President Shabana Abbas at Water Youth Network and director Climate Adaptation & Risk Management Cees van der Guchte at research institute Deltares, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the World Water Forum in Brasilia on 20 March.

The Memorandum confirms the ambition of different generations of water professionals, young and old, to operate jointly on solving the global water issues by combining each other’s capabilities. The official ceremony followed on a lively meeting of the network at the Netherlands Pavilion, in which the role of youth and youth organizations in the water sector was discussed.

dws-wwf8-youth-network-rodrigues-350px  Diego Rodrigues of the World Bank explains the specific efforts at the bank to involve young professionals in their projects right from the start.

New collaborative ways
About 40, mainly young, participants joined the meeting with representatives of the World Bank, IHE Delft, Deltares, the Water Youth Network.

‘We are increasingly being invited to the international stage for our energy and connections. That is a good start, but we are more.’ stated Abbas. ‘We are professionals that bring innovative ideas, solutions, and new collaborative ways of working to the water sector. It only makes sense to include us as an equal partner.’

‘The Dutch water sector is working hard on innovative water solutions, which creates an attractive climate for young water professionals’ said Van der Guchte. ‘By hosting the activities of the Water Youth Network, we want to make full use of their potential.’

dws-wwf8-youth-network-abas-abbosoukaYounoussa Abbosouka introduced himslef during the meeting as a young water professional 

Disruptive youth
Abbas explained that one of the aims of the network is to provide its participants a more professional image. ‘Our network now counts 130 young professionals and we had a workshop on how to present at a conference. We also identified specialists in our network, so organisers of events can contact us for certain presentations’.

She urged to connect young professionals to the water community no longer as a request but an assumption. ‘And above all we want to be disruptive’, she added.

Right from the start
Diego Rodriguez of the World Bank spoke at the meeting and shared his experiences at the bank to include young professionals in water projects in developing countries right from the start.

Within the own organisation the World Bank stimulates to involve more youth in the investment decision making. ‘It's not an easy thing for a leading institute’, Rodriguez assured. ‘

Young and old
In a panel discussion, as part of the meeting, the topic on the 50+ male dominated water sector was discussed. It was said that the ‘old’ tend to stick to solutions that worked in the past, but those may not work in the future. The 50+ male water professional was advised ‘to stay young and listen better’. The young professionals was advised ‘to tap in the world of decision making and not to be afraid to make mistakes’.

Stay tuned as news items on this website will keep you posted on the Dutch contributions to the World Water Forum 8.

Read also on this website
● World Water Forum 8: A look back on a Forum under pressure to achieve SDG6 by 2030, 29 March 2018
● World Water Forum 8: Huge potential for nature based solutions to reduce water risks, 28 March 2018
● World Water Forum 8: Revitalised IWRM-concept can boost action on SDG6 for water, 27 March 2018
● World Water Forum 8: World Water Atlas gathers compelling stories on urgent water issues, 26 March 2018
● World Water Forum 8: Launch of Dutch Blue Deal programme in support of SDG6 on water, 23 March 2018
● World Water Forum 8: A call on the world to fully value water, not just prizing, 21 March 2018
● World Water Forum 8: Thirsty cities need to double investments in water infrastructure, 20 March 2018
● Special page on Dutch participation at World Water Forum 8

More information
World Water Forum 8

Water Youth Network

Young water professionals tell at the World Water Forum 8 that they are already contributing to solve the wicked water problems all over the world… in their own very connected way.