I’m circulating in and out of the three office rooms of the World Water Week and Prizes, as well as the one of SIWI:s communications staff. There is a lot going on at the moment and there is a slightly suspicious calmness and concentration overall. Everywhere else, people are returning from vacations and are now starting to focus on the World Water Week in Stockholm. Practical issues such as dress code, tickets, dietary requirements and speakers’ registration are being double-checked by our delegates.
The World Water Week and Prizes team has been working towards this for a year and throughout the summer. We are so well prepared, but dreams about how the week’s well-oiled processes will work are starting to come. If the sense of control is due to increased routine or an increase in staff since last year is difficult to say, but the fact of the matter is that one colleague has left and four are carrying out their very first World Water Week so routine does not explain it all. As a, by now experienced, team member I can feel the anticipation increasing and the team spirit lifting. This is the core of the World Water Week, the secretariat that do their utmost to make everyone attending our important conference have a pleasant, learning and fun time, whether or not they are participating for the first time. World Water Week delegates will see the professionalism of this group, their dedication and eagerness.
The programme is packed - jam-packed. We have so many meetings, seminars and events that finding time to reflect will be impossible during the week, we just have to go with the flow. In all my time with SIWI I have still not sat through a full seminar, and I envy the delegates that can pick and choose from all the different sessions and get to engage in discussions with convenors, speakers, presenters and colleagues. Then again, I will be able to walk through the venue, checking in on the sessions and – hopefully – see all the parts come together. I don’t have bad dreams, I know the World Water Week will be a success.