Blogs

Simple, relatable solutions for the Wetskills win at WorldExpo

By Team Witteveen & Bos: Musthafa Mavukkandy, Karima Faidi, Mariam Shaker, Hadeel Najjar, Julian Gerritsen   Ever since we heard about the Wetskills program, we have been curious to participate. Increasing population, urbanization, industrialization, and climate change put severe pressure on the existing water bodies and require us to invent novel ways of producing freshwater—be that desalination or water reuse or atmospheric water harvesting, or effective water management practices and developing new policies on water pricing and distributions.   Wetskills facilitated a thriving environment for fostering innovation and proposing new (out-of-the-box) solutions to real-world problems. Furthermore, it also develops future water professionals and policymakers during this process.   Wetskills 2022 brought young international talents to work on challenges shared by three industrial partners and one local university. It was indeed education put into practice. There were 4 cases—(a) developing a decision-support tool for helping UAE farmers with the best info on groundwater use, (b) encouraging the...

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Wetskills visits the farms of Garden City of UAE: Al Ain

By team UAEU: Ayesha Alam, Laura Pulido Beltran, Meera Alkaabi, Silvio Kaiser and Azza Alshamsi   A fervent commencement of the new year and arrival of the Wetskills organizers and participants, impounded a great head start for the work-life post-Christmas hangover, with the spice of Emirates winter, rain showers and COVID upsurge. Well, COVID is a kind of chunk of life now, but it continues to play the character of a bothersome obstacle for social gatherings, meet and greets, field trips and scientific talks. In a nutshell, it is non-negligible trouble for people to step back into normal life same as two years ago. Patiently dealing through the roller coaster ride of the journey mirroring the ride from Dubai airport to the hotel on the top of Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain, Wetskills Dubai 2022 got a kick start with warm and pleasant catchup at the Al Ain Zoo under trillions of...

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Thinking outside the bottle

By team RVO: Mariam Alshamsi, Lina Abdalla, Sarah H. Harib, Theo Huisman   How to make the UAE stop drinking bottled water in ten days? Well, simple, it just takes 5 steps.   Form an overambitious team. Ideally, a Wetskills team is a mixture of drought and flood, precipitation, and evaporation. With roots in Palestine, the Netherlands, and the UAE we are fortunate to be such a highly diverse team. We complement each other with expertise, skills and culture. We have one thing in common: ambition!   Consult experts. Did you know single use water bottles are one of the largest environmental problems? Despite our efforts to reuse and recycle, plastic bottles are not biodegradable and become land and ocean litter. As said by the world economic forum: by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Do we want this to happen? No. So, why do we drink water from plastic bottles?...

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Wetskills brings rain to the UAE!

By Team PureBlue Water: Connecting Blue and Green Networks (Ivory Mast, Adetunji Alabi, Savanna Kok, Mansour Alhimairi, Abdulrahman Alkatheeri, Saffana Ahmed)   Wetskills is of course all about water, but when you think about the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you probably first think about a desert and lack of water. The first experience with the UAE for our Dutch team members was, however, rain. Leaving the airport in Dubai, we could almost not believe what we felt falling on our heads. We thought to have escaped the cold and rainy weather from the Netherlands to come to a much warmer and especially drier climate.   As the programme took off the next day in the Al Ain Zoo, the beginning of the day was plagued with some even more raindrops. The local participants did not see the rain as a bad experience, although it brought some colder weather as well. It hasn’t been raining...

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The finals: Adventure of a lifetime!

by Chhavi Mahaur    The day began with a lot of nervousness against the gloomy backdrop of Mumbai rains. Yes, I was lucky to be a part of the event in offline mode. As I arrived at the venue, the equipment and setting up process was underway, and we first started the day with lunch. This was an exciting experience as I got the opportunity to chat with the chair of the jury, Ms. Sandra Kalidien, the organizing team, and other guests, which was a profoundly enriching process as we received insights about our case and different issues of significance. Furthermore, the experts even gave a small glimpse into the multiple realities of one issue and how it affects a solution and its repercussions on its short-term and long-term plan of action. Finally, the event began, and the five pitches, posters, and questions were underway. It was a surreal experience to have our ideas heard...

