Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival 2018

We’re back - full of good ideas and happy memories!

Last week Wheatley were part of Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival 2018. A sunny, action-packed week at Newcastle Racecourse, with a friendly, fun and collaborative festival spirit. 

Over one thousand people gathered together to apply Design Thinking and to innovate around a range of immediate and future problems that face the water industry. People from many different water retailers and wholesalers, with areas of expertise from engineering to customer service, came together in week-long sprints aimed at answering 16 big questions.  Problems explored ranged from how in-home smart technology will impact the water industry, to how the industry can improve the environmental impact of the services it provides. With a festival app for engaging with the events held and a zero-waste mandate including a ban on single-use plastics, Northumbrian Water encouraged participants to embody the problems they explored.

Presenting back on the Friday morning it was clear that the groups had embraced the challenges, to arrive at some really surprising insights and some truly innovative solutions.  You can find out more about the outputs from each sprint here.

To ensure that innovators were motivated and refreshed Northumbrian Water went to town providing festival goers with a well-being tent for yoga and pilates; a beach for volleyball, ice cream and relaxing in deck chairs; motivational speakers with their roots in the North East including Alexander Armstrong of Pointless fame and Steph McGovern from Breakfast News; evening entertainment such as comedy improv and pizza and, of course, plenty of opportunity to top up on tap water to stay hydrated and to aid thinking power!

As well as enjoying the thought-provoking challenges, festival atmosphere and the opportunity to meet many industry contacts old and new, Wheatley were there to share our latest innovation for the water market Pinpoint

Providing demos of the app to a busy queue of delegates it was clear that there is much more that Pinpoint can offer the water market, beyond its innovative approach to helping engineers find meter assets in the field. We really enjoyed the conversations we had, received some great feedback and have come back to Wheatley HQ with a list of innovative ideas of our own!

Well done Northumbrian Water – your team worked tirelessly to put on a great event. All your guests felt welcome and enthused about creating a future for the UK water industry that serves the real needs of the environment and customers alike. 

Have a look at photos and videos of what went on here and see if you can spot Wheatley's Marketing Manager Jane in the photo below...... (Clue: look for the Wheatley logo!).

NWG2018 Jane.jpg

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