Skip to main content

Thriving Waters International

We partner with expert individuals and groups who are the closest to the problems of the world and are driven to practical love in elevating the “least of these”, our neighbors, to fulfill their God-given dignity and destiny.
About Us Thriving Waters International


Research, Advise and Implement World-Changing Solutions

“Now is the time to implement the most sustaining and lowest cost solutions in energy, food, water, and transportation in human history, and we can do it for ALL.”

– John E. Waters

Founded By
Founded by John E. Waters, a passionate contributor in bringing sustainable solutions to planet earth.
Thriving Waters International is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit.
Play Video

How We're Different


Say hello to our world-class team committed to solving complex issues.

John E. Waters

John E. Waters

Board Member

Founder and President of Leave It Better Than We Found It, LLC and Waters & Associates, LLC, John has been committed to developing sustainable solutions since his early work in developing the world’s first (mass produced) electric car, GM’s EV1. Designed to solve major environmental and economic issues, John realized that whole-system engineering and energy efficiency could not only improve the lives of individuals but entire communities, and nations.

John is currently utilizing this systems thinking approach to solving complex issues in energy, food, water, transportation, and economic development in Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, Island Nations, South America, and throughout the U.S.

Since the early days of developing the EV1 battery pack, John’s interests led him to develop sustainable energy storage solutions in lithium-ion batteries for Delphi, forming the EnerDel joint venture, and launching Bright Automotive as founding CEO. John also created and led Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) consulting practice in sustainable transportation and advised multiple Fortune 1-to-100 companies in sustainable transportation solutions, energy storage, and energy efficiency.

At RMI John developed his passion for whole-system design in energy, economics, food, water, the built environment, and transportation – all to improve the quality of life for people around the planet. John is also a Senior Fellow at the Sagamore Institute, previously a member of Duke Energy’s “Thought Leaders Council”, and advises multiple “plug-in” automotive and battery companies, investors, and financial analysts.

While at GM and Delphi, John was responsible for the design, testing, and production of multiple battery pack products, including certified solutions for the Chevrolet Electric S-10, GM/Allison Hybrid Bus, iBot® and Segway®. Mr. Waters holds ten U.S. and international patents, two defensive papers in battery pack designs, and has received numerous industry awards. His Universal Energy Module® – a simple battery solution for both homes and mobility – is currently patent-pending in 65 nations including Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, and U.S.

His inspiration has come from historically acclaimed mentors: Ilker “Ike” Bayraktar, Dean Kamen, Amory Lovins, Paul MacCready, Ph.D., and “Battery Bill” Wylam, Ph.D.

Christopher D. Barber


Board Member

Prior to joining Tripp Scott as a director, Christopher D. Barber worked with the law firm of May, Meacham & Davell, P.A. from 1996-2017, practicing in the area of commercial litigation, with an emphasis on construction law. In addition to practicing law, Chris is passionate in reaching the poorest nations on our planet with legally protected, sustainable solutions.

Chris graduated from the University of Kansas in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism, and in 1989 with his juris doctorate. He earned a master’s degree in biblical and theological studies summa cum laude from Knox Theological Seminary in 1997. Chris is the co- author with Dr. Warren Gage of The Story of Joseph and Judah. Chris and his wife have five children and live in Boca Raton.

Sonya M. Waters


Board Member

Founder of Turnkey Ministry, Sonya currently leads and trains volunteers in an inner healing ministry in Indianapolis, Indiana. Passionate in working with those who have experienced trauma, Sonya has had the privilege of walking many people through the process of personal freedom and wholeness.

Turnkey Ministries utilizes SOZO ministry tools, which is a Greek word and translated “saved, healed, delivered.” Turnkey Ministry is a unique inner healing and deliverance ministry aimed to address the root issues that hinder a personal connection with God and moves individuals toward freedom and the personal and unique destiny of the individual.

Sonya is also senior high school teacher on the subjects of chemistry and physics. Utilizing her industrial engineering degree from Purdue University, Sonya enjoys seeing her students making personal discoveries of the sciences that impact the human race and planet earth. An avid gardener, hiker, outdoor enthusiast, Sonya is inspired by nature and the beautiful seasons of life.

Sonya believes her greatest accomplishments and victories in her life are embodied in her four children and husband.

Loren Cunningham


Advisory Committee

YWAM Founder

Founder of the international, non-denominational non-profit, missionary movement, Youth With A Mission (YWAM), and co-founder of University of the Nations.

