Next Generation
Water Action

the future of water by young academics and entrepreneurs

powered by DTU SKYLAB


Next Generation Water Action is a global initiative that engages 100+ young talents from leading universities and early stage start-ups. In 2021, participants from Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, South Korea, India, and Denmark, represented the next generation of water leaders. Combining their diverse backgrounds and skills, they developed bold ideas to solve the world’s most pressing sustainable water challenges. Stay tuned on our 2nd edition in 2022!


DTU Skylab together with DTU Environment brings forward a tailored virtual program, that  enables the participants to take action together with the corporate world, academic & public partners. They are not only supported with mentorship, industry insights and bootcamps, but also get a relevant stage to showcase and discuss their bold ideas with global decision makers. Selected teams are invited to promote their solutions at the IWA World Water Congress 2022 in Copenhagen!


While the burden of fixing the sustainable water challenges of the world should not be on the youth, there is no doubt that they should be represented in the discussions. It is, after all, the issues that have not been dealt with that they will inherit. We believe that by engaging our Next Generation in the global discussion about the future of the water sector, it is that we are heading towards a more sustainable future.

90+ students

5 challenges

6 nationalities

22 solutions

Academic Track

Our Young Academics Track connects more than 90 university students from leading technical universities.

In 2021, students from Denmark, Kenya, Ghana, Mexico, South Korea, and India joined forces to build the water solutions of the future. Working in 21 teams on solving 5 real-life challenges, we equipped the international students with the network, partnerships and tools to develop and showcase their sustainable water solutions. 

Entrepreneurial Track

Our Young Entrepreneurs track creates the platform for 10 selected water startups to connect and develop their startups.

In 2021, teams from Ghana, Kenya, Denmark, and India joined the Young Entrepreneurs Track, which supports the startups strategically in their journey. Not only do startups get access to the network that can boost their solution and business, they also train how to get the most value possible out of the network, finding the mutual benefit, and getting strong on pitching their water solutions.  

10 startups

2,5 months

60 years of experience

5 nationalities

Multihub Finals 2021

Next Generation Water Action 2021 was topped off by providing a global stage for our future water leaders – virtually across the globe and physically in our 5 partner countries.

Our Next Generation program not only supports participants with mentorship, industry insights and bootcamps, but provides a relevant stage to showcase and discuss their bold ideas with global decision makers at our Next Generation finals!  In a multihub setting, our grande final 2021 in Denmark was co-hosted by IWA Young Water Professionals Denmark and live-streamed to local partner hubs in each participating country. 20 selected teams pitched their solution to a jury panel of global decision makers whilst inviting the international audience to connect with them by providing sparring and mentorship. Find out more about the winning teams here!

Watch the whole

Finals 2021

Stay up-to-date on our initiative 2022!

Would you like to stay up-to-date on our initiative 2022, receive invitations to our (virtual) events and follow the journey of our young water ambassadors? Then we would love for you to join our Next Generation Water Action community. Sign up here!

World Water Day 2021

Fostering Innovation with Global Partners

The initiative is lead by DTU Skylab and DTU Environment, at the Technical University of Denmark, in partnership with IWAIWA Young Water ProfessionalsYWPDK, The Danish National Committee for IWA, the Embassy of Denmark in Ghana and Kenya, Innovation Centre Denmark in India and Seoul, university and industry partners.

Possible through support from the Ramboll Foundation and Poul Due Jensen Foundation.