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How to Grab Teens' Attention?

The participants in the AquaAlliance Online Forum have done a fantastic job researching the current challenges and potential solutions to the water crisis in their assigned country. This weekend, they will get a chance to consult with teens who are actual residents of their assigned country to get an inside view and verify their assumptions.

Designing awareness campaigns and fundraiser events to address the specific water crises among teens in their assigned school/country is not a small challenge. On top of local cultural sensitivity and political climate, they also have to contend with all that require people's attention. Nowadays, it will take a lot to motivate anyone to do anything!

Here are some ideas:

"Star" Power:

Can you get the principal or a beloved teacher involved? How about dressing up or using a paper cutout of a celebrity who is known for his or her efforts in fighting the water crisis? Matt Damon founded H2O Africa (; Justine Bieber launched the clean water company Generosity; Katy Perry supported Project Clean Water; Kristen Bell celebrated her birthday by supporting Charity Water; Jay-Z made a documentary (Water For Life). How can we motivate their fan base in the community to take action?

Mainstream Tastes with a Specificity:

The water crisis is global, but the specific challenges and solutions are local. Ghana is impacted by rapid urbanization, while Japan is facing an aging infrastructure and retiring skilled technicians. Germany is seeing increasing droughts, while Egypt is facing saltwater intrusions caused by rising sea levels. What do people in these specific communities care about? What are they willing to do?

Conflicts and Synergy:

Check the global, national and local calendars. Consider avoiding (or tagging on) an existing event or holiday. Find an organization or institution to partner with. Join a local movement or festival. For example, YETI provided self-service hydration stations to provide water at remote, hard-to-reach locations during many musical festivals.

Gamify Your Message:

People seek entertainment and run away from preaching sessions. Can you organize a competition? A treasure hunt? A bingo game? How about creating a "Splash of the Day" and inviting everyone to post a picture of their water-saving activity? Or announcing a "Thirst for Knowledge" fun fact of the day?

There are surely many ideas around that can bring SDG 8 to life. What are yours? The final proposals will be judged by their creativity, sustainability and fairness. Please join us in wishing the students to have some brainstorming fun this weekend!

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