Tanya Jacobsen works as a project manager within Water and Climate Adaption at State of Green. She has a MA in International Business Communication and Intercultural Market Studies from Copenhagen Business School.
What is your motivation for working with water?
I am not a typical water professional as I do not have a water related technical background. But it’s an area which I find quite interesting and as a communications professional, I find that it’s something most people can relate to and have an opinion about – whether you are a politician setting the framework conditions, a water intensive industrial company or even a private water consumer.
What are the greatest aspects of your job?
I get to work with people from all over the Danish water sector and meet people from all over the world which has given me quite different perspectives to water issues.
One of the things my job entails is to create customized site visit programs for foreign delegations wanting to learn from the Danish experience within the water sector or related industries. This has allowed me to get insights into both a broad range of Danish water technologies and application areas but also the actual challenges other countries are facing when it comes to water. In my job, I consider it one of my finest tasks to be the link between the two so that hopefully the foreign delegations will actually take home some valuable insights on how to improve e.g. their water supply or wastewater treatment system but that we have also helped “open the door” for the Danish companies to be the ones to help them achieve these improvements.
For the individual companies, their focus is of course to sell their particular products. But for a water utility from another country, they are often looking at a much broader picture: They might not be that interested in individual components as they want a fully functioning system, or they might be facing regulatory barriers which make it less attractive for them to buy products with a higher initial price but a lower lifecycle cost. So we try to give them insights into both the relevant framework conditions that exist here in Denmark and put the individual products into a broader context for them.
What are your thoughts on the challenges that we face as young water professionals in the coming years?
I think water will definitely be an issue which will continue to be high on the global agenda for the coming years – but the challenges vary a lot from region to region and will probably continue to do so. We see that very clearly in the delegations we receive. For some countries, they might be interested in copying the Copenhagen Harbour Baths to their own city, while for others it’s simply about securing proper access to clean drinking water or adequate sanitation. So our challenge is to find the right balance in what we are communicating to each particular group.