Powering Progress Together 2018 continues discussions on more and cleaner energy
MANILA, Philippines – How do you provide more but cleaner energy to meet the world’s growing demands?
This is the shared challenge that everyone is facing right now. And this is the focus of Shell Powering Progress Together 2018 – how to provide more energy that can power economies while reducing emissions.
Powering Progress Together returned to Singapore for the second year last March 8. Business leaders, representatives from the government sector, academics, entrepreneurs and students joined Shell executives at the Changi Exhibition Center to talk about technology, powering economies, and energy solutions.
“Energy is a vital hidden ingredient in almost every economy, and cities are the biggest users of energy” said Goh Swee Chen, Chairman, Shell Companies in Singapore and Vice President, City Solutions – New Energies. “It’s clear to us that something is going on. The world needs more energy.”
Shell wants to continue playing an active role in ensuring that there’s enough energy for all to develop and progress.
“Powering Progress Together is important because it is a venue for us to bring people with bright ideas together to discuss, debate and engage on the important topic of delivering more energy and cleaner energy,” said Goh.
Imagining future scenarios
For companies such as Shell, developing possible scenarios about the future is a key component in making important decisions, where 10-15 years is considered a medium term while 50 years, long term.
This is the kind of mindset they want to impart with the young people of today. Through the Imagine the Future Scenarios Competition, students from Asia Pacific and the Middle East were challenged to develop contrasting scenarios based on the theme: “More and cleaner energy in urban Asian and Middle Eastern homes in 2050: How we live, work and play.”
“We launched this competition to engage with young people on a very difficult topic – the future,” said Doug McKay, Vice President, Government Relations Asia-Pacific. “Scenarios are not predictions but they provide plausible, fundamental views.”
Students from Yale-NUS College in Singapore and their vision of ‘A Binary World vs A Dispersed Planet’ emerged as the winner.
“Regardless of which world we find ourselves in, we think the energy sector should work more closely with data-centered industries and start forming strong ties today because these sectors are what would be driving the energy consumption in the future,” said Joshua Phua, a representative from Team Singapore.
The role of technology for better living
Does technology improve lives?
This was another question that needed answers during a discussion featuring the following panelists:
- Mark Gainsborough, Executive Vice President of New Energies, Shell
- Dr. Cheong Koon Hean, CEO, Housing & Development Board , Singapore
- Salma El Maghraby, a student from The American University in Cairo
- Steffen Endler, Senior Vice President, Head of Digitalization Hub, City Account Director Singapore Siemens Pte Ltd
- Alexandre Lalumiere, Director, Asia Pacific & Japan Client Sales for 3D Printing HP Inc.
- Nathan Subramaniam, Director, Sector and Projects Division Independent Evaluation Asian Development Bank
“Technology is impactful. It shapes my perspective on how my world is going to look like and how I can be a part of it,” said Salma El Maghraby, a student from The American University in Cairo.
For Dr. Cheong Koon Hean, CEO of Housing & Development Board (HDB), however, technology is only good if you are responsible. “Technology is just an enabler. Technology alone doesn’t improve lives.”
One good way to use technology, according to Dr. Cheong, is by building smart and sustainable towns – a goal that HDB has for Singapore’s fiber-enabled homes.
Mark Gainsborough, Executive Vice President of Shell New Energies, couldn’t agree more. “We are in danger of wasting resources because of our obsession with technology. What we should be obsessed with is improving lives,” he said.
So, through Shell’s #IdeaRefinery Accelerating Accelerator Programme, innovative start-ups are empowered to develop solutions to better generate and use energy for a more sustainable future.
“We should all get together to innovate and think about and develop solutions to power progress together,” said Goh Swee Chen.
Watch the highlights of the forum on top of this article. – Rappler.com