September 2020

The day after

Wetskills Netherlands 2020- by Olaf Koster, University of Melbourne   Today was the day after the end of the 10 day workshop week of Wetskills. Some of the group had already left last night but for those of us that stayed the extra night, we woke up for the last time in our jail hostel. I woke up early in the morning content knowing that the last 10 days were a great success. I learned a lot about the water sector in Leeuwarden, met a lot of great and interesting people and had ample networking opportunities. Looking back on yesterday, I felt our pitch and poster were a success and our case owners, Jeanette and Jan were pleased with our work. So much in fact that they brought the poster with them. Our menu idea was also quite interesting for the jury panel; we had great questions. To us as a group, the...

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Game day! The finals of Wetskills!

Wetskills Netherlands 2020- by Duco Bijleveld, Wageningen University   What can we expect at the finals? [caption id="attachment_57831" align="alignright" width="225"] The finals are about to begin![/caption] The main event is the pitch of our three teams who present their innovative ideas for the jury and audience. The main topic of today is of course: water! It is quite unique that we can host this event in Corona-times. And for 2020 most Wetskills have been cancelled due to the corona virus. That is why this event is special. As the first event for Wetskills since Corona began, we have created a big online event. People at home can follow the live stream. Jury members and keynote speakers sit behind their laptop and were able to speak on a big screen to the people present at the event. Great to see how we can adapt with technology!     The added value of Wetskills? Wetskills is all about connecting people in...

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The end draws nigh!!

Wetskills Netherlands 2o2o- by Gladys Mutahi, Wetsus Academy   [caption id="attachment_57842" align="alignright" width="300"] Team 2 working hard to polish up on the deliverables.[/caption] It’s almost a wrap at the Wetskills The Netherlands 2020. The good men say the early bird catches the worm and for our team, every last minute of the almost last day counts. Time to get that paper and poster a last polish. Though we were all spent from all the early mornings and late nights (mostly doing fun activities) it was interesting to see the team with the same motivation and energy on the last day as the first day. The deadlines have to be met, and as such we put our best foot forward, every idea counts!!   [caption id="attachment_57843" align="alignleft" width="300"] participants enjoying some sun and fun corona proof way[/caption] Its afternoon, the official bonding time with other participants. This is usually a good time to let out the pressure of...

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Fun Sunday

Wetskills Netherlands 2020- by Marvin Ouma, Wetsus Academy       [caption id="attachment_57816" align="alignright" width="300"] From Left to right Olaf, Dan & Bram taking a break from morning work to pose for a photo[/caption] The day began with nice sunshine, a promising sign of a great day. I had breakfast at the Alibi hostel with other members of the program also joining. The teams had retreated into fine tuning the posters and pitches taking into account the feedback received during the presentations from the previous day. Each team also worked on writing reports for the group case. This was done according to each team schedule and planning.           [caption id="attachment_57817" align="alignleft" width="300"] Marvin (In the Middle) during demonstration visit  to the Ameland station for treatment drinking water[/caption] In the afternoon, Bram and I made a trip to Ameland for a meeting with representatives from Vitens. The meeting agenda included presentation of group case to vitens, review of the current...

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Our garden pitch!

Wetskills Netherlands 2020, by Sarahi Garcia Garcia Villa, Wetsus Academy   We started our day visiting the library to prepare our pitches and posters. After 3 hours of intense and fun work, we were ready to present our ideas aloud for THE FIRST TIME!   We arrived at the prison garden (it was better than it sounds), and between the sun and flowers, we started introducing each other as a group to continue with the pitches. My team was the first one to present and we were a little bit nervous because we did not practice that much but the feedback that we received was really helpful.       It was really nice to see other group´s pitches and posters. We gave feedback and after a small talk we went to eat to continue polishing our work.   I invited my team (because of the 6 people policy) to my house to work and to eat pancakes. Quite interesting options,...

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Let’s see the Wadden Sea!

Wetskills Netherlands 2020- by Nienke Vermeer, Utrecht University   After a great evening of homemade food, dancing and a good’s night sleep, everyone woke up one by one in the hostel. Some stayed at the hostel to have breakfast, while others went to a bakery to get some fresh coffee and some bread. Since some indicated that they would really want a plenary start at the Johannes de Doper church, that is also the WaterCampus Business Centre, the working day was started with a fresh cup of coffee in the sun. Then every team retired to their own room in the church or at Wetsus and work began.   Johan called in to get updated on the status of our cases and our team met with our case owners to discuss the ideas we came up so-far. After the case owners left, we went back to the drawing board to implement their suggestions. This really...

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Another one bites the dust-halfway through Wetskills Leeuwarden!

Wetskills Netherlands 2020- by Lauren Pope, WASTE adviser   The first Wetskills since the COVID slowdowns is proving to be the best form of a hybrid online-live event I’ve experienced. After many months of only webinar and online meetings, it is wonderful to be here in Leeuwarden to connect with such an ambitious peer group. As a young professional immersed in the sanitation and waste sector, learning about all the pieces of the water sector ecosystem here in the Netherlands has been the most interesting—it’s been a great opportunity to sit at the WaterAlliance/Water Campus building and meet with all the experts.   Today, we had a webinar call with Prof. Peter van der Maas from Van Hall Larenstein to share our ideas and see what technologies he could suggest as potentially viable options we hadn’t considered. Needless to say, after this call, we got almost back to ‘square one’ to re-analyze which technologies would...

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The Eureka Moment

Wetskills Netherlands 2020- by Matthijs Koop, Wageningen University     [caption id="attachment_57769" align="alignright" width="225"] Johan explaining the structure a pitch truly needs[/caption] It is 7:00 o'clock, after a quick shower and a coffee in the citycenter we made our way to Van Hall Larenstein. After a turbulent start, Johan excited us with an energizing presentation on how to pitch effectively to our audience. We looked at a couple of different examples and were asked to critically assess each presentation. Here, we were able to learn a lot from the experiences of the previous Wetskills participants. After a quick break, Charlie and Marcel gave a presentation of how a good presenting poster looks like. Reviewing several posters gave us a good understanding of how a high quality poster can be formed and presented. [caption id="attachment_57770" align="alignnone" width="300"] Charlie explains the content needed for your poster[/caption] After a relaxing lunch in the sun we started to work on our case...

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A whirlwind of a day

Wetskills Netherlands 2020- by Bram Berkelmans, YEP   Today was a thriving Wetskills day. We met up with our case owners, shared ideas, brainstormed broadly and exchanged plenty of energy together. Every group dove in their case study and made themselves familiar with some relevant background info. We kicked off the day through a pitch by Hein Molenkamp of the Water Alliance, he explained us how the Netherlands has always been a water rich country and smart innovations have made us a frontrunner in the international water tech sector. The Water Alliance is part of the Water Campus, an incubator in Leeuwarden that supports start-ups in growing their network and developing their technology. After the acquaintance between participants and case owners it was time to speed date with the experts. We have a pressure cooker in which we could ask all our questions in timeslots of 10 minutes each to four different experts. This...

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