As the Covid pandemic has upended our working routines, virtual environments have become the hottest new avenue for collaboration and human capital development. To help the path towards a water-smart society, we need continuous research and innovation to support a more systemic transformation to digital platforms. An open approach to skill development and the creation of different collaboration mindsets will help professionals and other users to connect and engage in this digital-hybrid future.
The Human Capital Working Group of Water Europe, led by EJWP Director Naomi Timmer and Dr. Zakhar Maletskyi, launched its “Human Capital: Collaboration in Digital space” workshop on 28 June during Water Innovation Europe. This online event was rich in interactive features, under the umbrella of digital collaboration for a more engaging and seamless experience that could hope to be compared to the experience of live events.
Mentimeter was the first digital tool used to get to know the attendees, and the results showed their varied backgrounds, age groups, and experience levels. Dr. Paul Nunesdea, co-founder of the Digital Collaboration Academy, briefed workshop participants on online facilitation as a key need in virtual environments. Next on the agenda was a discussion on leadership in the water sector in which GroupMap was used as a tool to facilitate brainstorming which revealed the different needs and perspectives on this concept. An exercise on the water nexus with Dr. Chrysi Laspidou was also performed using Mentimeter, showing the agriculture sector is the main water consumer globally as well as a key contributor to climate change.
Naomi Timmer concluded the event with a mini workshop on Deep Democracy that was performed on Howspace. This concept of Deep Democracy supports creating a workspace that depends on co-creation and co-responsibility to ensure the inclusion of all the team members, while leaving no one behind.
This overall event rallied a sense of excitement in participants, as many of them expressed their interest in the present and future value of these types of online tools and forums.