Wetskills-The Netherlands, 9 November 2023 (by Kartik Kamath, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education)
What happens when you put a small group of young water professionals in a pressure cooker program to solve contemporary water challenges? You get Wetskills! You also get to see realistic and innovative out-of-the-box solutions that have immense potential for implementation.
I was glad I got to be a part of the 66th Wetskills edition in The Netherlands. And for the past two years, I have been continuously motivated towards groupwork with people from different parts of the world. Reflecting on this experience, I have a few takeaways.
A Diverse Network of Minds:
One of the most striking aspects of the Wetskills experience was the diversity of participants. Representing different cultures, backgrounds, and academic disciplines, we came together united by a common goal: finding innovative solutions to complex water challenges. This diversity sparked rich discussions and fostered a holistic approach to problem-solving.
Learning by Doing:
The heart of the program lies in its hands-on, practical approach. We were given the opportunity to work on real cases presented by local organizations, ranging from urban water management to water quality improvement. This immersive learning experience challenged us to think critically, collaborate effectively, and apply theoretical knowledge to tangible solutions.
Beyond the technical aspects, the program emphasized cultural exchange. Exploring the picturesque Dutch canals, tasting local delicacies, and engaging in meaningful conversations with fellow participants allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of the global water challenges and diverse perspectives on how to address them.
Guiding us through the process were experienced mentors, experts in their respective fields. Their guidance was invaluable, providing us with insights, feedback, and encouragement throughout the program. Their mentorship not only refined our technical skills but also instilled a sense of confidence in our ability to make a meaningful impact in the field of water management.
This 10-day program was based in Rotterdam and Amsterdam and the shared experiences we had brought us together and made us learn from each other. Amidst conflicts, we found ways to cooperate. And through disagreements, we learned from each other. Everyone’s personality and drive towards this effort was what made the outputs of this casework unique.
Signing off, in the continuous pursuit of learning, for water.