SES 2017 Recap
By Olivia Reshetylo
This year Student Energy hosted our 5th International Energy Summit in the beautiful city of Mérida, Mexico. In case you weren’t able to attend, or you want to relive the magic, here is what happened.
Over 600 students from 85 countries came together to discuss the future of energy, and work collaboratively towards a renewable energy future. Our insightful speakers from both the public and private sectors provided us with a deep dive into the current energy system and helped us brainstorm the potential future for the energy market.
The summit unofficially started with a day dedicated to our Chapters teams. Student Energy Chapters provide the opportunity for students to establish a branch of the organization on their university campus. We brought our Chapters together to talk about their past year, share their learning and brainstorm what the next year will look like. We are excited to now offer the opportunity to apply to be a Chapter to anyone interested. If you want to learn more about engaging in the Chapters program click here.
The official summit kicked off June 13th, with our opening ceremony at the incredible Péons Contreras Theatre. We had the privilege from hearing from the Governor of the State of Yucatan; C. Rolando Zapata Bello, the Minister of Energy; C. Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, the Director of UNAM; Dr. Enrique Graue Wiechers and Dr. Antonio Del Rio; the Director of the Renewable Energy Institute at UNAM. We also had the pleasure of hearing from various other government officials and community representatives. Overall, the State of Yucatan provided the warmest of welcomes and set the Summit off on the perfect note. We then gathered in the Pasaje Revolucion for drinks, dancing, and food to celebrate the commencement of the summit. Live music, laughs and new friends carried us into the evening and prepared us for the busy week ahead.
On June 14th our delegates arrived at our primary venue, the stunning Siglo XXI Convention Center where we kicked off the morning with an amazing address from Student Energy’s Executive Director Meredith Adler. We heard from amazing speakers like H.R.H Princess Abze Dijma to David Hochschild from the California Energy Commission. Our breakout sessions proved to be captivating and relevant as delegates got to cover topics from Carbon Capture to Technological Transition.
In the evening, we got the opportunity to socialize with some of our speakers and continue to expand their global networks with our recruitment fair that brought NGO’s, Allied Companies and International Agencies together for the networking opportunity of a lifetime!
A night on the town enjoying the incredible food and drinks that Mérida has to offer was the perfect way to wrap up a busy day at the Summit. Nothing brings people together like dancing under the stars.
Our next day was again filled with incredible speakers. We had the opportunity to hear from our incredible delegates during the Students on Stage session, where we learned about the amazing innovations and projects our delegates are currently working on. The rest of the day covered topics like “Energy Issues in Latin America” to “Renewable Energy Jobs and Skills” just to name a few.
Of course, we wrapped up the day with an Innovation Jam giving delegates the chance to be the ones on stage and pitch their ideas for a project or technology they think could contribute to achieving a sustainable energy future. As always, the exchange of ideas was amazing, and the innovation jam was a hit with all the delegates.
What better to follow the Innovation Jam, then our amazing Changemakers Panel. This Panel featured past SES participants and showed how they are now making an impact in their communities with regards to energy issues.
Our Closing ceremony was picturesque as delegates got to celebrate an amazing week and bond with their new friends from around the world.
Our final day together was spent at the Science and Technology Park where delegates got to participate in amazing hands-on workshops. From building wind turbines, to discuss the future of women in energy, our workshops were a huge learning opportunity for delegates to engage in their topic of interest.
Our four days together flew by, but from them, we created lasting relationships and memories that will help us achieve our goal of a sustainable energy future. Thank you delegates for another incredible Summit, we can’t wait to see where 2019 will take us!