Our mission to bring the people and issues involved in sorting out the world’s water and sanitation infrastructure takes another step this week. Myself and Luuk are running our fifth event.

Photo: UN-Habitat’s Taeko Yokota peers in as the fifth WaterCube takes shape. We go live on Wednesday morning. Hospital de Sant Pau complex. Barcelona, Tuesday 26 November 2013.

You’ll be able to watch our videos as we upload them, here.

This time we’re in Barcelona, at the GWOPA Global Congress. GWOPA is part of UN Habitat, the UN agency focused on improving human settlements.

GWOPA brings together water operators – it’s a network of all the organisations (and the people behind them) that plan, finance, build and maintain water infrastructure.

Using our familiar format, we’re going to interview lots of people here and put the interviews on YouTube. I’m hoping we’ll be able to bring out the personalities involved, and get a clear sense of how water operators are mixing new thinking with tried-and-tested techniques. I want to learn more about how these operators are learning from each other, and the issues they face. And most of all I want to understand once and for all what people mean when they talk about “capacity building” (it’s a favourite term in development circles).

In fact, no one will be allowed out of the Cube until they have helped explain to us what capacity building is really about.

I’ll write more about a couple of other aspects of our approach with WaterCube as the week moves on. Meanwhile, it’s back to setting things up. I’m grateful to the team at GWOPA for providing us with a very beautiful room in the lovely, newly converted Hospital de Sant Pau, a UNESCO Heritage site here in Barcelona. And for building us a Cube. I’m looking forward to the week ahead.