Co-Innovation in the nexus of Food, Energy, and Water systems with Indigenous Communities


Co-Conveners: Miri Lavi-Neeman, Arava Institute and Yael Perez, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored session w/workshop: DevEng/InFEWS program, UC Berkeley Blum Center for Developing Economies, and Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Several innovative technologies for food, energy and water systems offer sustainable solutions to the challenges of sustaining human life in arid areas. However, the development of these solutions often ignores Indigenous concerns and values. To make indigenous communities more resilient and to help them flourish, research has shown that it is critical to incorporate participatory design and culturally-sensitive approaches to the innovation process. The goal of this session is to articulate guidelines and training for co- innovation of food, energy and water systems with Indigenous communities in the Negev as a follow-up to a parallel workshop offered with the Navajo Nation in the USA in June 2020.

Pre-session field trip: In this fieldtrip, participants will visit a Negev community that has implemented an innovative system encompassing food, energy and water. Through the visit, participants will get familiarized with a food-energy-water problems in its local context, will explore the solutions offered, and will hear from community representatives about current challenges that are still unresolved.

The working session that will follow the fieldtrip, will include 3-5 presentations (10 minutes each) of case-studies of co-innovation with indigenous communities from Israel and around the world, after-which a workshop will be facilitated to brainstorm and co-design solutions for the challenges presented in the fieldtrip (30 minutes).

The last part of the working session (50 minutes) will include a reflection on the co-design process and identification of methodologies for co-innovation with Indigenous communities. A framework for case-studies of co-innovation with Indigenous communities will be defined and refined to be disseminated through the participants in the workshop.