SES2019 – Students with passion and motivation empowering energy transition

International student energy summit, SES 2019, was organised by a group of students with the help of Student Energy, a global charity empowering the next generation of leaders who will accelerate the energy transition. This year the interdisciplinary and multicultural summit gathered 650 delegates from over 100 countries around the world together with the opportunity to engage with over 50 academic, industry and policy leaders.

I came to know about SES 2019 while attending the CEM10/MI-4 ministerial meetings and with the support of VTT was able to participate as a Finnish delegate to SES 2019. The biggest takeaways of the summit for me could be divided into two categories of valuable skills and knowhow for the youth and highlights of the issues we need to solve and possible solution to the climate crisis.

Challenging traditional beliefs

The valuable skills for accelerating the energy transition include independent thinking, entrepreneurial and communication skills. Especially the entrepreneurial skills were highlighted as launching a start-up encompasses endless possibilities to gain experience. We should especially not be afraid of mistakes as those are truly the experiences worth acquiring.

Petra Raussi

Equally important are passion and diversity, we cannot combat the climate crisis while fighting in silos. The summit excellently displayed this by bringing together delegates and leaders from different fields, backgrounds, and locations around the world. Especially the youth must be brave enough to ask hard questions and challenge traditional beliefs to go beyond the obvious with our efforts to accelerate the energy transition. 

Secondly, the summit reminded that not everyone in this world has enough knowledge and awareness to make the right choices, even if they wished to do so, and people with awareness should have the patience to share the knowledge among their networks. Patience is the key, as we are not always paying the true price of energy rather the costs are circulating via multiple avenues. Combined with financing structure’s high interest on short-term goals, for instance, energy efficiency incentives have been majorly targeting the purchasing phase, while maintenance and overall asset management play also role in the energy efficiency of goods and services.

Opportunity to work in a multicultural environment

The multicultural and interdisciplinary environment was at the heart of the summit, I am amazed how by attending the summit I have had a chance to connect with people from all over the world from US and Canada to Guatemala, Liberia, and Madagascar. Diversity of the summit made the Innovation Jam even more special by providing an opportunity to work in a group with representation from all regions. Overall, the summit was an incredible showcase of what young people with passion and motivation can accomplish. The gala dinner alone organized at the Natural History Museum in London under the blue whale skeleton admirably organized and I am ecstatic to have connected with these likeminded people around the world.

Petra Raussi
Research Scientist

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