We envision an economy that pursues water health equity for Indigenous and rural communities

At a glance:

Through rigorous proprietary (multi-award-winning) problem-solving methodology, The Community Circle™, we ally with rural and Indigenous communities to develop innovative solutions for their water-health challenges and define success on their unique terms. In addition, we ensure all actionable insights are independent, objective, and tailored to the communities’ goals and priorities, building grassroots trust and confidence in driving the product development cycle from concept to execution and beyond.

Together, we have solved several long-standing boil water advisories in rural settings,  redefining sustainability, the economics of drinking water, and community health along the way.




RESEAU Centre for Mobilizing Innovation is a nonprofit center of excellence dedicated to the design and implementation of innovative solutions for drinking water quality and community health in Indigenous and rural communities. RESEAU-CMI is co-funded by the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence, and growing participation and investment of like-minded friends from public and private organizations, academia, and communities.

RESEAU-CMI  understands and upholds that decisions and solutions on First Nation water issues must be done with First Nations involvement and input. Our Community Circle™ problem solving approach empowers communities to define success on their unique terms, while building grassroots trust and confidence in proposed solutions to drive projects from concept to execution and beyond. Together, we have solved several long-standing boil water advisories, redefining sustainability, the economics of drinking water and community health along the way.

Community Circle™ is an open innovation space built on Indigenous pedagogical and andragogical strategy (Talk Story) that utilizes the Elders’ knowledge passed down from previous generations’ dialogue with listeners to build collective understanding, allowing participants to contextualize theory with their life experiences to build group consciousness. The "Community Circle™" is built on an obligation rooted in norms of critical engagement that are constitutive of scientific inquiry.

In Community Circle™, we build a team around the community's needs. In this collaborative culture, the community is at the team's center, with all partners from different organizations and functions; everyone is close to the community at all levels. We are not using technology as a replacement for understanding the community's needs. We have already worked hard to build that culture of sharing insights and data across all functions and organizations. Instead, we bring technology to augment those abilities.

Our Philosophy

In recent years, public aspirations for improving rural communities’ water systems have risen faster than what governments and industry can realistically achieve. Policy makers have set out targets for the water industry to accomplish, but the industry is largely left to its own devices to figure out how to achieve targets reliably and sustainably within diverse rural contexts and populations.

The primary challenge for solving complex community health issues in these settings is that no single individual or organization possesses all the knowledge needed to truly solve the fundamental problems that are very likely unique to each Indigenous and Non-urban (I+NU) community.

Communities want to build, own and govern solutions, and take pride in the outcomes.

Small differences in the innovation space can substantially affect outcomes, and so careful consideration for human and financial capital, operations and maintenance requirements, source water challenges, future resiliency and sustainability must be made.

Mobilizing innovation in a culturally responsive and ethical manner resides at the intersection of art, folklore and engineering for its demand for learning through stories, conversations and applying creativity and heuristics derived from spillover experiences, and navigating unpredictable possibilities

Equitable Solutions:

Embracing the notion that the core of the relationship between innovators and communities is one of a service and not a product. Adopting different strategies to stretch investments by government programs further minimizes risk through implementing prompt and continuous learning and feedback, and validating the service deliveries and enduring operation that makes sense to the communities.

Community Experience:

Emphasizing culture-based perspectives and the natural environment of communities, and open innovation rooted in reconciliation and sustainability. Finding ways to stretch the collective activities of academics, government agencies and public- and private-sector actors to fill gaps in various government programs and the communities’ experience.

Our Mission

RESEAU’s mission translates into an innovation platform, articulated along the regeneration of the technological and socio-economic environments, and four functional evolution streams:

1. Community Circle™: In pursuit of capacity, Community Circle™ creates ecosystems with cross-sector actors participating in strategic open innovation in Indigenous & rural settings. Community Circle™ localizes and customizes innovative offerings (knowledge/services/interventions), with decisions, practices, technologies and services tailored to a community’s unique needs. Community Circle™ systematically accesses existing knowledge of solutions and decision-making supports, and generates new knowledge by capturing and weighing relevant considerations among actors. Decisions are made based on a deeper understanding of the issues, defining success on the community’s terms.

2. Streamlined Approach to Implementing Localized Solutions (SAILS)™: In pursuit of scale, SAILS™ unifies insights about local context, tested design principles, existing best practices and product management approaches to implement solutions that can be further customized to meet functionalities required by end-users. Practitioners within each core area provide expertise, as well as strategic partnership advice and planning support. Collectively, they identify issues, share risks and discuss areas for improvement. In a culture of constant feedback and learning, designers focus on communities’ needs, regulators and manufacturers consider alternative fabrication options and solutions and product managers focus on reducing the risk of building the wrong thing.

3. Digital Circle™: Designing innovative training and learning platforms to enhance immersive experience and connectivity among representatives of value chain partners, talent and communities.

4. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Orchestration: Redesigning policies, procedures and incentives to embed ethical guideposts and culturally responsive evaluation metrics within rural water-health innovation.

Click below for and in-depth overview of our work, including case studies of actual community projects

Sustainability is an experienced good; the communities we serve cannot see the value of ideas unless they experience them (Experimental Evidences)