On the Road to Dakar, Recruiting the Voices of Youth for the World Water Forum

March 22, 2021

GWA Webinar Series

Register Here

GWA Webinar Series 

On the Road to Dakar, Recruiting the Voices of Youth for the World Water Forum

When: March 22, 2021 | 12:00PM - 1:30PM EDT  | Register


On March 22, 2021, GWA will hold a Webinar to create awareness and motivate young people to contribute to the success of the World Water Forum 2022 (WWF) through active involvement with water organizations from around the world. This Webinar is also intended to motivate young people to come to Dakar and participate in the Forum itself.

The World Water Council and the government of Senegal will hold the WWF in Dakar on March 21-26, 2022. The theme of this Forum is “Water Security for Peace and Development”. This Forum, organized every three years, is the world’s most important water event. It is centered on multi-actor exchanges build upon a combination of thematic, political, regional and citizen processes.


★ To provide more opportunities for youth to participate in planning the WWF;

★ To strengthen working groups for the WWF by ensuring youth representation and facilitating their ability to present youth issues;

★ To initiate intergenerational dialogue on the key Thematic Priorities of the Forum;

★ To give youth the opportunity to present their experiences and perspectives on the issues to be addressed at the WWF;

★ To strengthen collaboration and exchanges between young people;

★ To motivate young people to come to Dakar and actively participate in the Forum itself.


#1 "Water Security and Sanitation
#2 "Water for Rural Development"
#3 "Cooperation
#4 "Means and Tools"

Webinars are organized in different sub-regions of the world. This consists of panels for young people to share their concerns, experiences and recommendations on the thematic priorities of the Forum. The participation of senior actors is not excluded, as it can help launch intergenerational dialogues on issues of concern to young people


Speaker 1: Kelly Bridges

Kelly Bridges is a Senior Associate at Global Water 2020, a DC-based advocacy and facilitation initiative working to solve critical challenges in the global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. Kelly works across the organization’s portfolio, leading efforts to integrate WASH and health investments, policies and programs, as well as advocate for water security for conflict prevention, stability and resilience. Kelly graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Science, Technology and Society, concentrating in Energy, Environment and Technology; after which, she pursued her MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management at the University of Oxford. In her final year at the University of Pennsylvania, Kelly served as Program Manager of the Global Water Alliance. She has also worked in various capacities with the Environmental Law Institute, Catholic Relief Services, World Wildlife Fund, Samaj Pragati Sahayog, and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment. In February 2020, Kelly began a 3-year tenure as the Young Professional Representative Director on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Peacebuilding Association, a professional association of over 400 members across 60 countries. Kelly is also a Climate Reality Leader with Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, having been trained by Mr. Gore himself in Mexico City in March 2018.

Speaker 2: Nalat Phanit Black

Nalat Phanit Black is the Sustainable Development Goals Director at the United Nations Association of USA, Atlanta Chapter. She was the Chapter’s President (2015-2017) and has been a member of the UNA network for over ten years. Nalat has over a decade of nonprofit leadership and project management experience, working in communications, nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, and environmental sustainability. She believes that when human development and the natural environment work in harmony, basic human needs would be met by all, lessening the potential for human rights violations, and creating a more peaceful world. She was featured in VoyageATL Hidden Gems in April 2020 for her work with UNA-Atlanta. Nalat holds a Master of Environmental Studies degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from City University of New York: Baruch College and Macaulay Honors College.


Speaker 3: Anastasia Shown

Anastasia Shown is a lecturer, social worker and global diversity consultant. She regularly teaches international social work courses at the University of Pennsylvania in the School of Social Policy & Practice. She completed her BA at Indiana University and the University of Ghana, majoring in Women’s Studies. She earned her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Shown has designed and implemented community and school-based programs to educate the public about less commonly known world regions. She has worked with 100+ K-12 schools, colleges, nonprofits, professional associations and government agencies in Philadelphia, the nation, and abroad. Shown had led academic and service-learning programs in Ghana, Cameroon and Ethiopia. She was awarded the Global Young Advocate Award by the United Nations Association of America, a Fulbright-Hays grant, the Centennial Partner Award by International House Philadelphia and a Globy Award for Educational Leadership. She is an alum of Up with People International and has served on the Board of Directors for the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia, the Global Philadelphia Association, and the Yonso Project Model School.

Speaker 4: Jordan Ermilio

Jordan Ermilio has been directly involved with the engineering design and implementation of community development projects in countries throughout Southeast Asia, Central America, and Africa. He served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines and has worked with Oxfam International in East Timor. He is the co-founder of the Villanova Engineering Service-Learning Program and is currently the director of the Center for Humanitarian Engineering and International Development. He has degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Water Resources Engineering from Villanova University, and he completed his Ph.D. with the Water Engineering Development Center at Loughborough University in the UK. His current research includes developing metrics to evaluate the sustainable management of water infrastructure and he is a strong advocate for participatory research that includes water utility operators in developing communities. He is happily married and has two children, a boy (age 12) and a girl (age 10).

Program Description
The Center for Humanitarian Engineering and International Development engages students and faculty in unique learning opportunities that reinforces engineering fundamentals, a commitment to life-long learning, and service to society. Built on the success of the Villanova Engineering Service-Learning program, this new center integrates curriculum, research and outreach within the college and creates interdisciplinary opportunities within the university.