dws-aiww2015-young-iww-pitch-smartcard-770px“Young water professionals are somewhat restless and seek more action. The water sector should use this restlessness and engage the new generation to generate more action for tackling the big water issues”, said Marie Rødsten Sagen at the closure of the Young water professional event of the Amsterdam International Water Week on 5 November.

Some 200 young water professionals participated in the Young AIWW event and spent a whole week in Amsterdam. On the final day they ended up in a very vivid pitch battle.

Six teams showed how eager young professionals are andcan think out of the box to solve water issues in a different way.

dws-aiww2015-young-iww-table-football-350px  The first table football ever at the Aquatech Amsterdam trade exhibition was at the booth of the young water professionals.

Smart ideas for 'loo'preneurs
The winning team (on top photo) pitched the idea of a smart card for women in slums to have access to a public toilet.

To encourage the women to really use the public toilet, the team suggested an incentive and give the women a free gift when they use it five times.

Some 130 young water professionals actively joined the final challenge and contributed with new ideas on issues ranging from rainwater harvesting, material recovery from waste water to 'loo'preneurs who make an earning from collecting shit in slums.

Bringing young and old together
As ambassador of the Young AIWW event Marie Rødsten Sagen looked back with satisfaction. “We wanted to really bring the young water professionals in contact with the older professionals. Conferences often have a separate programme for young professionals. We wanted them to be more integrated in the programme and therefore introduced the challenge. Young water professionals worked in teams on existing water issues and were advised by a senior water professional. This way the young could gain experiences from the old."

dws-aiww2015-young-iww-sagen-kralikova-350px Marie Rødsten Sagen (left) hands over her 'we give a shit' button to new Young AIWW ambassador Andrea Kralikova.

New eager ambassador
After two years of leading the Young AIWW programme, Marie Rødsten Sagen handed over her title to Andrea Kralikova.

To mark this occasion Sagen gave her successor the button 'We give a shit' as the issue of urgently needed proper sanitation impressed her most during the past two years.

Kralikova showed very inspired to take up her ambassador role for the next two years. She was very pleased with the challenge as "we are not only talking about sustainability but it enables us to walk our talk".

Harvest more lessons from senior professionals
Kralikova has already a clear idea for the next Young AIWW in 2017. "We must harvest more lessons from the older professionals", she said at the closure. "But at the same time we need the young professionals to be disruptors and introduce new ways of thinking."

"Why is it not possible to introduce something like an AirbnB internet marketplace in the water sector?", she thought aloud.

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More information
Young AIWW programme

Amsterdam International Water Week

Aquatech Amsterdam