Registration opens, speakers announced for first-ever SEforALL Youth Summit
Registration is now open for the inaugural Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Youth Summit to be held from 9-11 February 2021. A virtual gathering organized by youth and for youth, the three-day Summit aims to empower young global leaders to support a just and inclusive energy transition in line with the Paris Agreement on climate. The Summit includes various sessions on energy access, dialogues with key leaders, breakout sessions, interactive networking and virtual fairs showcasing different career and academic options in the sustainable energy sector.
“If we’re to achieve a clean energy transition that supports climate action and closes energy access gaps, the innovation, commitment and drive of young leaders is not just desirable, it is essential. Whether you’re a high school student or a young professional, access to energy can allow you to achieve your full potential - from studying, job opportunities, opening your own business or simply enjoying life. Our aim is to create a conversation between youth and world leaders and start talking about sustainable energy that meets the needs of young people without compromising their future,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy.
A three-day masterclass on sustainable energy
Participants will have an opportunity to learn from and interact with global thought leaders in sustainable energy and climate change from the public and private sectors. Youth representatives from SEforALL, EM-ONE Energy Solutions, Clean Cooking Alliance, Student Energy and the SDG7 Youth Constituency have curated the sessions and handpicked the speakers.
“The SEforALL Youth Summit will kickstart an important year for the sustainable energy transition. Meaningful action requires close partnership and collaboration between the private and public sectors, and we are excited to play our part in putting youth at the heart of this vision to mobilize action for SDG7,” said Mir Islam, EM-ONE Energy Solutions CEO.
The Summit opens with introductory remarks by the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, followed by the Energy Dialogue with SEforALL CEO, Damilola Ogunbiyi, and youth climate and energy actors including Vanessa Nakate, UN Young Leaders for the SDGs and Ana Sophia Mifsud, Rocky Mountain Institute Senior Associate. Moderated by TIME Magazine’s Energy and Environment Reporter, Justin Worland, this session will discuss how leaders can ensure that energy is included in vital youth-led conversations happening across the globe.
More world leaders are expected to join the Summit including the United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Jayatma Wickramanayake, who will chair the SDG7 Youth Roundtable. Bringing together young climate and energy activists to discuss the importance of clean energy transition to the youth Climate Action movement, a set of tangible next steps and recommendations will be agreed upon for better convergence of the clean energy transition on Climate Action.
In a series of lightning chats, other young energy leaders like Anunya Bahanda, Fossil Free Penn, Chelsea Tucker, L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women In Science Awardee Waste to Fuel, Chebet Lesan, BrightGreen Renewable Energy, and Chiagozie Udeh, UN Major Group for Children and Youth SDG7 Focal Point, will also engage in bite-sized conversations with key leaders in the sustainable energy industry, including the President of the 75th UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkır, and SEforALL’s newly-appointed Administrative Board Chair and Enel Group CEO and General Manager, Francesco Starace.
To encourage participants to connect with their peers and sustainable energy advocates, registered participants can join one of the five breakout sessions, where they will be free to share their insights and goals on the following topics:
- Women Breaking the Glass Ceiling in the Energy Sector
- Young Energy Innovators Disrupting the Energy Access Supply Chain
- Artificial Intelligence, Data and the Future of Electrification
- Powering Industrialization in the Global South through Clean Energy
- Fueling Action on Clean Cooking
SDG7 innovation finale
Finally, the three youth finalists, who submitted the most innovative ideas to the SEforALL Youth Summit Call for Proposals will present their SDG7 proposals live during one of the sessions in the Summit. Pre-judged by sustainable energy experts and members of the Summit taskforce, one winner will be announced after the presentations. A cash prize of USD 2,500 will be awarded to the winning group or individual to help jumpstart their proposal.
Exploring career and academic options in the energy sector
Participants will also have the chance to explore academic and professional career options in the energy sector during the three-day Summit. Two virtual fairs running for two hours each will showcase presentations from leading universities and employers across the globe. Sustainable energy-related organisations from the public and private sectors such as ASEAN Centre for Energy and Clean Cooking Alliance will facilitate interactive discussions around the types of roles they have in their companies, challenges they tackle and how their work fits into the broader sustainable energy and SDG7 challenge.
Meanwhile, universities including Columbia University SIPA (Center on Global Energy Policy), National University of Lesotho, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies and Birmingham Energy Institute will talk about key elements of their current energy-related programmes to get youth motivated about working in the sector. Universities may also share relevant information on scholarships, fellowships and/or other opportunities that increase accessibility to their programmes.
“Young leaders from around the world are pivotal to meet SDG7 by 2030. What they bring to the table is critical to ensure universal access to clean cooking and modern energy. That’s why we must empower and support them with opportunities and knowledge to become the world’s energy professionals and leaders of tomorrow,” said Dymphna van der Lans, Clean Cooking Alliance CEO.
The outcomes of the first-ever SEforALL Youth Summit will feed into key moments this year that SEforALL is leading to drive more ambitious action towards universal energy access, including the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy in September and the UN Climate Change Conference - COP26 - in December.
Interested participants are requested to register for the SEforALL Youth Summit here.