Leaving no one behind: Junior Rapporteurs as information carriers at World Water Week
In the spirit of leaving no one behind at this year’s World Water Week, junior rapporteurs were at the centre of helping to document the week’s activities. This is a summary of the experience from junior rapporteur Isaac Barnes from Ghana.
The 2015 edition of the World Water Week is a significant milestone to the global water community as this marked both the Silver Jubilee of the Week and the 19th anniversary for the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. Furthermore, the Week linked up to important global decisions including the recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in New York, and the new climate agreement to be agreed in Paris in December. Once again, Stockholm gathered more than 3,000 participant from over 140 countries and 250 organisations working with water and development to exchange views, experiences and solutions to global water challenges. This year’s theme was “Water for Development”.
The three thematic themes identified this year was based on the three legs of sustainable development; Economic, Social and Environmental; each theme had a team of two lead rapporteurs and six junior rapporteurs.
Our task as junior rapporteurs was to attend all sessions. We were instrumental in capturing, summarizing and analyzing discussions and presentations with full support and supervision from our experienced lead rapporteurs.
Personally, my engagement with peers and senior colleagues all together sharpened my analytical skills, communication and language skills as well as the knowledge to help improve the water sector. It also presented me role models and mentors to look up to when climbing higher heights in the water sector.
SIWI also believed it was important to stimulate virtual conversations on the topics discussed. Rapporteurs shared the most noteworthy ideas and knowledge from the conference in the Daily Splash podcast each morning. More people than ever engaged with the Week and discussed emerging issues through multiple social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram and LinkedIn!
Being geographically, culturally and linguistically very diverse, the ability to come together via the medium of water was truly fascinating. This diversity showed the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to solving water issues across the globe and sectors. Water indeed connects. The demonstrated ability by the water community to unite and integrate youth from their earliest stages in their careers to come together to discuss water-related issues with passion is in tandem with the overall goal of sustaining sustainable development. We as junior rapporteurs are grateful for that.
Reporting for World Water Week is a highly rewarding and strategic task to help young professionals towards becoming future international water resources leaders.
This is an indeed a great opportunity to learn, share and engage!