Yesterday was the first day of European Water Tech Week, as the water sector gathers in the capital of water technology Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. The varied programme draws an audience from around the globe. One of the highlights of the Monday was the WIS Award specifically the audience award, worth €2.500 marketing support. As the Grand Finale is tomorrow with a professional jury, the Monday saw the most important jury of them all cast a vote, the audience.
In the morning Cees Buisman from Wetsus talked about innovation, ‘when you’ve haven’t been ridiculed, you are not innovating’. Opening statements from Tom Freyburg and Jelmer Hobma further set the tone for the day. As one of the great inventors Edison told, ‘there’s a way to do it better, find it.’ It sounds so easy, but innovators know, success isn’t easy. Edison failed more than a thousand times, still kept going, be it on perseverance and for the love for his work. The eight innovators sat on the front row of the stage know what this is like, as they also found a way to do it better.
Via an interactive format with vlogs, questions from the audience and real-time voting, a unique atmosphere was created. Also because in the end there were more than 1.000 votes cast with about 200 people in the audience, so either there was a technical glitch or someone alerted their ‘friends’. To counter this and have an honest competition, voting was done by an old-school show of hands. Sometimes the old ways are still the best.
In the end Joost Paques, with nature’s solution to plastic pollution won and was awarded the cheque by Water Alliance director Hein Molenkamp. Mr Paques was not the only winner as the audience got their money’s worth of entertainment. We hope to see you during the Grand Finale tomorrow.