Blog.Jul 16, 2021

Local innovation on a global stage

For 25 years, an esteemed jury has chosen winners from around the world to be awarded the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. We spoke to Professor Krishna Pagilla about his time as a jury member and advice for new finalists.  

Why did you get involved with the Stockholm Junior Water Prize?  

Being an academic, my main focus is on training and educating students. The SJWP is a great pipeline to attract young students into water professions from around the world. The creativity of the young students who create projects to enter the SJWP is amazing and nurturing this creativity is my goal.

Has there been a standout moment for you as you reflect on your time as a jury member

All of my SJWP judging experiences have been inspiring due to the creativity and enthusiasm of the students, especially when you meet them in person. The standout moments are when you meet the students in person and they offer far more than what is in the report. In all the time I was a judge both at international level and national level, my unforgettable experience is the student team from Thailand who won the SJWP in 2016. Kudos to their teachers and mentors who guided them so well.

What has being a jury member taught you? What will you take with you as you leave the jury?  

Seeing the students from different countries making friends and supporting each other gives me hope that they not only will solve our water problems and protect the environment, there will be global connections that will ensure peace and prosperity for all. We need to expand the participation to more countries to ensure a global sustainable future.

If you could give advice to any prospective competitors, what would it be? 

Students should look around their own communities and environment for inspiration and ideas for their project. A project that meets local needs is more meaningful and has global implications.