Frequently Asked Questions

About the Event Experience

Q: Who is behind the Water Innovation Lab Europe?

A: The Water Innovation Lab Europe is an initiative of Waterlution and co-hosted with Engage! Interact, a Dutch social enterprise.

Waterlution started in Canada and is building on the success of Water Innovation Labs that have been run there, as well as many water dialogues. Waterlution offers multi-stakeholder programming that enables young leaders, organizations, and communities to create inclusive and sustainable approaches to managing water. Click here to see who is making the Water Innovation Lab Europe possible.


Q: Is the Water Innovation Lab just another talkfest or can I really emerge with something new to build on?

A: There will certainly be dialogue yet there will also be tremendous skill and knowledge-building and ideas that will transform over the course of the Lab into prototypes and actions! The Water Innovation Lab Europe is not about a one-way transfer of information. The Lab is about drawing on the group’s collective wisdom, which is formed by individuals’ unique experiences and knowledge from across Europe. The Lab will also have technical gurus and established leaders on hand to help you develop your knowledge and stimulate ideas.

Everything about the Lab is designed to bring to the surface new thinking and solutions that can be implemented once you return to your place of work. Bottom line: you will leave the Lab with valuable new connections you can turn to in the years ahead.  Furthermore, you will experience a deep learning environment and opportunity for practice, helping you to embed your new skills and insights developed at the Lab. Oh, and by the way, you’ll have a great time!


Q: I don’t really see myself as a “water” person. Will I fit in?

A: You don’t need to be “immersed” in water issues to be a valuable contributor or to benefit from the Water Innovation Lab Europe. Simply by having an interest in protecting water for current and future generations, a desire to contribute your ideas, a craving to be a part of real-time innovation, and a need to make real connections with others, you will find your place. Check out the confirmed Resource Guests for the Water Innovation Lab Europe. Stay tuned for more announcements. 


Q: Why would I share my ideas with people I don’t know? Someone might steal it.

A: A basic tenet of innovation is the need to bring many ideas and divergent thinking to the cause, and to take the risk of sharing an embryonic creation in order to move it to fruition. Think about it this way: we need to share our ideas to get feedback in order to make an idea the best it can be. If you are concerned about protecting your intellectual property, talk to us in advance of the event and we will advise you regarding how much to share. The Lab is a great opportunity to get insight and advice in a short period of time to move your ideas forward. The Water innovation Lab Europe is a safe space where you and your fellow participants can support one another and work together based on mutual respect and accountability to one another.


Q: Who will be at the Water Innovation Lab Europe?

A: Participants and resource guests will be from diverse backgrounds and sectors. Stay tuned for more information.


Q: What is the schedule for the Water Innovation Lab?

A: The detailed schedule for the Lab is still being finalized. Confirmed participants will receive a schedule closer to the event. Here is the current schedule.


Q: If Waterlution is based in Canada, how are you prepared to deal with the European context?

A: Water Innovation Lab Europe has been designed with many partners who have helped shape the content for this Netherlands based Lab. Waterlution’s Water Innovation Lab hosted its first WIL Europe in Scotland in 2015. We are now taking our experience from this context and adapting it for the Netherlands.


Q: Why does this Lab focus on 20-35 year olds?

A: Our focus at Waterlution is supporting and developing the next generation of water leaders. For this reason our target audience usually ranges between 20-35 years of age. However, if you are drawn to the Water Innovation Lab and fall outside this age range, please be in touch by emailing: .

About Registration, Travel and Accommodations

Q: What is included in the registration fee? Are there any additional costs?

A: Thanks to our presenting partners we are able to keep the Lab registration fees low. The fee* for the entire event is:

225€ including VAT

Your fee covers: food, lodging, materials, travel on field tour day and all training.

We believe that this is exceptional value for money.

*Along with your fee, you are responsible for your travel costs to and from Amsterdam and to and from Nivon Natuurvrienden (Nature Friends).


Q: How do I register?

A:  Please fill in this form to apply for WIL Europe 2017.


Q: When do I need to register by?

A: The registration deadline for the Lab is Sunday February 26, 2017. Due to a high volume of applicants, the review committee will be conducting rolling acceptances until full (every 2 weeks starting from January 15th, applications will be reviewed. Acceptance based on quality of answers and diversity of applicants). 


Q: I would love to come to the Lab but I am from outside the Netherlands and concerned about costs. Can you suggest ways to ease the financial load?

A: If you have a receptive boss, make the business case for attending — your organization benefits when you develop your network and leadership and problem solving skills. See 4 Reasons Your Boss Should Support You in Attending the Lab. As for travel costs, once you’re registered, we can offer information on seat sales for air or train travel. If you would like a letter from us directly to your supervisor, please email us at and we will work with you, best we can, to get you what you need.


Q: Is there a central meeting place to travel together to the venue?

A: All selected participants will be sent a package in March on ways to get yourself to the Nivon venue or the meet at Schipol Airport or Amsterdam Train Station so people can travel together. Everything is very accessible with public transit once in the Netherlands.


Q: What happens if I have to cancel?

A: If you cancel on or before April 3, 2017, you can be refunded. After that date, we can no longer refund your fees.


Q: Where will the event be held and what are the accommodations like?

A: The Lab will be held at Nivon Natuurvrienden (Nature Friends)
Kampeerterrein Banjaert in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands. You and your fellow delegates will stay in shared rooms, divided by gender. It will be cozy, yet we have found that everyone enjoys the style of this type of accommodation.


Q: I have special food needs. Can I be accommodated?

A: Yes! The venue is well equipped to handle special food needs; just let us know what you need when you are accepted as a Lab participant. If you bring with you rare specialty foods, fridges will also be available on site to store your supplies.


Q: What should I pack for the event?

A: A list of things to bring will be sent to confirmed participants closer to the Lab to help prepare for an awesome time.


Q: Should I bring a laptop computer, tablet device, or camcorder? Will there be internet connection or WiFi available?

A: There will be an internet connection on site at Nivon Natuurvrienden. There will be downtime built into the Lab, when you can reconnect with the internet. We encourage participants, however, to immerse themselves in the experience, and ask that non-Lab related internet time be used sparingly.


Q: Can I receive academic credit by attending the Water Innovation Lab?

A: Unfortunately, participation at the Water innovation Lab Europe is not for academic credit. BUT the connections and experiences gained made at the Lab will be valuable to draw on during your studies.