donderdag 22 mei 2014

From the East to the South

14 May by Rick Hogeboom

 I remember lively the vast area of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China. All the nations of the globe summarized to their most successfully marketed labels in their Pavilions. In one of the most popular pavilions, the Dutch Pavilion, we would be presenting the results of the first Wetskills Challenge ever to be organized. We, the chosen water ambassadors, selected to represent our Dutch universities, endeavoring to show the world our wet-skills.

 Now, four years later, I find myself again participating in a Wetskills Challenge. This time as a so-called Young Water Professional, to the South Africa 2014 Edition. The Chinese water students have made place for young water experts from South Africa and Mozambique. The Pavilion at the Expo for the WISA Conference is in the latest World Cup’s Mbombela Stadium.

 The concept is roughly the same: international teams with people from a wide variety of backgrounds in the water sector, an intense and great teambuilding weekend, pressure-cooker problem-solving while battling a lack of time and sleep, information gaps and differing cultural perspectives.

 The Wetskills concept is great, addictive even. I wonder what the WISA Conference next week will bring. I hope I may enjoy it as much as I enjoyed China. I may learn more during the South Africa Edition, given the higher experience level of the participants. And I may even be joining Wetskills again: as a senior water expert.

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