Reflecting Forward on Opportunities & Achievements with Director Naomi Timmer 

Thank you for taking the time for our July EJWP newsletter! After a crazy spring, summertime is a good point to take a step back, reflect on accomplishments and look forward where to go next – to create new opportunities to develop ourselves and our organizations. It is more than just a feeling that each summer is bringing more intense climate and water-related natural events in Europe and around the world. While observing these upward trends, I also see a reaffirmation of the value of our work empowering water professionals to work across borders and disciplines for a more resilient future. 

Hopefully you can see a connection with where you are – and where you aim to be – as I take a brief reflection on highlights so far this year, and what we offer in new development journeys beginning this fall.  

The first half of 2023 brought new experiences for our EJWP community. It would be a real challenge to point out everything, but some impactful moments include: In January, our first Bootcamp onboard a ship in Rotterdam was held as part of the Refreshing H2O Policy EU Workshop. This was a great opportunity to step into a parallel event with bright minds contributing to policy while improving their skillsets. January also took our EJWP groups to the Lombardia Region of Italy for the first time for a unique Training Week hosted by by MM Spa and Maria Cristina Pasi with Izar.  This was exciting to open new partnerships in the country, and to welcome Maria Cristina Pasi and her expertise as an EJWP Ambassador!  

Through H2O-People, the parent organization of EJWP, we have both wrapped up and initiated projects including the SMARTEN project final event, and the kick offs of iMermaid and WATNEX projects this spring. These projects, including the EJWP group projects help define our hands-on approach of working together in diverse teams, using new skills for real sector solutions. On project conclusions, our participants wrapped up a project last month during a Training Week in Tel Aviv with EcoPeace Middle East to collect and map out data on water pollutants of the Jordan Valley.  And of course, it was exciting to organize our Water Smart Bootcamp last month with the always-engaging Water Innovation Europe Conference with our partner organization Water Europe. 

These first-half reflections provide lessons and form a foundation for our upcoming journeys this fall. We will close the summer with a Summer School in Exeter with the Waterline project, connecting the need for digital transformations in higher education with personal leadership and human skills development. We are launching new groups to build cooperation with people and professional disciplines in applying the value of human capital in this planet’s water future.

Our 5th EJWP group will kick off with a joint training week with existing EJWP groups in September hosted by our partner organization the University of Zagreb in Croatia, and there is something new: experienced leaders in the water sector can enhance their leadership tools and strategies in Blue Innovation Track for Advanced Water Leaders, an initiative also through H2O-People. Facilitated in our own new office and meeting space in the NorthEast of The Netherlands. 

I am more than happy to discuss with early-career and seasoned professionals how EJWP with H2O-People can empower your work in proactive ways. Feel free to contact me today to map out the steps and the benefits of getting involved in our water-smart community with some of bright minds in the sector.

Now is the best time to reflect forward to make an impact. Let’s do it together! 


Photo: Participants from EJWP groups 3-4 in Athens, with Naomi Timmer on right

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