THE WAY FORWARD FOR THE BOSPHORUS ENERGY CLUB’S YOUNG LEADERS IN ENERGY PROGRAMME

Istanbul, 26 November 2015

Prepared by Ersin Merdan at the request of Mehmet Ogutcu, Chairman, The Bosphorus Energy Club, and in consultation with several peers, for submission to the Young Leaders in Energy Programmeon 9 December 2015, only as a “food for thought”. This will benefit from your additional comments and suggestions.Please send them to me at ersin.merdan@kcl.ac.uk

What are the prominent examples of similar other programmes we can learn from?

Future Energy Leaders (FEL)under the World Energy Council

bec_young-leader_wayThe Council’s Future Energy Leaders form a community of exceptional young professionals who share a commitment to shaping the global energy future.

The Council’s community of young professionals is a network of exceptional individuals from across the globe who represent the different players the energy sectors is composed of, including government, energy industry, academia, civil society and social entrepreneurs.

The Council’s Future Energy Leaders’ program (FEL-100) is designed to help shape, inspire and grow energy leaders of tomorrow. It serves as a platform for engaging a limited number of ambitious young professionals in national, regional and international activities and events with the objective to inspire participants to become the next generation of energy leaders capable of solving the world’s most pressing challenges regarding energy and sustainability.

The Council’s Future Energy Leaders’ program (FEL-100) is designed to help shape, inspire and grow energy leaders of tomorrow. It serves as a platform for engaging a limited number of ambitious young professionals in national, regional and international activities and events with the objective to inspire participants to become the next generation of energy leaders capable of solving the world’s most pressing challenges regarding energy and sustainability.

FEL-100 participants are provided with the unique opportunity to create their own, personal networks of like-minded, equally motivated personalities today, and together become the energy leaders of tomorrow.

Global Youth Conferenceunder the World Energy Forum

The conference brings together students from around the world to discuss the future of energy, development, water, and the environment.

Delegates from all 193 United Nations member states are invited to exchange their ideas and engage with a distinguished panel of energy experts, government officials, and business leaders, who will be on hand to unveil the latest innovations and developments in their fields.

On the World Energy Youth Forum agenda are roundtables on transport efficiency and women and energy, an interactive case studies, and a day of student presentations and awards for the International Energy Ideas Competition. The entire campus community is invited to participate in the conference and Ideas Competition, from performing arts students and conservationists to scientists and entrepreneurs. The occasion will conclude with a star-studded benefit concert.

Prof. Harold Hyunsuk Oh, The President of World Energy Forum, stated the following:

“World Energy Youth Forum is founded on the conviction that engaging and empowering young people is the only way to create a sustainable world. It is about starting conversations and forging relationships across national borders, uniting around the goal of energy for all.”

“This is a decisive opportunity for our youth to shape the future of humanity and to network with their peers across the globe. We all look forward to an exciting conference.”

“World Energy Youth Forum (WEYF) is a preeminent international platform for global youth delegations representing the finest young minds in the fields of energy, development, water, and the environment. WEYF inspires and empowers the world’s youth to become ambassadors for a sustainable future.”

 

Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) under Masdar Institute

YFEL focuses on raising the awareness of students and young professionals in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability. This unique program, led by Masdar Institute, helps mentor future leaders in the fields of alternative energy by engaging them with the leaders of today. YFEL also offers young professionals and students from the UAE and abroad the opportunity to become more engaged in finding solutions to the world’s biggest challenges: energy efficiency and climate change.

Vision of the program is to be the world’s pre-immanent program that develops tomorrow’s leaders in the fields of advanced energy and sustainability.

Mission of the program is to educate, inspire and position students and young professionals to become future leaders capable of solving the world’s most pressing challenges in advanced energy and sustainability.

During the annual World Future Energy Summit held in Abu Dhabi each January, some of the world’s brightest students and young professionals engage in debate and discussions about the future of energy and seek sustainable solutions to the challenges of climate change.

Entry into the program is selective and highly competitive. Prospective candidates, from the UAE and around the world, need to demonstrate not only interest in future energy and sustainable development but the talent to make a real and ongoing contribution at the highest level.

How can we ensure that the “Young Leaders in Energy” programme will be ongoing?

The principal objective of the BEC initiative on “Young Leaders in Energy (YLE)” is to give a priority to the YLE-100 participants and make a significant contribution to fostering professional excellence in the field. The limitation of the size of the group to 100 participants is intended to allow an opportunityfor self-development of outstanding young professionals.

Through the YLE-100, the program participants can further their experience, knowledge and skills in an energy-focused environment and contribute to the YLE’sdialogue. This program is designed to build on the ideas and innovative potential of the next generation, and aims at helping young professionals to develop new ways of thinking and framing the future of sustainable energy.

For the contribution to the YLE program and follow-up activities, an advisory committee should be created, who are comprised of YLE participants in an effort to make sure that young energy professionals can get involved in the decision making process as well as gain in-depth knowledge by engaging with distinguished professionals who are leaders in the industry.