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Deadlines Day: As It Happened

by Aparna Pavangat, Balbir Singh Aulakh, Nameeta Jha, Sankha Subhra Nath and Sreeresmi R.   01 December 2021: Well, all good things come to an end – and today, participants took a step closer to the final round of W@tskills-India (Mumbai) 2021, as they prepared to submit their pitch, poster and paper. The tenth day started off with a follow-up on the status of pitch presentations and posters, as teams worked through Day 09 to finalise their ideas, innovations and strategies, working with the feedback received from the W@tskills team and experts. A round of discussions followed where each team shared about where it is placed in terms of the submission and how they were working to incorporate the feedback from experts and coaches. These discussions were followed by teams moving into the Breakout Rooms prepared, where they continued to work on the pitch presentations and posters. During this time, each team was...

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Adding the Final Garnish

by Abhimanyu Pathak, Ejaaz Ahmed, Maisha Ahmed, Meghna Susan Kurien, Priyal Tale and Vrushali Gaurkar   The 8th day of WetSkills ’21 began with a short session where all of us gave updates on the work that we had been doing and all the teams shared their experiences of having discussions with the experts. After this quick conversation it was time to get back to work and prepare for the pre-presentations practice that was scheduled for the next day. As we headed back to the breakout rooms to work on our cases we knew it was just about consolidating all the work that we had done into a final draft poster and pitch. We quickly divided the tasks at hand and got to work. It started off just like any other day and then became a lot more fun as we began preparing the script for our pitch, which turned out to be...

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Virtual Working Day at WetSkills

by Team 2   The two-week program has bestowed upon us innumerable opportunities and learnings. The usual day in the life of an intern revolves around multiple tasks. To begin with, the session is initiated by Mr.Johan Oost, Managing Director. He delivers valuable lessons on business canvass modelling, pitch, and poster presentations. Additionally, he creates a space for interactive discussions, feedback, and brainstorming sessions. The second half of the day is spent with our team members and coach. The concept of Breakout rooms is an interesting concept that virtual media has endowed us with. The team along with the coach discusses the project, strategies, timelines, etc. Most importantly, it bonds and learns from each other. The amalgamation of diverse team members certainly adds glory to my day. I and my team members are indeed quite lucky to have Mr. Marcel Rompelman as our coach. He is a very amicable person to work with. It...

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Weekend Teams

By Sampreeti, Feby, Sonali, Vivek   The sixth day of the Wetskills Challenge’21 was an off day as it was the weekend. However, we kept our research intact and worked on the poster, pitch and the final report. Our coach Machtelijn Brummel and our Team Expert, Vijayakrishnan Pavangat, helped us extensively with several journal articles, reports and innovative ideas that could potentially be added to our case study. Additionally, coach Brummel provided us with some local experts who helped us gain a deeper insight into our experimental field site, i.e., the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat of Southern Mumbai. Group discussions were one of the key strengths of the teamwork as the same facilitated the smooth progress of our case study. However, we were people from different time zones, which made us amusingly have a time calculator on our homescreens at all times. Pretty sure this was the case with the other teams too!! So...

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CANVAS Business model

by Balbir, Nameeta, Aparna, Sree and Sankha   The fifth day of WetSkills ’21 began with the feedback session of the previous day. Participants tried to give feedback to the coordinator regarding their experiences of the previous day. They were all enthusiastic about how it went the previous day. After this, the coordinator introduced the Canvas Business Model to everybody. Johan Oost shared a PowerPoint presentation which explained how Canvas business model is built and how it can be used to pitch a business idea to others. The business model is quite extensive and it is based on two parts: value side and the supply side. The value side talks about the value proposition side of the business and how the value propositions can provide uniqueness in the business model as well as how it can influence customer relationships and how it can generate revenue. It also discussed the supply side which talks...

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