MIT Water Summit 2019: Drowning in Plastic

November 21-22, MIT Wong Auditorium (E51)

We use plastic every day, but where does it all go? This year’s MIT Water Summit explores the many ways in which plastics have become intertwined with our water environment, the challenges created by plastic pollution, and potential solutions to tackle emerging challenges. The Summit will bring together leaders from academia, government, NGOs, and industry to provide diverse insights on plastics in the water environment. The MIT Water Summit is a two-day conference hosted annually by the MIT Water Club.

Topics that will be addressed include, but are not limited to:

  • Microplastics in our water

  • Health & ecological impacts of marine and freshwater plastics

  • Plastic’s path to our water (life cycle and history of plastic pollution)

  • Policies concerning plastic pollution

  • Ocean cleanup & remediation efforts

  • Relevant market & economic opportunities

Register by November 11 for the early bird ticket price!

The MIT Water Summit is a great opportunity to meet and hear from top people in the water sector, including speakers from:

NGOs: The Rozalia Project, Clear Blue Sea, Plastic Pollution Coalition
Government: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency
Draper Labs, Open Water, D&G Pacific, Exponent
Academia: Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, University of Pittsburgh, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Harvard Wyss Institute, WHOI Marine Policy Center

Are you working in the water and/or plastic sector?
Share your work at the Poster Session

Do you have the next breakthrough in the water sector?
Pitch your idea for the MIT Water Innovation Prize

Interested in organizing or helping out?
Contact us:

Tentative Agenda

Thursday, November 21

8:00 am Breakfast & Networking Session
9:00 am Opening Keynote: Seth Siegel, New York Times bestselling author
9:50 am Break
10:00 am Panel: Microplastics in our water
11:30 am Keynote: Dianna Cohen, CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition
12:00 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Panel: Water, plastic, and us
3:00 pm Break
3:20 pm Panel: Plastic’s journey to our water
6:00 pm MIT Water Innovation Prize Kick-Off Night

Friday, November 22

8:00 am Breakfast & Networking Session
9:00 am Keynote: Rachael Miller, co-founder of Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean
9:40 am Break
9:50 am Panel: Market opportunities in plastic & water
11:20 pm Keynote: Dr. John Fernandez, director of MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative
12:00 pm Lunch & Poster Session
1:30 pm Panel: The policy of plastics
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Panel: Cleanup & remediation
5:00 pm Closing Remarks


The Summit will be held on MIT campus in Wong Auditorium: 2 Amherst St., Cambridge, MA 02142

Due to ongoing construction, parking around MIT is limited so we strongly encourage you to take public transportation or use a taxi/ride-sharing service. Wong Auditorium is a 3 minute walk from the Kendall/MIT Station on the Red Line.  By bus, the #1 or Dudley/Harvard Station bus stops at MIT on Massachusetts Avenue, where Wong Auditorium is a 15 minute walk through campus.  There is bicycle parking in front of and across the street from Wong Auditorium.