Azzam Alwash, PhD.

Founding Director of Nature Iraq (NGO)

Azzam Alwash, Ph.D (Engineering) and a founding director of Nature Iraq (NGO) has been described as Iraq’s most famous environmentalist.

Born in Nasiriyah, a southeastern Iraqi city, Alwash spent his childhood in the ancient marshlands of Iraq in a wooden boat with his father, a district irrigation engineer. In 1978, Alwash moved to California to finish his studies, though he moved back to Iraq in 2003 to focus on organizing a team of scientists and engineers to develop a plan to restore the marshes. He founded Nature Iraq shortly thereafter to teach Iraqis about environmental stewardship.

By 2013, Alwash had received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his efforts in re-flooding and restoring the marshes. A few months after receiving the award, Alwash established the area as Iraq’s first national park, protecting 386 square miles of an area roughly half the size of the Florida Everglades and home to 28 of the country’s most unique birds.

Joppe Cramwinckel, M.Sc.

Water Partner at Water Partner Foundation

Mr. Joppe Cramwinckel, M.Sc., Water Partner with the Water Partner Foundation, is a renowned international senior water professional. Previously Environmental and HSE Manager at Royal Dutch Shell, he operates today as strategic advisor for several major organizations for the development of business solutions to Sustainable Water Management challenges, such as for the Brazilian Business Council Sustainable Development and the Business Council for Sustainable Development of Singapore. Mr. Cramwinckel strongly advocates the use of natural based solutions. He uses among others his professional link to the Earth Genome, a California based company aiming to provide an ecosystem of integrated technical and digital resources to improve decision making.

Mr. Cramwinckel works with UNEP in their Oil for Development programme, co-developing a basic foundation course successful piloted in Uganda and Lebanon. Previously member of the Steering Committee of the Alliance for Water at AGWA, he actively supports this network of people who believe in and work to advance the role of water in the climate adaptation and mitigation policy and technical discussions. Furthermore Mr. Cramwinckel joined the Nanyang Technical University of Singapore NTU in August 2017 as visiting professor at the School of Social Sciences (Economics Department) and the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on environmental economics. With five NTU graduates and entrepreneurs he recently set up a Social Enterprise (Safe Water Gardens) in Singapore.

Mr. Cramwinckel is also member of the Water Network , a Japanese initiative established during the 3rd World Water Forum in March 2003 to bring together decentralized solutions for treatment of households management and financial expertise for the initiation, and for the implementation and support of key sustainable water management programs around the world.

Julia Watson, MLA II, GDLA

Designer, Artist, Educator

Julia teaches at Harvard and Columbia, while also leading an experiential, landscape, and urban design practice: Julia Watson Studio. She is also a Director and Co-founder of A Future Studio, a consultancy of designers focused on positively changing our interconnected ecologies. She has received a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University.

After graduating from Harvard with the highest award for her work on conservation and spiritual landscapes, she has been widely published and co-authored the Spiritual Guide to Bali’s UNESCO World Heritage with Dr. J. Stephen Lansing. Julia approaches design as a ‘rewilding’, with a portfolio of projects including the Reef Resilience Initiative with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, private estates with the art collector Artur Walther, the owners of PACE Galleries, and the artist Rashid Johnson.

She is a fellow of Summit REALITY & Pop!tech, received a Christensen Fund for her work in conserving Bali’s first UNESCO World Heritage site, and was a Disruptive By Design Ambassador for WIRED.