And the winner W@tskills-India 2021:
Team ‘Aqua Bankers’ won the first fully online W@tskills event.
This event focused on Climate Adaptation and the role of Water in various parts India. With the concept ‘Serve to Conserve’ the team co-cocreated an out-of-the-box concept based on Water as Leverage for clean rivers in India. Team representatives Vivek V.S. (Kerala, India) and Drashti Oza (Gujarat, India) were exited: ‘It was an amazing journey. Everybody worked really hard and it was not easy to coordinate with different timelines. We met a lot of experts, who shoed really interest in our topic. It was an amazing place and opportunity.’ Watch the Pitch of team member Sanziana Bituleanu (Romania). Other team members: Sofi Azilan (Indonesia), Sameeran Purofit (Gujarat, India) and Vignesh Kesavan (Tamil Nadu, India).
The jury panel of W@tskills-India 2021 consisted of chair Kartikeya Sarabhai, Centre of Environment Education (India), Eustathia Bofilatos, Department of Water & Sanitation (South Africa), Maggie White, Stockholm International Water Institute (Sweden) and Rajul Gajjar, L.D. College of Engineering (India). The jury found it difficult to choose between the teams. Kartikeya Sarabhai: ‘Most of the presented ideas were based on empowerment. Empowerment of industries, women, local communities. We liked the fact that the teams were not pointing to organizations to do more. To government or others. .. People are looking for solutions that are practical. That is why the jury choose the Aqua Bankers concept because it is duable and had a look to the cost-benefits. Congratulations to all.”
The ‘Water as Leverage’ method normally focus on urban climate resilience with rather small-scale activities, with the aim of leveraging the necessary investment for the implementation of larger scale activities (for example in Chennai). The team was challenged to create an idea to use the method for a river and its cities with a focus on both clean and polluted water and create that leverage to clean the rivers? Experts from Water as Leverage programme in Chennai and The Netherlands as well as Centre for Environment Education supported the team in the brainstorming phase.
About the programme in India
From 2-13 January 28 participants from India and various other countries (Oman, Syria, Iran, South Africa, Indonesia and Romania) joined the online Wetskills Challenge in India. This first fully online (and corona-adaptive) ‘W@tskills’ was the fifth Wetskills event in India, after events in Ahmedabad, Delhi and Kerala. The participants were mixed in transcultural and transdisciplinary teams with each its own topisc
The Finals and Awarding, where the teams pitch the out-of-the-box ideas to an international jury panel was a prerecorded contribution to the Water Action Hub of the Climate Adapation Summit on 25 January 2021. Keynote addresses in the programme: Adriana Valenzuela Jimenez (Youth Leadership at Global Center on Adaptation) and Bharat Jain (Gujarat Cleaner Production Centre).
The Water Action Hub requested Wetskills Foundation with its Indian partner Centre for Environment Education to organize this event and bring-in young talents with their concreate ideas for real-life cases in India to foster the intergenerational dialogue for Water & Climate Adaptation.
Last 10 years Wetskills Foundation organized 46 two-week Wetskills Challenge events (for young talents with a passion for water, climate and sustainability) in 23 different countries worldwide. Diverse and inclusive teams of young international talents (almost 900 Alumni) with different backgrounds co-created inspiring out-of-the-box ideas for more than 200 cases on water, climate and sustainability, contributing to the SDGs and thus a better world.