Opening AIWW2021 online conference

We hope you are as excited as we are to start exploring this year’s theme of ‘Blue-Green Deals with Integrated Solutions’ together with Minister of infrastructure and water management, Barbara Visser, Head of cabinet for First Vice-President of the European Commission, Diederik Timmermans, Journalist, Ikenna Azuike and the CEO of Waternet, Roelof Kruize.

This opening session of the AIWW2021 Online Conference will further elaborate on this year’s theme by introducing the four subthemes:

  1. Clean Water & Ecosystem Restoration
  2. Reuse, recycle and Recover
  3. Risk and Resilience
  4. Community engagement and intersectional collaboration

These four subthemes will be discussed in an environment stressing both the challenges and the opportunities lying within the water sector, aiming to see how water can function as an enabler and accelerator of the achievement of the SDG’s targets. Initiatives taken by the Dutch Government towards knowledge and technology transfer will be presented, as well as measures regarding funding opportunities and water stewardship.

The opening session will also guide you through all the exciting upcoming events and sessions, and mention what collaborations and regional focuses we have on board. We will share our ideas on how these events and future AIWW target groups and community centric events can valuably assist towards the realization of the SDG’s 2 (Zero Hunger), 6 (Clean Water & Sanitation), 9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure), 11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities) and 13 (Climate Action).

We appreciate your attendance and contributions and hope to see you at this very first opening session.

Let’s get started!

Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management
Barbara Visser is a Croatian-Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). Since 31 August 2021, she serves as Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands in the third Rutte cabinet.[2] She previously served as State Secretary for Defence from 26 October 2017 to 31 August 2021. From September 20, 2012 to October 26, 2017 she was a Member of Parliament for the VVD. As a Member of Parliament, Ms Visser was spokesperson for housing, traffic, water, aviation and fisheries. In 2010-2012 she was an alderman in the municipality of Zaanstad and before that she worked in the business community and at the tax authorities.
Head of cabinet
Diederik Maarten Samsom (born 10 July 1971) is a Dutch environmentalist and retired politician who served the Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid PvdA) from 2012 to 2016. He was the first leader in the 70-year history of the PvdA to have been voted out of his position by party members. Since November 2019 Samsom is head of cabinet for First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans.
CEO of Waternet
Roelof Kruize is CEO of Waternet, the public water cycle organization of the municipality of Amsterdam and the regional water Authority Amstel Gooi and Vecht (AGV) since 2006. He held various positions at the Municipality of Amsterdam and between 2008 and 2012 he combined his position at Waternet and AGV with the position of CEO of the Waste to Energy Company of Amsterdam (AEB). Roelof engaged in the development of many national and international activities. He was President of the Royal Netherlands Water Network and President of the European Water Association and is the Dutch representative in the board of the International Water Association (IWA). He is Chairman of the Top Sector Water (water technology) of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Moreover, he is Chairman of the Board of control of AquaMinerals, member of the board of the KWR Watercycle Research Institute, Cultural Centre “de Balie” and Chairman of the Aquatech Advisory Committee. In 2003 he was elected Governmental Manager of the year in the Netherlands.
Journalist, presenter, speaker and film maker
Ikenna Azuike started his career as a lawyer, but is now a sought-after journalist, presenter, speaker and filmmaker. Ikenna was born in Lagos, Nigeria, grew up in the UK, studied law in the UK and France and has been living in The Netherlands with his family since 2004. After working as a lawyer with Shearman & Sterling in London, Singapore and New York, and with Clifford Chance LLP in Amsterdam, he decided to change course and follow his passions for broadcasting and social activism. Together with his wife, Mette te Velde, he co-founded the Strawberry Earth Foundation to fast forward our transition towards a sustainable planet and he created the satirical news show What's Up Africa. His show was subsequently commissioned by the BBC, aired on BBC World News television for 6 seasons, was shortlisted for an Association of International Broadcasters Award, and amassed over half a million followers on social media. Since 2017 Ikenna has worked on a variety of longer form journalistic projects.
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