One of the things that I love about studying in Sweden is the easy access to be a part of international conventions. It means that you can be connected to a global network of practitioners, researchers, government and non-governmental bodies who works in the field of your interest. Last Sunday, I participated in World Water Week 2018 organised by Stockholm International Water Institute.more
For me, this event is like a hub. It provides a platform and time to discuss issues and possibilities around water management and sustainability. It is an annual event so if you miss this year, I hope you can attend it in 2019! The theme for this year is water, ecosystem, and human development. As we can see from the theme, the water-related issues link to other challenges such as the climate, social, health, and economy. Other than mapping out the intertwined issues, World Water Week 2018 connects actors from different field and expertise.
This year, I registered for the Young Professional Day which was one day full of workshops and discussions. As an introvert, I had a hint of (un)excitement because an open discussion was not my preferable style to generate ideas. Yet, I still came to WWWeek 2018 because I wanted to expand my comfort zone and the theme caught my interest. Cheers to being adventurous every day!
In a session called Global vision to local reality – identifying the pathways, I had the chance to do a discussion about two cases of water scarcity. One was in the city of Amman and the other was in Cape Town. Despite having the same problem, apparently, the approaches to the solution were non-identical. It was a result of the unique geographical location and the socio-economic situation in those cities. This highlighted again what I learned in the last two years of studying sustainable development, climate change is a global issue consists of local problems. These problems will continue to emerge since we are living in a dynamic system. Sometimes when the decision from elite legislative is fixed, the situation on the field has changed. From this session in the World Water Week 2018, I can imagine why it is so often that multi-lateral conference can take a long time with fluffy results.
This event takes place in two buildings, Folkets Hus and Norra Latin. Both are beautiful and historical buildings, but I want t show you the mosaic art from Folkets Hus. This building name, when literally translated, means the people’s house. You can see from the architectural lines and fashion on the mosaic that it was built around the 60’s. Aren’t you impressed with the common feeling of many historical buildings for around the world? My assumption is that many of them were built around the same era, which is after the World War II.
I am impressed that you still ask this question despite the stories that I have shared with you. Anyway…the first and foremost reason to come to a convention is to see what is out there and exchange knowledge. In an event like this, you can check out what are the existing projects and initiatives to solve the current issues about the environment and development. It does trigger my socio-entrepreneur sense, enough said, I feel challenged. Other than that, you will be able to expand your network, meet your future thesis supervisor, get to know your future colleague – should I mention the chance to cultivate your professional social skill?
If you are a student like me, there are several ways that you can do to be a part of the interesting convention in Sweden. One obvious way is to register as an attendant where you can pay the fee and have the unlimited experience from the events. Another way that I find as an interesting option is to be a volunteer for the event. This was what I did last year so I could attend the Resilience 2017 conference in Stockholm where I met Elke! Usually, the organisers usually need volunteers to ensure the event runs smoothly so you can get the experience from behind the stage.
At the end of the day, I never regret the decision to take part in events that broaden my knowledge, expand my network and enrich my experience. If you are starting your study this autumn, you should definitely put this on your to-do list of studying in Sweden!