A report of Ingrid Keupers of De Watergroep
Learning across borders
The European Junior Water Programme starts its first edition with a nice mix of nationalities and sectors: the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Wales, Norway, Romania and Slovakia with participants working on drinking water production, waste water, watercourse management, European water policy, quality monitoring, …
Ingrid Keupers: “This mix will allow us to learn a lot from each other throughout the course, since everyone brings their own background and perspective. The next two years we see each other 4x a year for a week for intensive training. In the meantime, we work together as a team on a project for each participating company in order to learn things from each other, both in terms of content and project management. ”
Ingrid Keupers: “The first two days of the programme included training in personal skills training. The common thread running through this is Stephen Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” What I mainly remember is that it is best to focus on your own “circle of influence” instead of your “circle of concern” (circle of involvement). In other words, it is more important to tackle problems proactively, instead of looking back reactive at what you cannot change.
After these two intensive training days, we participated as a group in the conference # WIE2019: Water Innovation Europe with the theme “Water meets Energy, Energy meets Water”. An important topic to guarantee the sustainability of the water sector, which De Watergroep is already working on. Various interesting technological and policy challenges were addressed through 4 interesting panel discussions. We were thrown directly in front of the wolves: after a panel discussion, we gave a brief summary of the discussion as a “young water professional”
On the last day we were immediately given homework. The first project that we will be working on as a team is mapping the needs for human capital in the water sector at European level. We are carrying out this project on behalf of Water Europe (formerly WssTP), which has now also established a new working group on human capital. The results of this project are therefore immediately usable. “