SWP Youth Water Group | Kick-Off Meeting

 Discussing Bern-ing Questions at the first SWP Youth Water Group Meeting

Swiss Young Voice – Swiss young expertise for a water secure world

SWP Youth Water Group – Kick-off Event

blog post author: Indira Urazova, supported by Elodie Feijoo Seara and the SWP Secretariat

On September 25, 2019, young minds from all over Switzerland gathered in Bern to discuss the challenges they face in the water sector. The event, organized by the Swiss Water Partnership, brought together young people and experts from the fields of water engineering, social sciences and water management to investigate the needs of young people in the professional water world.

Students and experts first learned more about each other’s exciting work through two warm-up exercises that allowed them to understand the important place water has in their lives. One young professional, Katarina, shared her experience of growing up on a farm with no water connection in Ukraine. Darcy, an experienced water engineer teaching at the ETH Zurich surprised everyone with a similar story about growing up in a village with no water supply in Africa. Elodie, from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, told everyone about her Master’s thesis on the use of water as a weapon in the Syrian war and her fieldwork experience in Turkey. As it turned out, most people in the group had some kind of a personal connection to water issues, and this revelation broke the ice and provided an excellent base connect with each other.

The meeting proceeded with the presentation of SWP’s Youth Strategy on the engagement of youth in the water sector. Darcy succinctly summarized the important points about SWP’s role in promoting water issues among young people, and participants were able to move on to discussing what they could contribute to the strategy. As young participants shared their aspirations and frustrations about being a beginner in the water sector, it became clear that their concerns could be broadly divided into two themes, aligned with two sub-goals of the SWP Youth Strategy:

  • Make the water sector more attractive to pupils and students
  • Support young professionals to enter the Water Sector in Development Cooperation

After a short discussion, participants defined two main challenges falling into one of these themes and split into two groups to come up with a working solution to these problems.

The first group took up the task of making the water sector more attractive to Swiss young people. The group came up with an exciting idea about ‘A Youth Water festival’ that would gather hundreds of school and university students on the World Water Day 2020. The idea is to present the water sector and its diversity to those unfamiliar with it, as well as to provide more precise information and networking possibilities to the others. The needs of two different targets groups would as such be met in a single event. The festival would have activities, such as a river clean-up and a movie screening followed by a discussion, but also stands allowing young people to meet experts from the sector. It would also promote innovation with an innovation competition and presentations of latest technologies. Finally, there would, of course be an artistic component with music concerts and water street art.

The second group took on the challenges young people encounter in the professional water world. Visibly concerned, the students shared their experiences of going through the difficult process of finding opportunities in the sector and pointed to the power imbalance that does not allow young people to change the sector from the bottom. Guided by Sarah from the World Water Parliament for Youth, the students brainstormed ideas about changing the current situation. The result – both useful and entertaining event called ‘Networkshops’ or ‘Netwatershops’ that would allow students to network and learn from the experts in the field. The core of the programme would include a few short talks by water experts, a water-fair segment where students would talk to the experts and learn about the inner workings of their organizations, and finally a networking aperitif, where young people and experts could socialize and get to know each other.

The event was followed by Sarah’s presentation on the governance structure of the World Youth Parliament for Water. The students and young professionals gained an insight into how to potentially organize a SWP Youth Water Group. The topic of YWG governance is next on the agenda, and the participants agreed to convene again sometime in November to discuss the issue.

After the fruitful day of deliberations and discussions, all of the participants, by that time hungry, were happy to enjoy their conversations over a lovely aperitif.

  • More information on the two ideas developed during the workshop can be found HERE.
  • Get the PDF version of this blog post HERE.

 

Press Release: Without Water - No Peace, No Life, No Economy

Press Release on the Importance of Water for International Cooperation: 

Without Water – No Peace, No Life, No Economy

On the occasion of the launch of the new 100 Swiss Franc bank note on 12th September 2019, which highlights

  • the importance of water for humanity,
  • symbolizes solidarity and
  • emphasizes the long-standing humanitarian side of the country,

and following the joint effort in publishing a position paper on water that was endorsed by over 15’200 individuals from the Swiss water sector, the Swiss Water Partnership (SWP) has issued a press release on the importance of water for the Swiss international cooperation (available in French, Italian and German)!

You will find the press release and a high-resolution picture in three languages hereafter:

SWP Position Paper on Water

Position Paper on Water linked to the public consultation for the Dispatch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation 2021 – 2024

The Swiss Water Partnership is delighted to present you the

Four steps how you can contribute to the importance to the human right to water in 10 minutes until 21 August 2017, 17.00 CEST:

  1. Endorse the SWP Position Paper on Water on behalf of your organisation and
  2. Endorse the SWP Position Paper on Water on your own behalf
  3. Share the message with at least three Swiss-based contacts (the message is attached in German, French and Italian)
  4. Write a letter on behalf of your organisation, that you support the SWP position paper and send a PDF- and Word-File to this email: M21-24@eda.admin.ch

Many thanks for emphasizing the importance of water for everyone!

