second video to promote the application window and a 3 minute video to promote the process and event. 5. Prepare for, and stage a press event––or series of events––to announce the application window. 6. Align the language across all IV/NOEW tracks by using the phrase “Entrepreneurs Application Season” (or similar) to designate the application timeframe for the WC and NOEW. 7. Seek additional funding from all possible sources, and design sponsorship tiers to make it easier to promote underwriting of the WC. 8. Budget for full audio/video recording of the next WC, and for formatting and hosting the day’s presentations on the web.

25


2012 Water Challenge Important Dates Date

Event

Location

June 17, 2011

GNOF/Hunt Foundation Community Panel

GNOF

July 7

2012 WC Planning Meeting

Idea Village

Aug. 29 to Sept. 30

2012 Water Challenge Application Window

Idea Village

Sept. 6

Hazard Mitigation Oval Table Presentation

Baton Rouge (Conf. Call)

Sept. 7

Horizon Initiative Water Committee Presentation

City Park

Sept. 9

USGBC State Advocacy Committee Presentation

NAI/Latter & Blum Inc.

Sept. 16

Green Drinks Presentation

Handsome Willy’s

Sept. 15

Green Collaborative Presentation

Regional Planning Commission

Sept. 29

LA Green Corps WC Presentation

NO Healing Center

October 12

WC Advisor Meeting

Idea Village

October 19

IDEAxcelerator kick-off party

Race & Religious

October 28

Global Green/Idea Village Energy Forum

Kingsley House

November 16

Horizon Initiative Water Committee Presentation

S&WBNO

November 16

New Orleans Regional Leadership Inst.

Chalmette High

November 29

Water Challenge Video Completed

December 3

WC Presentation/Neighborhood Drainage Workshop/Ground Work NOLA event

Oretha Castle Haley Neighborhood Assn.

December 14

AMPS/Horizon Initiative Pitch

City Park

December 20

WC Advisor Meeting

Idea Village

January 14, 2012

WMS Public Presentation with Dutch Team

Tulane

January 18

Bayou Natives/Horizon Initiative Pitch

City Park 26


Date

Event

Location

January 19

Green Project Presentation (Video)

Green Project

January 27

Green (Blue) Drinks Presentation

Idea Village

February 1

SBA Fisheries Roundtable Presentation

Idea Village

February 7

WC Coastal Outreach Event

Cut-Off, LA

February 8

WC Coastal Outreach Event

Grand Isle, LA

February 14

Tierra Resources/Horizon Initiative Pitch

Longue Vue Gardens

February 15

WC Coastal Outreach Event

Dulac, LA

February 23

Stakeholder Briefing Coastal Master Plan (WC Promotion)

Longue Vue Gardens

March 10

Public Leadership Fellowship Presentation

Entergy Center

March 12

2012 Water Challenge Day

New Orleans BioInnovation Center

March 16

Building Resilience Workshop III Entrepreneurship Break-out Group

Former Naval Support Building

March 23

Post WC Advisor Meeting

Idea Village

March 28

Idea Village Entrepreneur Graduation

Rice Mill Building

April 16

Tulsa Partners Nania Award Invitation

Tulsa, OK

April 18

WC Thank You Lunch/HI Water Committee

City Park

April/May

Adult Education Quarterly/WC Article Invitation (submitted 5/12)

New Orleans

May 17

WC 2012 Final Report Completed

New Orleans

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2012 Water Challenge Media Important Dates Date

Promotional Resource

Media

August 30, 2011

Press Release /WC Kick-off

All

September

WBOK Crosstown Conversations

Radio Interview

September

Natural Awakenings

Magazine Article

September

NPN Trumpet

Newspaper Article

September 27

Houma Courier

Newspaper Article

September 27

Daily Comet

Newspaper Article

September

Times-Picayune-Money

Newspaper Notice

September

CWPPRA (Coastal Planning)

Web

September

Silicon-Bayou News

Web

September

Americas Wetlands

Web

September

Jefferson Parish Economic Dev.

Web

September

LA Dept. Wild Life & Fisheries

Web

September

Council Member Susan Guidry

e-mail blast

September

New Orleans Public LIbrary

Web

September

Hunt & Fish

Web

September

GNOF marketing support

all media

October 10

City Business

Blog

October 19

Silicon-Bayou News

Blog Post

October 31

Press Release /WC Finalists

November 9

WGSO/Flip this City

Radio Interview

November 22

WWNO/Ian McNulty Radio Interview

Radio Interview

January 13, 2012

LifeCity

Blog Article

January 19

WBOK Crosstown Conversations

Radio Interview 28


Date

Promotional Resource

Media

February 7

WWNO/Ian McNulty Radio Interview

Radio Interview

February 13

Houma Today

Newspaper Article

February 13

The Daily Comet

Newspaper Article

February

Urban Conservancy

Blog

February 21

The Advocate

Newspaper Article

March

Natural Awakenings

Magazine

March 7

WGSO/Flip this City

Radio Interview

March 8

Press Release /WC Day

All Media

March 8

WBOK Crosstown Conversations

Radio Interview

March 9

City Business

Web

March 12

Press Release /WC Day

All Media

March 13

City Business

Web

March 13

Silicon Bayou News

Web

March 13

Senator Landrieu Press Release

All Media

March 14

Times-Picayune-NolaVie

Newspaper Blog

March 16

Wall Street Journal

Newspaper Article

March 19

Louisiana Weekly

Newspaper

March 19

Center for Planning Excellence

Blog Post

March 20

Huffington Post

Web Article

March 21

Press Release /Post NOEW

All Media

March 26

Silicon Bayou News

Web

April

Natural Awakenings

Magazine

May

St. Charles Avenue

Magazine

29


Bibliography 1." John Gordon IV, R.W.B., Karla J. Cunningham, Toy I. Reid, Irv Blickstein, Peter A. Wilson, Andreas Goldthau, Domestic Trends in the United States, China, and Iran: Implications for U.S. Navy Strategic Planning, 2008, Rand Corporation: Santa Monica CA. p. 17-20. 2." Louisiana's Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, 2012, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority: Baton Rouge LA. 3." Cunningham, G.S., The Restoration Economy: the greatest new frontier: immediate & emerging opportunities for businesses, communities & investors2002, San Francisco CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

“We can do this.� David Waggonner

30


2012 Water Challenge Final Report Supporting Documents

Marco Cocito-Monoc and Tim Williamson announcing the 2012 WC winner.

2011 WC winner David Culpepper of NanoFex, Harry Shearer, and 2012 WC winner Sarah Mack 31



Greater New Orleans Foundation/Idea Village 2012 Water Challenge Report