Our EJWP1 participants are looking forward to their next adventure. In the week of 25 October, they will meet in rural Hardanger, Norway, for their final Training Week, hosted by AQUA alarm. Have two years of projects, co-creation, network building and development really passed so quickly? We are getting ready for this momentous training week, and for the future contributions of our first group to the water sector.
EJWP1 participant Martha Gjermo, a Business Developer with AQUA alarm, provided a preview of what our first group can expect in their surroundings and reflections in their final training week of the programme.
What do you expect for the week with your EJWP colleagues in Norway?
Our organization really looks forward to meeting and sharing ideas with my EJWP colleagues, and of course we are also happy to show a little piece of Norwegian cabin-culture, and the Norwegian “kos.” We hope that a week together in a small but spectacular place, surrounded by mountains and water, can help generate nice new reflections and ideas, and that we will learn new things about ourselves and each other.
We have also chosen a location without tap-water, so we will need to carry all the water that we will use this week, and boil the water we want to drink. Running water is something many people take for granted, and it will be something good already if providing our own water will help us view our work with a new edge.
Can you give a preview of what is planned?
We have the final results of our AQUA alarm project to present and discuss on water sensors and related technical solutions – how far have they come in their readiness for solutions, while better understanding applications in water networks throughout Europe. In the cabin, we will continue to brainstorm on new angles and possibilities to carry our results forward to benefit the water sector.
The plan is to use cabin as a base, and most of our trainings and workshops will happen there inside if it rains, and outside by the seaside if the weather is nice. Our trainer is prepared to do a training on the move, so we hope the weather will be good enough one day for everyone to hike up a nearby mountain. It will be a steep and heavy walk, so we could use the breaks to reset our focus on the way up. I’m pretty certain this will bring us out of our comfort zones mentally and physically.
We plan to make dinners at a bonfire by the seaside in the evenings, playing team-building games in at the cabin after training. And swimming will be about the only option for those who feel they need a shower. Reconnecting as a an EJWP group will be nice after a long time without being able to see each other in person because of the pandemic.
What are your hopes for the future from activities like these training weeks?
I hope that by meeting and discussing new ideas, problems, solutions and reflections that we make together we can investigate and develop ways to solve the ongoing water crises spurred by environmental change. Our EJWP project made me think of possible applications with AQUA alarm for safe drinking water in existing networks: for example, in a closed loop system to reuse water for fabrics and other industries. It would be great if results of our project and AQUA alarm could be a part of this through further investigation.
I really hope to be a part of bigger future solutions, and I know my EJWP colleagues do too. By meeting internationally from different countries, backgrounds and educations, we can learn so much from each other and bring inspiration and new knowledge with us “home” to where we normally work. Hopefully we will continue to meet and learn from each other long after this programme has ended.