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Akvo launched at Stockholm World Water Week 2007. Thomas Bjelkeman, founder of Akvo, spent his days demonstrating Akvo to partners and funding groups.

The response to Akvo at Stockholm World Water Week has been amazing. Thomas has been engaged in constant conversation with people keen to understand how we can help them, meetings that were scheduled for fifteen minutes have turned into hour-plus marathons and our posters keep getting stolen from the toilets.

Many people have asked us to provide them with a write-up on our launch week that they can publish elsewhere, so below we’ve prepared three versions of our story this week – a long, short and tiny version (the latter for the lady who wanted Akvo in 100 words!). Feel free to repurpose for whatever you like. There’s more on Akvo around this blog and on the ‘about Akvo’ tab if you need more. You can view and download photos for use in media articles here.

LONG VERSION (310 WORDS)

Akvo launches at Stockholm World Water Week

Talk of the town at World Water Week has been Akvo, an ambitious project to transform the way water and sanitation development is organised in the poorest parts of the world. Launched with a blitz of dazzling Bollywood and African-movie themed marketing, it aims to become the definitive, Internet-based, global online water and sanitation resource and collaborative platform. According to founder Thomas Bjelkeman, a Swedish social entrepreneur with a background in computer technology, Akvo’s goal is “to provide free and open working knowledge, a collaborative community, micro finance solutions and a marketplace for the water and sanitation community.” Akvo’s plenary debate on Tuesday, moderated by Financial Times environment correspondent, Fiona Harvey, drew widespread and upbeat feedback on the need for such a system in the water sector.

The system is already online but still in development and resembles a Wikipedia and eBay for water, rolled into one. Bjelkeman’s backers include several key Dutch water groups, including Partners for Water and the Netherlands Water Partnership and this has reflected the initial content – NWP’s popular water and sanitation guides have been put online already. The system has much wider ambitions, however. “People from many kinds of organisations keep telling us they want to put their water and sanitation knowledge in one place where it can be shared and improved but have neither the infrastructure nor the time to do it. We make this process easy.”

The project team is unique. The system is co-developed in California and Sweden, marketing is managed from London and the Netherlands, while pilot projects are getting underway to drive change on the ground in India. Akvo is working with Delhi-based FODRA to publish and share mapping technology that has delivered dramatically improved returns on microfinance investment in the Pratap Nagar slum area.

The team is working actively to recruit new finance and implementation partners. More at www.akvo.org

SHORT VERSION (141 WORDS)

Akvo launches at Stockholm World Water Week
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Akvo’s dazzling movie-themed posters proved such a hit at World Water Week that delegates were seen removing them from toilets and walls as souvenirs. This poster, on the Akvo stand, survived its removal attempt.

Talk of the town at World Water Week has been Akvo, an ambitious project to transform the way water and sanitation development is organised in the poorest parts of the world. Launched with a blitz of Bollywood and African-movie themed marketing, it aims to become the definitive, Internet-based, global online water and sanitation resource and collaborative platform. According to founder Thomas Bjelkeman, a Swedish social entrepreneur with a background in computer technology, Akvo’s goal is “to provide free and open working knowledge, a collaborative community, micro finance solutions and a marketplace for the water and sanitation community.” Akvo’s plenary debate on Tuesday, moderated by Financial Times environment correspondent, Fiona Harvey, drew widespread and upbeat feedback on the need for such a system in the water sector.

The team is working actively to recruit new finance and implementation partners. More at www.akvo.org

TINY VERSION (107 WORDS)

Akvo launches at Stockholm World Water Week

Talk of the town at World Water Week has been Akvo, an ambitious project to transform the way water and sanitation development is organised in the poorest parts of the world. Launched with dazzling movie-themed marketing, it aims to become the definitive, Internet-based, global online water and sanitation resource and collaborative platform. According to founder Thomas Bjelkeman, a Swedish social entrepreneur with a background in computer technology, Akvo’s goal is “to provide free and open working knowledge, a collaborative community, micro finance solutions and a marketplace for the water and sanitation community.”

The team is working actively to recruit new finance and implementation partners. More at www.akvo.org