NEWAVE 2022 Summer School | Day by day reflections

October 5, 2022

The NEWAVE Transferrable, Actionable, and Dissemination (TAD) Summer School took place in Barcelona, Spain, from 5 to 9 September 2022. This network-wide training in engagement (TAD skills) was led by one of our host organizations Fundación Nueva Cultura de Agua (FNCA Spain) and served as the very first opportunity for the NEWAVE network members to meet in person, making the event additionally exciting. 

The purpose of the Summer School was to enhance the extra-scientific skills that will complement the transdisciplinary tool box of the Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), create a common scientific ground for the ESRs both within the context of the 3Ps heuristic framework as well as the greater critical water governance paradigm, and offer the fundamental opportunity to build the human and relational network among NEWAVE ESRs, supervisory groups, and Network Management Committee (NMC).


On Monday morning we met at our training venue – the Apocapoc City Nest Lab in Barcelona’s el Poblenou neighborhood. The day began with a check-in activity organized by Dr. Nuria Hernandez-Mora, leader of the project’s work package 7 on Actionability and co-supervisor of the project ESR2, and by Dona Geagea, ESR10,  who asked the participants to bring some water with them and think of a story describing their fondest memory with water.  Before we began our workshops, we sat in a circle, listening to the warm welcome by Dr. Hernandez-Mora, sharing water-related stories from our past and pouring the water we brought into a flower vase in the middle of the room. This opening proved to be the perfect ice breaker, putting all the School participants at ease and ready for the upcoming intensive days of workshops, discussions, and presentations. 

The very first block of the day was the session “Actionability and Network Development” led by the NEWAVE network coordinator Dr. Jampel Dell’Angelo. During this session, Dr. Dell’Angelo discussed the upcoming deliverables, deadlines, and expected outcomes to ensure network-wide consensus on these matters, opening the  discussion on our collective vision and goals as a network.

To follow, NEWAVE ESRs Marie Belland and Hannah Porada led the “ESRs Ethos” plenary. This session centered around the Ethos document co-authored by the NEWAVE ESRs and served as a space for agreements and arguments, open discussion and collective reflection. The participants were divided into three groups and were posed with thought-provoking questions to reflect on the goals, visions, practices, and values that NEWAVE has been operating with so far. Working in mixed groups, the Summer School participants acknowledged the diverse perspectives of their co-discutants and engaged in fruitful discussion regarding our way forward as a network. 

Concluding  the first day of the Summer School,  Dr. Emanuele Fantini, leader of the NEWAVE Work Package 8 on Dissemination, led the workshop on “Creative Communication” . As communication plays a central role within water governance, Dr. Fantini opened his session with a stimulating question “Why and when to tell stories in water research (and when not to)?”. Having considered this question, we learned ways of improving our communication skills through hands-on exercises and examples. The session concluded with two practical examples of collective storytelling. NEWAVE ESRs Paula Zuluaga Guerra and Javier Rodríguez Ros shared their recent PhD outputs where they relied on creative communication methods to discuss their fieldwork findings.


“From the land to the sea: A collective story on transformation in the Mar Menor” by Paula Zuluaga and Violeta Cabello [link]

“The dream of water: Reflections on its vital value” a photostory by ESR 2, Javier Rodriguez Ros [link]

The first day of the NEWAVE 2022 Summer School concluded with an energizing and reflective check-out led by Dona. We left Apocapoc filled with excitement and anticipation for the upcoming days of the School.


The second day of the Summer School began with an energizing check-in by ESR 1, Stewart Motta. Using the Mekong River as a metaphor, Stewart invited us to collectively reflect on water both in theoretical as well as in practical contexts.

The first session of the day was the “Transforming Water Governance Conflicts” plenary led by Dr. Aaron Wolf, the supervisor at Oregon State University for ESR 1. The session focused on ways of transforming and resolving conflicts within the water context. Relying on interactive methods, Dr. Wolf discussed reasons for conflict emergence, the importance of shared values, and the power of listening.


“Transforming Water Governance Conflicts” presentation by Dr. Aaron Wolf [link]

The Spirit of Dialogue. Lessons from Faith Traditions in Transforming Conflict by Aaron T. Wolf. Purchase the book here.

Our afternoon session led by Prof. Tom Evans and Dr. Jampel Dell’Angelo was dedicated to grant writing. The workshop began with an open discussion on proposal writing advice and experiences of the participants and an informative Q&A with Prof. Evans. The open forum was followed with a presentation by Prof. Evans in which he shared specific steps of the proposal writing process and discussed key qualities such as creativity, attention to detail and ability to synthesize.

In the evening, some of the NEWAVE network members headed to the Fundació Enric Miralles for the opening event of the W A T E R S P A C E festival to watch the screening of Catabasis by Regina de Miguel.


W A T E R S P A C E is a platform to explore the artistic engagements, scientific interactions, and political interfaces with water, which shape our socio-hydrological world.

Launched in collaboration with Fundació Enric Miralles (FEM), the first edition of the W A T E R S P A C E festival began on Tuesday, September 6th 2022 in the space of the FEM in Barcelona, Spain.

For more information as well as the official dossier of the festival, visit the            W A T E R S P A C E website.


