Wetskills in Copenhagen: an exciting experience!



Zooming (not zoom-ing), as physical live or ‘in-person’ bees in a room. Not the zoom-ing before a screen and meetings online using ZOOM. This is the main phrase to capture 26 August 2021, the day of the Finals & Awarding of Wetskills-Denmark 2021. Wetskills, Aalborg University (in Copenhagen) and Young Water Professionals from Denmark organized a larger full-day programme with inspiring keynote speeches from Danish and Dutch experts followed by a vibrant panel discussion on climate adaptation and water in urban areas. In the afternoon, the audience needed to come in an action mode during the intergenerational dialogue for Climate Adaptation in Urban Areas. Afterwards the participants took a boat tour through the Copenhagen harbor, ending near the Residence of the Netherlands Ambassador in Denmark.


The Netherlands Ambassador invited the Wetskills participants, supervisors, partners, and guests from the Dutch and Danish water sector to meet for the announcement of the winning team. As Chair of Jury, Ms. Lykke Leonardsen, climate adaptation expert of the City of Copenhagen announced Team Skylaerke as winning team. Congratulations! Also to case owners City of Rotterdam and City of Copenhagen.


The Intergenerational Dialogue for Climate Adaptation in Urban Areas was the interactive and hands-on workshop in the afternoon. Four real-life cases in Denmark and The Netherlands were presented by the case owners (different ones as the Wetskills-Denmark 2021 cases). In three rounds the audience were mingled at four tables. Each table had one case. Only the case owner stayed at the table during the three rounds, the others moved to another table. Each round had a theme: Round 1. Pain, Round 2. Creative solutions and Round 3. Implementation / follow-up. It was a very vibrant session with all generations together. The case owners presented the results. Afterwards the boat tour through the harbor..


But what made the day? Let’s go back again with the ‘zooming’. All participants were excited to physically meet each other. When entering the room, it sounded as so many bees, zooming around. For many participants this was the first international and in-person meeting in corona time. Everyone was excited to be there, meet, interact. The zooming moment was unforgettable and made the day already before it started.


As Wetskills Foundation we aim to organise a series of events in and with Denmark: Copenhagen (IWA World Congress) in September 2022 and Aarhus (Ocean Race stop over) in 2023. We also aim to create follow-up activities based on the cases and hope to welcome participants from Denmark in our Wetskills events all over the world.


On behalf of Wetskills I would like to thank all participants and case owners for the working. Also thanks to the jury members and external experts for their contributions. A special thanks to Aalborg University (Copenhagen) for hosting the event and also the partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Denmark for hosting the Wetskills Awarding Ceremony. A warm thank you for Young Water Professionals in Denmark especially Ronja, who made this Wetskills preparation of 1.5 years possible. And not to forget Maj-Britt and Inge for their hard work en dedication.

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