11 Dec Emerging Water Professional Program (EWPP): Unique opportunity for Emerging Water Leaders
The 22nd International Riversymposium (20-24th October 2019), Brisbane, Australia brought diverse range of water experts, river managers, policy developers, scientists, consultants, students, community, not for profit organisations, business, and industry representatives to build relationships, share ideas and inspire others with an emphasis on learning and development. The symposium provided a diverse range of sessions for emerging water professionals to coordinate and build network with water experts around the globe.
Among all sessions, I got an opportunity to facilitate Emerging Water Professional Program (EWPP) session. The program aims to inspire, develop future water leaders and promote cross generational learning. The session was joined by 49 professionals from 16 countries around the globe. The EWPP promotes interdisciplinary and cross generational collaboration, supporting the professional and personal development of young and emerging water leaders.
I along with my team members welcomed emerging and expert water professionals to take piece of paper where name of animals and birds were written. All participants acted based on the name provided in the paper producing the sounds of animals and birds. All the participants were making fun and identifying their pairs producing the similar sound of animals and birds. The exercise made everyone feel comfortable to chat and discuss without any pressure on the subject matter.
The pair were asked to discuss on “What do you mean by professional resilience?” Within five minutes, each pair discussed on professional resilience based on their knowledge. Among all, three groups were provided an opportunity to share on what they have discussed. The conclusion of the discussion was “Professional resilience means to think about managing stress in your workplace”.
The second round of discussion was “How do you identify that you are in stress”. The exciting part of this exercise was to draw picture for the answer in the paper. The picture includes eating a lot of food; feeling shy, feeling lonely, working long hours being unhappy, irritation, angry mood, fight between husband and wife etc. All the pictures were displayed in the floor. This exercise was to make understand that sometimes it is difficult to identify the stress however the first step to manage your stress is to recognise the symptoms of stress that you have faced.
On the third round, all the participants were asked to make a new group finding the colleagues to whom they have not talked yet. The new groups were asked to discuss on “what you do when you are in stress?” The pair come with their various tools that they have applied to manage their stress includes swimming, talked with the person who is motivating, talking with friends, cycling, watching a film, sharing with your friends.
With above session, I was able to access unique experiences of networking, facilitating. This has been experienced due to the pre-discussion exercise, coordination with the team members, intense discussion to generate idea, arguments on your proposal, decision making, and facilitation in the international forum among the team members of Emerging and expert Water professionals from the diverse groups. The rigorous engagement has enhanced my confidence on my facilitation and networking skills with diverse group of people. I am very happy and excited to be the part of such groups a continuously support such program. Thus, I would like to encourage Emerging Water colleagues around the world to be the part of EWPP to enhance your knowledge with confidence and build network with globally renowned water professionals by being a part of any upcoming International Riversymposium’s.
Finally, I would like to thank Vanh Mixap, Emerging Water Professionals Program Coordinator for her excellent support and guidance and International RiverFoundation for providing the platform.