The Olympics of Water

World Water Week held annually in Stockholm was aptly described as the ‘Olympics of Water’, comprising of hundreds of sessions and thousands of participants. My first time attendance at World Water Week was truly memorable and would undoubtedly have some level of influence on my future research- and career choices.

Consisting of multiple sessions, seminars, high-level panel discussions, technical presentations and social evening events, the week provides a platform to discuss the world’s most pressing water related issues. It’s truly amazing how the simple act of networking with fellow participants can reinvigorate the sense of passion you have for your field. I think all engineers share a similar hunger to always keep learning and enjoy the exposure to new ideas and challenges associated with fostering new thinking. I was even fortunate enough to be invited to a briefing session held by the South African Minister of Water and Sanitation for the South African delegation.

Among the key messages from the conference was the importance of increasing the number of young professionals in the water sector to address the ever growing global water related challenges. The difficulty of this task was truthfully described by a participant during one of the young water professional’s sessions, in that the ‘majority of us ended up in the water field by chance’.

Events such as World Water Week provide valuable exposure to young professionals and I was surprised to see how few young Swedish engineers attended the conference given the limited travel requirements. One of the hindering factors is the substantial conference fee which is only slightly discounted for students. I was only able to attend the full conference as my fee was subsidized by my scholarship institution. My advice for students that want to attend next year, volunteer. As a volunteers at World Water Week you will still gain access to multiple sessions during your free time as well as be able to attend valuable networking events.

For more information, visit the website below. Hopefully I’ll see you there next year.

http://www.worldwaterweek.org/

Cheers for now.

Johan

Collage 2016-08-29 11_21_11

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