The third day of the NEWAVE Summer School began with a check-in activity by Gina Gilson, ESR 12, who asked the participants to fill out the True Colors Personality test. As we divided ourselves into the four personality type groups, we reflected on our strong and weak sides within the professional context.

The first session of the day was the ESR Marketplace, facilitated by Dona Geagea and Paula Zuluaga Guerra, ESR10 and ESR7. This plenary was dedicated to gaining a better understanding of all the PhD projects and helping solve existing research challenges, clarify any uncertainties and brainstorm innovative ways forward. In this session we become extra attentive to experiences of others, acknowledging the both practical and sometimes emotional difficulties linked to fieldwork.

The afternoon session was dedicated to the 3Ps (Problématiques, Patterns, Paradigms) heuristic framework. Group members of each of the 3Ps prepared a presentation about their progress, current process, and future steps. After each presentation, the floor was open for a Q&A and general discussion. We tried to critically approach each other’s research, help solve any emergent issues and search for inter-group synergies. Relying on a hybrid mode, we were able to connect with those members of the network who did not manage to attend the Summer School in-person, including Prof. Dave Huitema – supervisor at Wageningen University for ESR 6 and ESR 9 and co-supervisor for ESR 2, Prof. Jens Newig – supervisor at Leuphana Universitat Luneburg for ESR 11 and co-supervisor for ESR 6, and Prof. Dustin Garrick – supervisor at University of Oxford for ESR 12 and co-supervisor for ESR 13. This critical session left us inspired and excited for the upcoming months of 3Ps work.

In the evening, we gathered in the space of the Fundació Enric Miralles to join the second day of the W A T E R S P A C E festival. The sessions discussed the concept of water realms bringing in case studies from Lesotho and China.

W A T E R S P A C E 

Visit our Instagram account to see day-to-day updates from W A T E R S P A C E festival.


Thursday began with an energizing check-in by Alejandra Burchard Levine – ESR 9, followed by the final round of the ESR Marketplace, where the NEWAVE ESRs and their supervisors discussed challenges and innovative ways forward in PhD research, leading towards research clarity.

In the session that followed, the ESRs were grouped to form a Scientific Committee and brainstorm themes and issues for a potential water governance conference. Once the ideas were shared in the plenary, we clustered the answers in larger themes and asked each of the ESRs to link their research with these categories.

In our afternoon session, Dr. Nuria Hernández Mora – leader of the project’s work package 7 on Actionability and co-supervisor of the project ESR2 and Dr. Julia Martínez-Fernandez – co-supervisor at Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua (FNCA) for ESR 7 led the “Science, researchers, and water policy” plenary discussing modes of interface between knowledge and (water) policies, as well as the role of researchers in water policies. This presentation was followed by one given by Prof. Dustin Garrick – supervisor at University of Oxford for ESR 12 and co-supervisor for ESR 13, titled “Science-Policy Communication”. These sessions allowed us to reflect on the role of knowledge and researchers in the development of water policies, while simultaneously laying foundations for the upcoming Policy Brief work.

In the evening, the Summer School participants gathered at the Fundació Enric Miralles for another event of the W A T E R S P A C E festival. In his session titled “Destierro”, artist Daniel de la Barra was interviewed by a few of the NEWAVE ESRs: Alejandra Burchard Levine – ESR 9, Hannah Porada – ESR 8, Paula Zuluaga Guerra – ESR 7, Javier Rodriguez Ros – ESR 2, Gina Gilson – ESR 12, and Dona Geagea – ESR 10.


The final day of the TAD Summer School began with a check-in activity collectively organized by the NEWAVE ESRs. What followed was the first session of the day – the “Synergies of 3Ps groups” plenary led by Dr. Dave Huitema, supervisor at Wageningen University for ESR 6 and ESR 9 and co-supervisor for ESR 2. While recognizing that each of the 3Ps groups took a different approach in their research, we focused on areas of potential intra-group synergies. To achieve this, the participants were divided into three groups: Systematic Literature Review, Policy Brief, and WGIAtlas. Each group was asked to discuss their product, process and planning and present the synthesis of their discussion to the remaining participants in the plenary. This session allowed for a constructive idea exchange and action planning.

Our final session of both the day and the 2022 Summer School was dedicated to a collective reflection about any pending questions brought up in the previous few days. Led by Dona Geagea – ESR 10, and Alejandra Burchard Levine – ESR 9, the plenary served as an opportunity to finalize unfinished matters and set a clear agenda for the upcoming months.

In our final block of the day, we gathered for the last check-out activity collectively organized by the ESRs. As we stood in the peaceful courtyard of our training venue Apocapoc, we were asked to reflect on the past week, its warmest moments, breakthrough points, and challenges. In the last round, each one of us shared what we were most grateful for, concluding the school on a mindful note.

The NEWAVE Summer School served as an amazing space for learning and connecting with one another. As we got to know more about each other’s projects as well as the inter-group synergies, we left Apocapoc feeling inspired and increasingly committed to our common research agenda and upcoming activities. The network and our planned activities are very promising and we look forward to sharing our actionable products to contribute to the global water governance debate.

In the evening, the participants met at the Fundació for one last time. Friday was the last day of the W A T E R S P A C E festival, as well as the day for the final NEWAVE dinner. Having enjoyed the interview moderated by Dr. Sergio Villamayor-Tomas – co-supervisor at Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona for ESR 11, we concluded the night with celebration.