Take a look at the people behind the research, product, company or groundbreaking discovery. The ASTech Foundation’s Humans of Alberta Innovation campaign shows a new side to Alberta’s fascinating innovation community — the human one.
Kim Sturgess won the 2015 Outstanding Contribution to Alberta Science and Technology Community Award for her work as CEO of Alberta WaterSMART. Through the company’s projects, she makes it her business to know how to effectively manage water across a wide range of scenarios.
Water knows no boundaries or politics
Always default to curiosity. Water is one of the most fascinating and mysterious molecules in the universe, not to mention being essential to life here on earth.
People in the water industry usually have a passion for spending time by lakes and rivers and oceans. I grew up beside lakes and moved to PEI, living beside the ocean. Today I’m near Alberta’s majestic rivers, lakes and glaciers. This will be my 27th year camping beside the mighty Athabasca River for our summer vacation, and water is a big part of my life.
I’ve always spent time wondering, and I’ve always been interested in the environmental side of business and engineering. How we view water in a sustainable economy became a passion, as did bringing environmental and business challenges together and managing them as one.
I look at myself as a simplifier. At WaterSMART Solutions we like everyone to understand. We create and share tools to enable constructive conversations to take place. Some of our most important work is getting people on the same page, through a shared understanding, rather than arguing facts. This is when you can build a constructive conversation, where people truly share differences on issues, be it through values or perspectives or knowledge, and that’s what I like most about what we do. We take positional conversations about water and make them collaborative.
It’s also incredibly fun to go to work every day and do something you’re passionate about. One of the biggest things for me is the WaterSMART team’s passion for what they do. That’s a real joy.
People have different attitudes and needs when it comes to water, but water knows no boundaries or politics. Nor can a silver bullet solve all its challenges everywhere. This is why water is so perfect for curious people; it’s always on the move and always challenging you to find answers.