The general assembly at the national YWPDK conference in March 2020 resulted in many new faces joining the leadership team of YWPDK. It was, however, also were very central people to the network stepped down from the leadership group. We will in this series of interviews put focus on the people who have been fundamental to where the network is today. This second edition we focus on Wadim Baslow, who has been central to drive and leadership of the network. Wadim joined the network and was part of planning the fourth national YWPDK conference. After that he joined the board of YWPDK. One of Wadim's key legacies was developing our communication strategy and the current visual identity of the network.
Thank you, Wadim for your years of drive and contribution to the network.
On behalf of the network, all the best to you in your further endeavors. We hope to continue to have you involved in the network in some capacity.
"I realized engaging with the network brings those moments when it just clicks in your mind"
Why did you join the YWPDK network in the first place, and what led you to run for a position on the board?
I initially deemed it helpful for my career. I was a student with a focus on urban climate adaptation and thought joining the YWPDK network presents a good opportunity to connect and immerse myself in the Danish water sector. Especially for international young professionals this aspect is important in order to find a way into the Danish labor market. However, it became quickly apparent for me that the YWPDK network is more than that. I enjoy learning new things and get inspired. I realized engaging with the network brings those moments when it just clicks in your mind. I like that. The learning aspect became much more dominant to my reasons of engaging with the network.
Eventually, I ran for a position on the board. Why? The network finds itself in a continuous process of professionalization. I work with strategy and transformations professionally and reckoned it might be a valuable contribution to the development of the network. I remember that in my candidate speech though, I attempted to draw an image of the network’s development, which creates and curates the occasion and circumstances for more formal and informal learning experiences. I thought when young bright minds of different backgrounds meet, perhaps innovative and creative ideas might emerge and finds their way to practice. The work of our working groups speaks for it.
"I believe, a challenge to be overcome is one common to most organizations who rely on voluntary efforts, especially on few heroes"
Where do you see the role and the position of the YWPDK network in the Danish water sector and for the young water professionals in Denmark?
What I can see, hear and basically observe is that the YWPDK network is recognized as a vital actor in the Danish Water landscape and also beyond, e.g. through the International Water Association. I assume on the international level the network’s friends and partners often value YWPDK’s maturity and professionalism and reach out for partnerships and advice. In Denmark, I believe YWPDK is perceived as an active, driven and progressive actor in the sector, and perhaps one or the other senior professional and respective organization hopes for some spill-over effects.
How do you envision the future activities and the progression of the role of YWPDK nationally and internationally?
I do not really know. I am very optimistic for the network’s prospects. We were once contemplating whether the network might increasingly become more active on developing, formulating and advocating a young water professionals’ standpoint within the various fora in the sector. Basically, run also interest organization activities. This is still far ahead, but it shows clearly the network’s ambition to actively partake in shaping future trajectories.
For now. I believe, a challenge to be overcome is one common to most organizations who rely on voluntary efforts, especially on few heroes. I hope to see more member engagement on different levels of commitment. In 2020, this might entail creating different types of activities that fit people’s skills, ideas, that fit with the people’s lives, their commitments, studying, working and families. It will need the network to offer flexible, practical opportunities of different levels of time and commitment with everyone on an equal footing.
"Just join, see, be curious and learn!"
What did you gain personally from joining YWPDK and by contributing to the network?
Lots. A non-conclusive list comprises: friends, professional connections, insights, learnings and knowledge within my fields of interest and even better way beyond my professional scope, skills on organizational development and leadership, the value of good communication, fun experiences, and much more.
What would be your advice to anyone contemplating on increasing his or her activity in the network or even just joining?
On joining: Just join, see, be curious and learn! Joining the network is simple, is unconditional and comes with little expectations. On increasing her/his activity: If you want to be more active, share your idea, bring it forward or just share that you want to be more active. Make sure to communicate clearly your level of commitment and time. Don’t forget to have fun. Have fun!