Winnovators – our exciting employee programme

Deborah Meaden and the winning 2016 Winnovator team WaterAid/Tim Ireland

In our signature employee development programme, teams compete from across the world to solve a real challenge from our work. Winnovators raise money, share ideas and develop new skills and leadership qualities along the way.

What's in it for you?

For managers, Winnovators is an innovative form of staff skills development, making it a great way for you to enhance your employee offer.

For businesses, Winnovators is a unique corporate and social responsibility programme, enhancing business profile while contributing ideas and funds to tackle the global water, sanitation and hygiene crisis. 

For team members, it’s a fun learning experience that helps develop creative and critical thinking and deepen your relationship with your team – all while raising your profile in your company.

  • 92% would recommend Winnovators to others
  • 96% developed skills that can be applied in the workplace
  • 92% achieved personal learning objectives

How does it work?

Your team of six to eight people will tackle a real water, sanitation or hygiene challenge from a country where we work. To win the chance of visiting that country, you’ll compete with teams around the world to find innovative solutions to the problem.

You will learn new ways to engage internal and external stakeholders while raising valuable funds for WaterAid. 

Winnovators is a great opportunity to develop your skills and rise to a new challenge. To take full advantage of it, you’ll need to commit to around two days a month over the duration of the programme, which lasts from March to September each year.

We give you everything you need to solve the challenge, fundraise and learn. Our Winnovators team will support you every step of the way.

Meet this year's teams

Get your team on board

"We are all so glad to have been involved in such a meaningful and rewarding project. It’s been an incredible journey on which we really feel like we’ve developed as professionals and been able to channel our creativity. We would really encourage other businesses and teams to join in with this brilliant challenge."
Nick Blamire-Brown - Team Aspara, Anglian Water, joint 2016 winners.
"The Water Innovators programme has been a great learning experience for our graduate talent. Our teams worked hard to solve a complex real-world problem, bid for seed funding and thought creatively about how they could raise funds."
Nicki Gray - Advisory Consulting Programme, People, L&D and Strategy Lead, Ernst & Young

Do you have what it takes to be a Winnovator?

Stay updated

By providing your details, you will receive information and resources from WaterAid relating to Winnovators. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up?

Registration for Winnovators 2018 is now open.

Fill in your details and we'll be in touch.

What are the different challenges?

The challenges are not only about the technology or engineering, but reflect the complex nature of our work. This includes areas such as business models, taking ideas to scale and hygiene promotion. 
For the 2018 programme, teams chose between a water, sanitation or hygiene problem – and are working on an innovative solution that could be put into practise in our work:

  • Water challenge: designing surface water intakes in unstable soils with solar pumping to remote villages 
  • Sanitation challenge: faecal sludge management business plan and service equipment design 
  • Hygiene challenge: Track, monitor and incentivise hygiene promoter visits through mobile applications. 
Is there a financial commitment ?

In Australia, companies need to be members of WaterAid to participate.

For this programme, we ask that your company underwrites the seed fund provided by WaterAid, in case your team fails to deliver a minimum profit.
We also ask that your company gives your Winnovators team time and support, so they can really excel and you can maximise the value for your company.

What's the prize?

For the 2018 programme, one lucky team will be crowned Global Overall Winner and get to visit our work in India (terms and conditions apply).

When are the winners announced?

In October, each year.

Which is the challenge country for 2018?

This year, the challenge country is India.

How does Winnovators benefit the chosen country?

Ideas and solutions are shared with – and judged by – the feature country for them to put into practice.
The funding aspect means that in 2016, the Winnovators teams raised over $244,000 for our work.
The overall winner of the 2017 Winnovators, Scottish Water, will go to Nicaragua and test out the solutions generated by their Winnovators team & report back on their progress.