Q&A with Randolf Waters, Senior Director, Global Partnerships & Branding at Xylem
Young community leaders are the key to solving our climate and water challenges, and we need your help to celebrate these individuals. From November 8-21, Manchester City and Xylem are calling on football fans and the general public to vote for the young community leader project they find most inspiring, with projects ranging from improving water access in underserved communities in Cape Town to empowering water activism in Sao Paulo. Xylem Making Waves spoke with Randolf Waters, Senior Director, Global Partnerships & Branding, to find out more about these projects and the heroes behind them.
Q: This vote is all about spotlighting the young leaders helping to address water challenges in their communities. Tell us more.
Randolf Waters: Exactly! This is one of our latest initiatives with our partner City Football Group, to engage more young people about the world’s water challenges. Earlier this year, we launched the ‘Water Heroes Academy’ to educate and inspire young leaders to help solve water challenges in their communities using the power of football. Now, we are shining a light on their hard work by inviting fans to vote for the one they find most inspiring. We want to spread the word about these incredible young people who are making a hugely positive impact. In doing so, we hope to inspire more football fans to get involved and drive positive changes on a global level.
Q: What kind of projects are the young leaders involved in?
Randolf Waters: These passionate, creative young leaders are working in their communities to solve water and sanitation challenges that directly affect their cities. So, for example, we have a team exploring how to address water pollution and urban flooding in New York. Another team in Mumbai is focused on safe sanitation and hygiene to keep kids healthy at school. And another is looking at ways to advance water sustainability education in Shanghai through the special education schools. Each project is unique and rooted in the needs of the local community.
Q: On that note, what opportunities will be provided to the top voted project?
Randolf Waters: When the fans have had their say, the top-voted project will win the opportunity for three young leaders to travel to Manchester for a once-in-a-lifetime experience which will include watching Manchester City in action at the Etihad Stadium, learning more about water challenges and solutions, and receiving further training on using the power of football to improve the health and wellbeing of young people in their communities.
In addition, each ‘Water Heroes Academy’ project receives seed funding, educational tools, training, and mentoring from Xylem and Cityzens Giving, giving young leaders all they need to create and sustain their own unique programs.
Q: Where to next for Xylem’s partnership with City Football Group?
Randolf Waters: At Xylem, our focus is on solving the world’s toughest water challenges. But we need to work together with the general public and with the local utilities, businesses and governments. Our partnership with City Football Group is about elevating awareness, inspiring action, and celebrating impact on water, with a particular focus on engaging young people. Much like football, solving water is a team sport and we are excited to see what we can achieve together.
To hear the story of each project and to vote, visit www.mancity.com/waterheroes