Loren also cofounded University of the Nations in 1969 and is CEO and President of the Kona, Hawai’i campus. The University of the Nations has 878 locations in 162 nations and is celebrating its 50th year in offering associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, graduate diplomas and master's degrees from its seven colleges: Arts and Sports, Christian Ministries, Communication, Counseling and Health Care, Education, Humanities and International Studies, and Science and Technology.

Matthew Wilson


Advisory Committee

Associate Director, Harvard University

Dr. Wilson is the Associate Director of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University, where he is both a researcher and responsible for program operations. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Baylor University, a M.A. in the Philosophy of Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, a M.B.A. from Indiana University, and a B.A. in Economics from Wake Forest University. He is the author of several peer reviewed articles and has taught various courses in applied ethics, including business ethics. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Dr. Wilson held a variety of corporate roles in finance, marketing, and product management for AB Volvo, Periculum Capital LLC, and the Danaher Corporation.

Emmanuel Itapson


Sub-Saharan African Markets

Founder of Iya Technologies with company core-competencies in Micro-encapsulation, Digital Imaging, Specialty Papers and Clean Water Solutions for Africa. Emmanuel provided leadership for Iyatech’s Emerging Market Initiative which partnered with Procter & Gamble and focused on building economic sustainability into Sub-Saharan African Markets.

Emmanuel worked to lower the barrier to entry through market research, understanding of local design requirements and partnerships, regulatory and governmental relations. Also an ordained minister, Emmanuel has cultural and spiritual insights into African cultures and an expert in social anthropology.

Katy Waters


Advisory Committee
Sustainability Director

Katy Waters is passionate about finding solutions that integrate social, economic, and environmental systems to improve the quality of life for people and the beauty of the earth. Currently living in Los Angeles, Katy is leading the Thriving Waters International’s interest and projects in marine conservation.

Katy is a Sustainability Science graduate from Furman University where she specialized in quantifying critical linkages in complex systems and developed pragmatic analyses with a focus on designing and assessing integrated solutions.

Formerly the Sustainability Coordinator for Delta Apparel, including the Coast and Salt Life brands, Katy led Delta’s corporate sustainability efforts and actively benchmarked competitive companies and implemented international sustainability metrics.

Katy has lived in Central America where she worked for the Roatan Marine Park and cared for the 2nd largest living reef in the world. It was on the island of Roatan where Katy developed and excelled in her freediving skills to support and preserve local marine ecosystems. She has also lived in the Cloud Forest located in the upper regions of central Guatemala where she focused on multiple areas of sustainability, including agriculture, nutrition, education, and various cultural aspects for poverty alleviation working with over 50 families in the rural mountain regions.

Katy has been a member of the Salt Life team of athletes as a freediver/spearfisher, has served as a model and ambassador for ocean-minded brands, and featured in Spearing Magazine and DiveR Australia. Katy has been blessed to live and enjoy both the mountains and ocean, which has left her aspiring to positively change the world through innovative solutions in sustainability for improving the quality of life of future generations.

Steve Baker


Advisory Committee


Area Sales Manager in packaging industry for over 20 years, Steve is also a serial entrepreneur and has launched businesses in consumer electronics, home product leasing, and most recently electric vehicle car sharing. Steve is passionate in solving complex social, economic, and environmental issues for island nations.

Steve and his wife Kim, a Registered Nurse, have served and cared for the local residents of Roatán, an island of Honduras, for over 5 years. In 2006 Steve was Founding Director of Safe Families for Children, Indianapolis. Steve graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Industrial Management and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

Dawson Waters


Advisory Committee


Dawson Waters is a passionate filmmaker and story teller. Currently living in Nashville, Dawson is working with multiple artists and commercial entities where he provides personal services in film directing, writing, music making, editing, and production.

Born in Indianapolis, Dawson has experienced a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds from his global traveling. His ability to tell stories through visual mediums differentiate his work from the saturated industry of advertising and music. Dawson is on the forefront of the next generation of young and passionate filmmakers.

A self-schooled photographer and filmmaker, Dawson spent more than a year in Australia and Indonesia honing his filmmaking craft. He also attended the TV & Media school at Hillsong College in Sydney, Australia, gaining international media production experience with broadcasting on multiple continents.

An avid mountain-biker, snow skier, and surfer, Dawson loves and lives on the extremes of nature and is committed to communicating stories that reveal unique perspectives of the human heart.

Stay Up To Date with Thriving Waters

Hear the latest news, breakthroughs and more.