Allowing young professional to participate in the decision-making progress would not only contribute to young professional’s managerial skills but also encourage them to take the initiative in working towards a more sustainable energy future which will require bold steps and firsthand experience. Creating a more inclusive platform that involves both young professionals and energy leaders at the forefront of the industry would serve the purpose of promoting greater interaction between prominent leaders in the industry and young professionals.

In order to guarantee the quality and continuity of the program for follow-up activities, each selected individual should be offered an opportunity to continue to benefit from program’s activities, initially for one year. This should be determined annually by his/her ability to demonstrate engagement and motivation. The average term forYLE leadersshould be awarded for three years. At the end of their tenure, program participants should receive a certificate and be invited to join the YLE-Alumni community and thus,remain part of the BEC’s YLE program’s global network.

Some of the following opportunities can be provided to the YLE participants: 

  • Attend the opening and closing ceremonies of the 23rd World Energy Congress.
  • Contribute to debates featured in the YLE follow-up program.
  • Engage in proposed educational courses such as leadership, policy and technical courses.

To encourage responsibility, self-determination and leadership, YLE Board as well as Young Professional Network Committee should be created among the participants of the program to develop the work program and event agenda. The Board should consist of members representing the BEC regions. Within the YLE board –Development Committee and Studies Committee- should also be built to help shape the direction and content of the YLE’s engagement in years to come.

How to organize funding for its operation? What options are available?

The Young Leaders in Energy program provides valuable opportunities for partners and sponsors. Supporting the YLE-100 will enable the organization to inspire, engage and empower exceptional young professionals to become tomorrow’s leaders. However, many companies may be reluctant to sponsor the initiative such as YLE for various reasons. It could be a good idea to form a group of volunteers to visit several potential companies and institutions in order to convince them to get involved in such sponsorship. This may, of course, be time consuming and challenging task for the volunteers. The following suggestions may help the volunteers to state while convincing the companies.

  • Potential sponsor organizationswill enable to:
  • Demonstrate commitment to the future of energy leadership
  • Work with and access top talent across the energy sector worldwide
  • Be a catalyst and provide endorsement for new ideas, innovations and solutions within the energy sector
  • Benefit from extensive visibility and outreach across the YLE’s global network, at events and within the YLE’s work program.
  • As sponsor organizations can benefit from all public relations and media campaigns, press materials, brochures, event websites, and program.
  • Sponsor organizations can be given an option to create a special session on topic of their choice for future programs.
  • Sponsor organizations can have personalized meetings with distinguished corporate executives and/or government officials.

 

What specific activities can be arranged for professional development?

The YLE will be unique in creating role models and identifying young professionals who can contribute to the energy sector. Even more importantly, YLE will play an instrumental role in contributingthe human capital. Therefore, the YLE program should be expanded beyond the one-day event.  There should be workshops as well as a case study competition.  Selected winners then could have the opportunity to attend the future energy forums.

The followings are some of the suggestions that can be pursued in the field of professional developments.

  • Participate in case study competition analysis to attend other international conferences throughout the year.
  • Educate YLEs in the fields of advanced energy and sustainability through short courses, workshops and seminars.
  • Provide opportunities for YLEs to share their innovative ideas in advanced energy and sustainability with their peers as well as industry, government and academic leaders.
  • Provide Networking opportunities with industry leaders and visit Energy Summits, such as World Future Energy Summit exhibition January 2016.

The following sets a good example for the points made above.

 

World Economic Forum initiative in the field of professional development
As a result of the 2013 Young Global Leaders (YGL) Program at the Annual Summit of World Economic Forum, a specific dialogue around reducing energy poverty in Myanmar was launched by 3 YGL’s. This dialogue aimed at tackling with ‘energy poverty reduction’issue by identifying solutions to increase Energy Access across the country. This example is one of the examples of how “Established YGL’s Initiative” aimed to make a positive impact on the global agenda by engaging with the YGL’s community. They brought their diverse skill-set to tackle a range of issue through Established YGL Initiative.

 

What themes and subjects should be covered in the future and which onesshould be given priority?

The Young Leaders in Energy program aims to inspire young people and help drive the future generation to deliver the energy system we need. Therefore, the following example themes would be appropriate to be included in the follow-up programs to be discussed and debated as strategic issues with the participation of young energy professionals.

  • New frontiers for oil and gas: are we ready? Do we need them?
  • Transitioning away from carbon energy: what are the alternatives?
  • Financing mechanisms for the development of small to mid-scale energy projects
  • The role of alternative transport fuels: what does the future hold?
  • The global master plan: Do we need one? What would it look like?
  • What technology can fundamentally change the power generation portfolio by 2050?
  • Moving towards a smart energy future
  • Energy without limits: meeting the needs of the poorest communities
  • The global geopolitics of oil and gas
  • Technical understanding of alternative transport fuels and improvement of professional skill set
  • New ways to influence investors, consumers and governments to act
  • What will drive the energy industry in future