GWP 25 Anniversary Interviews - Youth

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of GWP's existence, we decided to interview 25 of our most renowned people and their relation to GWP CEE. In this article, we focused on our young specialists.

Continuing with our anniversary interviews, we asked our young specialists from Poland and Hungary, who have been working with us on many various occasions, the same questions we asked our partners. You can now discover their point of view on the GWP journey so far. Just like with the previous interview, we'll merge the answers into one comprehensive output.


About the vision and added value of GWP partnership. 

  1. How long have you been a member of GWP network?

    My first contact with GWP CEE was in 2018, during summer school for climate change, innovation and youth advocacy in water management, held in Poland.

    I’ve been involved in the GWP network for more than 2 years, since I started working at the Tisza Office of  Middle Tisza District Water Directorate.

  2. In what way do you see GWP as a valuable partner, capable of making change?

    From my perspective – as a young person, whose first contact with GWP was during studies – GWP has a great impact on youth advocacy. It encourages young people to take action and consciously choose their future path. And what could have more potential for change than empowering youth?

    GWP takes significant part in most water related projects & issues worldwide, to enhance the awareness of people as well as the awareness of enterprises and to find up to date resolutions. GWP is also quite advanced at creating all sorts of channels and networks to bring everyone closer to each other within the water sector.

  3. What do you think is the most valuable thing/biggest achievement GWP has delivered so far? 

    It’s youth empowering – making sure that the next generation know how to take action and why it’s important to do so.

    Building up such a well-developed global network and connecting so many people & organizations is impresive.

  4. What is an interesting story that you were part of, related to GWP? 

    It was our youth delegacy at COP24! As part of “Youth Voices - Policy Choices“ we had this amazing “youth glasses”, that let you see the future through the youth's eyes. They were simple 3D glasses and cleverly prepared graphics, but we certainly attracted a lot of attention to our action.

    I got to participate at the European Youth Parliament for Water in Nizhny Novgorod in 2019. GWP took partnership in the organization of EYPW. They gave chance to young professionals to get together from different parts of the world and to share their visions, experiences, insights within water resource management meanwhile, discovering the local Russian culture and waste water management system.

  5. How do you see GWP developing in the upcoming years? 

    I think that GWP will have more and more impact on people around the world.

    GWP is getting more and more involved in most current water related issues. Since they are trying to involve more and more young professionals they could raise a more environmentally conscious future generation whom might be the future leaders as well.

About the Green Recovery Position Paper.

  1. Do you consider such position papers as a useful material for the purposes of your network? Could something else be used instead?

    It definitely is exceptionally useful. Showing the influence of COVID-19 from ‘water perspective’ is indispensable both for us humans and also for our environment.

  2. How do you see the topics that GWP CEE works on (e.g., Drought, Floodplains, Natural Small Water Retention Measures, Youth engagement)? Which hot topics in the water management should GWP CEE focus on? 

    With today’s extreme climatic factors I would say all the above mentioned works are substantial. I would also add heavy rain risk management to the list.

About transboundary initiatives.

  1. How do you perceive transboundary initiatives, supported by GWP CEE (events, projects, activities)? 

    They seem to be really successful at bringing different nations/cultures together for the better cooperation within water management sector.

  2. What transboundary initiatives would you like your network to participate in? 

    All water related topics interest us since we can always learn something new at the events of GWP.

  3. What kind of transboundary initiatives should GWP CEE focus on in the future? 

    From my point of view, communication between the countries sometimes still can be a bit challenging. If GWP could show them some good examples, maybe in case of hazardous events they could help each other better and more efficiently.

About youth focused work. 

  1. Are the GWP CEE youth activities covering your country enough? 

    It would be great if we had more GWP youth activities in Poland.

  2. In your opinion, which youth initiative that GWP CEE does is the most influential (e.g., DAM, youth-oriented symposiums, summer school...) and why? 

    In my opinion summer schools are great way to have an impact on youth. There is time to get to know people around you and feel comfortable with them, to really get into the topic and have a space to share your most creative ideas.

    I’ve never participated at the summer school yet, however, I met multiple people who did and most of them said that it was a life-changing experience for them. Some of them even applied for work at GWP after the school. I only heard positive things about it e.g.: their English skills improved significantly, they met people with similar interests and they learnt a lot about all sorts of practices within water resource management.

  3. Is there a youth network in your country that already benefited from GWP CEE youth-oriented activities? 

    As far as I know there is not a youth network per se, but a lot of individual youth that benefited and grown under GWP CEE youth-oriented activities.

    Yes, there is. At my company, Middle Tisza District Water Directorate, my colleagues and I did a temporary collaboration to try to see the opinion of young water professionals about how involved they are at decision making processes and how involved they would like to get. Within that collaboration, we organized a workshop to meet the youth from all over the country and we also met the Director of the General Water Directorate in Hungary to forward him the youth’s visions & insights.

  4. How do you see the role of youth in the current water management? 

    To see the youth’s impact on water management, it’s important to encourage and educate them, as well as show them that they can make a change right now. They can have a big impact on water management with creative ideas and innovative way of looking at current problems.

    Currently they are getting more and more involved and as I see, one day  they will become the future leaders.