Profile of the Month
Today, the water sector is a diverse and eclectic field and likewise unites a wide array of actors and professionals. The YWPDK is a network as diverse as the water sector itself. Particularly present challenges such as climate change call for professional perspectives and contributions to foster new thinking, new approaches and new practices.
Mathias joined the YWPDK back in January 2016 when he was searching for competent feedback during 6 months of field work among waste water workers. Many of our members have an engineering background. We appreciate Matthias’ perspectives and different approach to our activities planning and facilitating the 4th YWPDK conference 2018 and other projects.
Mathias, you have studied Anthropology. How did you get involved with water/the water sector?
I was hitchhiking from Aarhus to Copenhagen and got inspired by a consultant who was working within the water utility company.
Do you have an aspect, event, personal experience that triggered your interest to engage with the water sector also professionally?
I am especially fascinated about quality management systems and the organizational cultures within water utility companies. My master thesis focused on these aspects. My interest to engage professionally with water was sparked after I went to NORDIWA AARHUS 2017 and got in touch with several utilities who invited me to present my research.
You are not engineer unlike many of our members. Tell us more about your approach to water and the water sector.
In order to describe my approach, I need to resort to a black and white example. Let’s say we need to plan or a project to prevent storm flooding. The traditional engineering approach would focus on the issue of having too much water in a short amount of time and he or she will therefore seek to come up with a practical solution. Most of the time the solution looks like a linear step by step process, digging down a pipe that can move water from A to B.
"Honestly, I am not too fascinated about the technical stuff of what it does – what triggers my curiosity is how we can improve the structures and systems of how we do things."
On the other hand, the anthropological approach will explore and takes a look at how the step by step processes are connected, how we can reduce (read avoid) bottle necks in the decision-making and implementation processes. Honestly, I am not too fascinated about the technical stuff of what it does – what triggers my curiosity is how we can improve the structures and systems of how we do things.
Where do you work at the moment?
I am a developing consultant (Udviklingskonsulent) at Frederiksberg Gartner- og Vejservice. I work in the area of waste utility as well as maintenance and operation. My responsibilities and tasks comprise the development and implementation of the strategic and appertaining projects, for example GPS in vehicles, investments, inclusion programs, or work environment.
How does YWPDK play a role in your professional development/career and current occupation?
Well, despite not directly working within the water sector at my current job, I am glad to be part of the YWPDK for my own personal and professional development by sharing knowledge and learning myself from others across the utility sector. I love the small conferences where we talk, visit different utilities and spend lots of time together – best place to meet new like-minded people.
Share an idea with us and our members.
Take a look at my article from last year where I discuss the Utility tendency of getting ISO-certifications. https://www.altinget.dk/forsyning/artikel/antropolog-forsyningsledelse-traenger-til-et-ansigtsloeft