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"Come Heed the Call"
200 Days to RI Bicentennial
17 November 2022

Water Is Life (WIL) Conference 2022


1) International Collaboration

The Water Is Life (WIL) Conference is an international collaboration of like-minded schools from different continents with a mission to develop their students to be leaders in Sustainability. The conference themes run in the broad research areas of STEM and environmental sustainability, communities and social sustainability, as well as stewardship, policy and economic sustainability in order to address local and global sustainability problems that contribute towards attaining the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

This year’s WIL Conference will be held from 22nd to 24th November and is co-organized by Raffles Institution and our partner school from Netherlands, Maurick College. This conference will be held virtually, bringing together students from 20 schools across 14 countries.

The 3-day event has three important segments:

1. Day 1: Opening Event and Dialogue Session

The students will engage in a dialogue session with eminent academics and policymakers on Water and Sustainability.

The theme of the dialogue session is "Sustainability for All", taking inspiration from the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The session will be moderated by our dialogue panel chairperson, Professor Asit K. Biswas.


A Water Hero of the World, Professor Biswas has been partnering RI on this and other sustainability-related events since 2014.


We have also invited students from the broader community, beyond the WIL schools to join us.

In total, for the Opening Event, we are expecting more than 400 students.

The international dialogue panel comprises:

Dialogue Panel



Chairperson and Keynote Speaker

Prof. Asit K. Biswas

Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Glasgow

Scotland, UK


Panel Speaker

Mr. Chua Soon Guan

Deputy Chief Executive, Public Utilities Board, Singapore



Panel Speaker

Dr. Megumi Muto

Deputy Director, Ogata Research Institute, Japan International Cooperation Agency



Panel Speaker

Prof. Otto Spijkers

Former Professor, Wuhan University’s China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies (CIBOS) & Wuhan University’s Research Institute of Environmental Law (RIEL)

The Netherlands


2. Day 2: Research Symposium

At the WIL International Conference, more than 130 student participants from 20 schools in 14 different countries will present their research findings in their chosen theme. This WIL Research Symposium takes place virtually across 9 different time zones and will be judged by a panel of experts from industry, universities and schools.


3. Day 3: Cultural Exchange


Students from the different countries have prepared videos to share cultural highlights. In addition, an interactive and engaging online element will be introduced for the first time this year - a WIL Role-Play Online Game – as a fun platform for the participants to further interact and learn more about local sustainability issues and challenges from the different participating countries. It is through this international collaboration that the WIL Conference seeks to develop friendship and collaborative networks that nurture responsible future leaders who are cognizant of the highly complex nature of global issues in sustainability and who will act collaboratively to find solutions.

Another noteworthy development in this RI200 edition of the WIL Conference is the implementation of a year-long Spotlight Events at both the RI Year 1-4 and Year 5-6 Campuses. This development seeks to leverage on WIL as a platform to inspire and transform student leadership and student action in sustainability areas across the broader student population.

2) Year 1-4 Spotlight Events

The Spotlight Events jointly led by Raffles Institution and Maurick College seek to extend learning beyond an online experience. Various activities are organised throughout the year to widen the reach and deepen the impact of WIL sustainability events. This is so that the impact and learning goes beyond the online conference programmes and conference participants.


1. WIL@Atrium
WIL@Atrium features student activities in the area of sustainability over the period of one month to raise awareness and showcase existing curriculum learning and student work artifacts in Year 1-4 Campus. The WIL Brown Bag Seminar Series feature regular student-driven talks by passionate students who have worked on STEM prototypes and Orchid Sustainability solutions to share their experiences and ideas with other students in addressing sustainability problems.

2. RI Liveable Cities Challenge
The RI Liveable Cities Challenge is a student-driven community project that aims to advocate sustainability among primary school students, through a multi-disciplinary and interactive hands-on experience. It seeks to inspire young participants to be change-makers in their own communities. The challenge also serves as a synergistic platform to pull together sustainability-related research projects, creative products and artworks that students produce in the course of their education in RI. It channels the learning, research, creativity and passion of Rafflesians to meet authentic and pressing real-world concerns.

3. Maurick College local WIL edition
This local WIL edition is run by the teachers of Maurick College who are teaching the subject ‘Citizenship’. It targets younger students (13 to 14 years old) by curating activities and mini-projects to raise awareness of sustainability issues. The aim of this local edition is to nurture and develop participants of future WIL Conferences from a group of about 200 younger Maurick College students.


3) Year 5-6 Spotlight Events


  1. Sustainable Futures Speaker Series

The Sustainable Futures Speakers Series aims to give students a unique opportunity to engage and learn with distinguished leaders, thinkers and scientists in sustainable development. The series is jointly anchored by three Year 5-6 Enrichment Programmes – the Raffles Water and Environment Sustainability Programme, the Green Technology Environment Sustainability Programme, and the Eco-literacy Programme. This new initiative engages more students on sustainability issues as well as promotes collaborative actions among the different interest groups. Our speakers this year were:





Mr Erik Solheim,

former UN Environment Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the UN

Sustainable Development in Developing Countries


Ms Grace Fu

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment

Tackling Climate Change, Building a Liveable Future


1. Scavenger Hunt and Pledge Drive


Student volunteers launched a Community Education project with a fun scavenger hunt for students to come together as friends, and bond while working together on activities that let them learn about sustainable living practices. The project also featured a Pledge Drive as a small step to encourage peers to adopt lifestyle changes towards sustainable living.


2. Art Exhibition

Finally, to engage the emotive mind, our Art students created art pieces that reflected their perspectives on water and sustainability - seeing and interpreting sustainability in a different light. They shared their unique interpretations with their peers and teachers at a Sustainability  Exhibition in school.

These Spotlight Events will be shared with our WIL Conference participants via a video montage to be screened on the Opening Day as well as on the conference website https://waterislifeschools.com/. Raffles Institution and Maurick College hope that this sharing of ideas will inspire other WIL schools to organize similar Spotlight Events in their respective schools.



Water is Life Conference 2022 - Participating Schools


School name



Detroit Country Day School



Oak Bay High School



Shibuya Senior High School



Maurick College



Mahidol Wittayanusorn School






Center for Young Scientists



Arundel School



St Andrew's College

New Zealand


Lycée Saint Joseph



High School Attached To Wuhan University



Chengdu No.7 High School, China



Makuhari Senior High School






Jesuïtes El Clot



Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica de Minas Gerais CEFET-MG Unidade Varginha



St John's College



The Bishop Strachan School



Raffles Institution



Mare de Déu del Carme



Total schools: 20

Total: 14