World Youth Perspectives


The next generation of water practitioners and leaders is increasingly visible at international water fora. The World Youth Perspectives activity aims at bringing together experts, professionals, researchers, and students from various countries to interact and share experiences within themes of the EauMega Conference. It will give them the opportunity not just to interact, but to also learn from their experiences. The session, based on water challenges and solutions, is a medley of discussion, presentation, pitch. This formal, yet informal setup will make it easier to break the ice and connect with peers and experts from across different domains.

The idea of the World Youth Perspectives session is to be interactive, including audience discussions and presenting, besides the speakers. For this purpose, it is considered youth representatives on 4 thematic areas that resulted from the Pre-Conference with the focus on SDG6 in Megacities. There will be intercalated pitches and presentations on the 4 challenges proposed below and 4 possible solutions of mentioned challenges:

  1. SDG 6 targets 1 and 2 – Drinking water/Sanitation and hygiene;
  2. SDG 6 targets 3 and 4 – Wastewater and Quality/Water use and efficiency;
  3. SDG 6 targets 5 and 6 – Integrated water management/Water-related ecosystems;
  4. SDG 6 targets 6.a and 6.b – Cooperation and capacity building/ Participation (knowledge of the technical and social conditions).

January 13th at 11h00 (CEST)

  • 0-5 mins – General introduction, introduction of speakers.  
  • 5-27 mins – Pitches/presentations on the 4 challenges by speakers with the focus on SDG6 in Megacities.  
  • 27-43 mins – Discussion in 4 groups on the above mentioned thematics.  
  • 43-64 mins – Presentation of the results by the groups.  
  • 64-85 mins – Pitches/presentations on the 4 solutions by speakers (How the organizations responded/solved the challenges they have presented in the first part of the sessions?)  
  • 85-90 mins – Closing remarks.  


Mariana Balderas graduated as an industrial designer from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM, in 2012. She is currently R&D Director at Isla Urbana, where she develops products and services that propose environmental preservation and social well-being through design, specializing in rainwater harvesting technology. She is co-founder of the Design and Activism cooperative in Mexico City, a group of designers that foster resilience and autonomy through collaborative design practice.

Michael Aniekan Johnson is a member of the Steering committee of the IWA young water professionals Chapter in Nigeria. He holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree, with several certifications from water-related development partners. His dissertations were written in support of clean water and sanitation (SDG #6) where he worked with membranes, and Life below water (SDG #14) respectively. Both were successfully published. Throughout his work experience, he has successfully contributed to the water sector in numerous capacities. Michael completed a successful internship with the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), as well as International Institute for Development Research (IDR). Additionally, he provided technical assistance through an innovative solution that provided safe drinking water for about 20, 000 children in Nigeria. He is currently with a development organization, and when he is not working, he can be found in, near, or on the water – swimming, fishing, or playing beach soccer.

Randolf Waters is Director of Global Branding & Partnerships at Xylem. In this role, he leads the purpose-driven partnership with Manchester City FC and other sports icons to “challenge water complacency amongst one billion people globally” and is responsible for managing the portfolio of 40+ product brands. He joined Xylem in 2015 and has held several roles of increasing responsibility across corporate strategy, M&A, strategic marketing, and government relations. Randolf also works closely with the International Water Association (IWA) on a number of topics, including amplifying youth voices in solving global water challenges. He is an IWA Fellow and an Aspen Institute First Movers Fellow, and graduated with a BS and MS in Water Resources Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Yang Villa is a water innovation evangelist who works to bring complex water issues and innovative solutions into the mainstream. Prior to becoming Head of the Philippines for the global water innovation consultancy Isle Utilities, Yang led water infrastructure and innovation projects across Southeast Asia. His recent projects include ADB COVID-19 & Water Guidance Note and World Bank Utility of the Future program. Yang is a compelling youth voice through his prolific work with the International Water Association (IWA), Academy for Political Management, and Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking. He co-founded the Philippine Young Water Professionals for which he was recognized as an under-30 environmental champion in 2018, SDG-6 Youth Champion in 2019, and finalist for the IWA Young Leadership Award in 2020. Yang graduated from the University of the Philippines – School of Economics and has trained under the International WaterCentre and University of California Berkeley.


Mr. Mr. Jedrzej Bylka, Youth Steering Committee representative, Adjunct Assistant, Poznan University of Technology

Ms. Liudmyla Odud, Youth Steering Committee representative, Environmental Engineer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)