Background:

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Human Security Division (HSD) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), together with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), have been working for several months on the draft Dispatch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation 2021–24 (DE, FR, IT). This process began in summer 2018 and will continue until the draft is adopted by the Federal Council and by Parliament in 2020.

The FDFA and the EAER have for the first time decided to launch an optional public consultation (DE, FR, IT) in order to gather input from the cantons, political parties, umbrella associations and other stakeholders involved in Switzerland’s international cooperation. The consultation will run until 23 August 2019.

References:
– Cover Letter Public Consultation (by Iganzio Cassis and Guy Parmelin) (DE, FR, IT)
– Draft of the Dispatch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation 2021–24 (DE, FR, IT).

In case of any further questions, please contact our focal point Sandra Fürst.

> Read the 2019 SWP Position Paper on Water here.

SWP Member Events at World Water Week

Join the Swiss Water Partnership at World Water Week 2019!

This year the Swiss Water Partnership (SWP) will be present at the World Water Week. You are warmly invited to visit the SWP and its present members at the BOOTH B12 in the exhibition hall! Come by for the launches and aperitifs on key topics in water.

Have a look at the SWP Booth Program HERE!

All sessions of the conference of our present SWP members are listed hereafter:

Sunday 25th August 2019

Monday 26th August 2019

Tuesday 27th August 2019

Wednesday 28th August 2019

Thursday 29th August 2019

> Check out the SWP Booth Program Stand B12, Exhibition Hall

Study Tour 2019 - Part 1

Study Tour on Integrated Water Resources Management – Part 1

From 7-13th July 2019 the Swiss Water Partnership organized the study tour for 10 delegates from the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Pakistan) on the topic of IWRM.

Here is some of the preliminary information (the report will follow):

  1. Study Tour Background and Program
  2. Presentations:

Become a partner of the Swiss Junior Water Prize!

For the third year in a row, Switzerland will be present at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, held every year in Stockholm during the World Water Week. The winner of the Swiss Junior Water Prize 2019, Zamir Borojevic from Binningen, has submitted the Swiss entry with the project “Tardigrades under the Influence of Acidic and Alkaline Solutions and UV-C Radiation”.

The Swiss Junior Water Prize is part of the SWP Youth Strategy and is an example of collaboration among SWP Partners. We encourage our members who wish to support young talents to grow an interest in water subjects to bring your ideas on board and become partners of the Swiss Junior Water Prize.

Please find here a compact description of the prize as well as cooperation and sponsoring possibilities. We will also appreciate for you to disseminate this e-prospect among your network.

 

General Assembly 2019 - Background Documents

Dear SWP Members

Please find hereafter the presentations from the SWP General Assembly 2019:

Other additional Documents:

Please find hereafter the background documents for the General Assembly on 12th June in Zürich:

In case of any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the SWP Secretariat.

 

Book a Slot at the SWP Booth | World Water Week 2019

Be part of the Swiss Hub in Stockholm!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The water conference World Water Week (WWW) has moved to the Tele2 Arena this year!

Do you want to be part and take the opportunity to organize a networking aperitif or launch a product? Join the SWP Booth at the new conference location and book a slot during the WWW!

The Swiss Water Partnership offers its members a space to create events, presentations, organize movie screenings or networking aperitifs.

Be part and co-own the booth for 2 hours! Applying the rotating ownership principle, each participating organization will have the opportunity to own the Swiss Booth for a specific time slot during the week.

More detailed information: Call for Swiss Booth Participation 2019.

 

“Youth Ideas for Water” at Xylem Europe

A group of passionate people ranging from high school students to retired and renowned experts came together in Schaffhausen to exchange on a common interest: water!

The event “Youth Ideas for Water” was organized by the Swiss Water Partnership (SWP) and Xylem Inc. within the frame of the “Swiss Junior Water Prize”, aiming to fostering exchange between promising young talents and professionals in the water sector.

The event carried out on 6th March was hosted by Xylem Europe GmbH, one of the main sponsors of the Swiss Junior Water Prize, at their offices in Schaffhausen. These are some highlights among the many interesting aspects that the afternoon had to offer:

  • Luca Schaufelberger, Cynthia Baumann, and Laura Bauer presented the projects they developed to enter the national competition Swiss Youth in Science in 2017 and 2018.
  • The students also focused on efforts and results that have been achieved after their participation in the contest, showing their continued interest in the topics of their research.
  • Christian Zurbrügg (Eawag) presented the SWP Youth Strategy, underlining the importance of engaging youth in the water sector, a goal that was immediately acknowledged by Xylem.
  • Multiple discussions took place between the young generation and the experienced one, paving the way for future support and cooperation possibilities.
  • Professionals from various SWP member organizations gained an inside perspective about the technologies and solutions implemented by Xylem.

“Youth Ideas for Water” was a round success, resulting in a positive experience for all attendees, and encouraging the organization of similar exchange events in the future.

Links:

Follow Swiss-JWP on social media:

Further Documents: