11. Mar. 2022
For the second year in a row, Next Generation Water Action brings together 100+ selected international young academics and entrepreneurs to tackle the most pressing global water challenges by developing bold, sustainable solutions with industry, academic and public partners.

Next Generation Water Action is a global initiative that engages 100+ young talents from leading international universities and early stage start-ups, representing the next generation of water leaders. The program runs in the spring semester as a preparation to the IWA World Water Congress in September.

Coming from Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, South Korea, India, and Denmark, the Next Generation Water Action Ambassadors combine their diverse backgrounds and skills to foster a global answer to the world’s most pressing sustainable water challenges.

"Highly diverse in backgrounds yet united in their mission of challenging the status-quo of the global water industry, 11 startups and 22 selected student teams from universities in Kenya, Ghana, South Korea, Mexico, India and Denmark combine forces to crack some of the world's most pressing water challenges petitioned by our international partners."
Finalists from Next Generation Water Action 2021

Winners from Next Generation Water Action 2021 and 2022 will participate at the IWA congress in Copenhagen. Photo: Candid Photography by Judy Wanjiku Jørgensen

Partnership in action

Together with Grundfos and the Poul Due Jensen Foundation, the International Water Association (IWA) & IWA’s Young Water Professional network, the Innovation Centre in India & Seoul, the Embassy in Kenya and global challenge partners, DTU Skylab & DTU Environment bring forward a tailored virtual program, that goes beyond the attendance of youth in events, but enables them to take action together with the corporate world and academic and public partners.

"I think it was super interesting to see that people are out there to support you and share your values and interests."
2021 Participant from Denmark

The participants are not only supported with mentorship, industry insights and boot camps, but also get a relevant stage to showcase and discuss their bold ideas with global decision makers.

"Personally, I got motivated to do anything I put my mind to and now I believe that I am not too young to make a positive impact in society."
2021 Participant from Ghana

Adapted to the pandemic

Facing the COVID-19 crisis, redesigned from previous successful Next Generation initiatives, Next Generation Water Action 2021 went virtual with great success– being even more inclusive, scalable and sustainable than ever before: More participant spots, a global network of water professionals that provide sparring across time zones, virtual events, keynotes, and boot camps, with less emissions as a great side-effect. The finals gathered all the participants within each country into a Hub. All the hubs were then connected virtually into one big event.

Young Kenyans presenting at the 2021 Next Generation Water Action finals

Young Kenyans presenting at the 2021 Next Generation Water Action finals. Photo: Maurice O. Omondi

Timeline 2022

  • February to April: Kick-off and Solution Development Phase with boot camps, mentoring sessions and keynotes
  • May 12: Global Multi-Hub Final with local live events in each participating country
  • June: Acceleration of selected student and start-up teams
  • September: Selected teams from 2021 and 2022 participate in IWA World Water Congress

The Grundfos Foundation supports this year’s activities with DKK 800,000.