The World Water Forum: A circus where youth don’t belong?

“It is a circus, only used for people to network”.
“I don’t want to join this carrousel anymore, it is not useful for me”.
“Why are we still organising these things?”

Listening to actors in the water sector, the World Water Forum might often sound like the last event you would want to attend! And yet, we’re going and we want to take you along on the ride.

The World Water Forum is indeed a bustling event, so much so that it only happens in 3 year gaps. This year, it will be hosted in South Korea with 25.000 people expected to attend. Can you picture all those people making their way to meetings and sessions, running to be on time to give a keynote, listening to an interesting speaker, discussing important water issues, lobbying or simply sneaking out to enjoy the cherry blossoms of Korea?

When you have heard the same debates, and when you have a large network of counterparts who you can work with and call for input, the Forum might seem like a routine stripped of its sparkle. However, for young professionals, these type of events are unique opportunities:

  • To meet professionals both young and old across disciplinary and geographic bounds;
  • To see first hand how different parts of the sector intersect;
  • To engage in intergenerational exchange and learn from those who have spent decades working towards a legacy you will soon lead;
  • To come across tested ideas and innovations and learn what has been tried and what could work;
  • To inspire and be inspired by a global community of people engaged in the water sector;

Water connects the fields of health, food, peace, energy and economic growth and the world water forum connects the leaders working on managing this precious resource. It is an amazing place to exchange ideas, exchange best practices, and learn from failures. The creative and community building potential of so many bright minds in one spot is exponential!

As a young water professional with a passion for water but little footing on this new path, the World Water Forum can seem a daunting place. We encourage you to dive in to new experiences, new concepts, and a whole forum full of possible future partners. We will soon advertise volunteering positions and other opportunities for you to be part of the process, so keep an eye on our website!