“A week has passed since the Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW) and Integrated Leadership Forum (ILF), where I joined as a moderator and Future Water Leader!
Women Leading in Water
Three distinguished female speakers opened AIWW2023:
– Melanie van der Horst (Deputy Mayor of the City of Amsterdam)
– Luzette Kroon (Dijkgraaf Wetterskip Fryslan) and
– Meike van Ginneken (Special Water Envoy of Kingdom of the Netherlands)
During her speech, Meike van Ginneken highlighted the rarity of an all-female opening, wonderful to see concrete examples of diversity in leadership.
A Call for Joint Action on Food & Water
The ILF brought together 100+ top water executives from 16 nationalities, but notably only 4 people represented the food sector.
How is this possible when:
– More than 70% of global freshwater withdrawals go to agriculture?
– Drought and floods directly impact food security in so many different regions of the world?
– Water & food are so intertwined in their roles, not just for irrigation, but also for food transportation, water trade, and the generation and recycling of wastewater in food production systems?
We have to continue to make the conscious effort to bring the Water & Food sector together.
This also being the reason Marc Middeldorp of Van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects gave a compelling pitch, extending his hand to our water peers: “Water & Food are intrinsically linked, and we have to approach it as such, let’s tackle our challenges together.”
Advocating for cross-sectoral collaboration
Cross-sectoral collaboration continued to be a central theme during the hot seat session of Meike van Ginneken, where breaking silo’s was underscored as crucial in addressing water challenges, especially on a bilateral and national level. “Solving global crises will require bridging sectors and not only water people talking to the same water people.”
Water & Food Knowledge Exchange
We also hosted a workshop on high-tech greenhouses, introducing the international horticultural industry to different participants from the water sector. The enthusiastic responses confirmed that sessions like these are needed and that it is important to keep the momentum for #sectorswapping going!
The Water & Food journey continues…
I am most thrilled to continue the Water & Food efforts in upcoming events, with a shout out to those already having committed much of their time to advocate for the Water-Food cross-over.
With special thanks to the organizers of AIWW2023.”