The start of the Energy Challenge 2.0


Since 2019, the annual project of the Youth Day as a part of the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum, organized by HES UNECON, has been realized in the upgraded format of the Energy Challenge. It still holds the status of the International Business Congresses’ working project and has the support of the leading energy companies and organizations as Gazprom, Uniper, Wintershall Dea, Gasunie, Energy Delta Institute, OMV, Shell, Schneider Electric, ESMT, Expoforum, and others.

The Energy Challenge 2.0 officially started on April 1, 2020, with a qualification test. About 500 students from over the world applied for participation in the project and had to confirm their basic knowledge and skills by completing a qualification test. Over 270 candidates with good results have been enrolled in the Virtual Academy, the 1st stage of the project. 26 of them are representing the UNECON mater and PhD study programs.

The Virtual Academy is a free educational platform for the project’s participants. Academy offers an online program on different energy topics on base of UNECON’s platform for distance learning. The Academy was launched on April 15 and will last for three months with three study modules, final #project_challenge and online conference with middle and top management of the partner companies.

The Energy Challenge team from the Higher Economic School of UNECON prepared a very intensive new program. This year’s topic is “Energy 2020: back to the future”. The participants have access to the analytical and study materials, webinars and video lectures from the highly experienced experts and managers of partner companies and organizations. To test the knowledge participants have to complete several challenges during the modules.

Pavel Metelev, the deputy director of HES UNECON and the executive director of project, describes the main concept:

Experts are calling 2020 an important milestone on the road to our energy future.

We can already summarize and compare the expectations and results of the major energy events and trends, and corresponding strategies that were accepted and followed, since the beginning of this century. Global sustainable development and climate agenda have had a rough time. It has affected society in a broad sense, through policies and regulations on different levels and in every corner of the energy business. We can draw valuable conclusions from this analysis.

2020 will renew all settings for the future. It’s time to look forward and determine what kind of world we want to live in for the next 20-30 years. This year, we need to take a comprehensive look at the decisions that will form the foundation of our energy future. Giving the uncertainty in the industry energy companies have much on their agenda. `

Hindsight and foresight will collide in 2020 to determine what kinds of policies, strategies, and investment decisions should be taken right now to ensure our safe and sustainable future.”

The organizers designed three study modules, each focusing on a special aspect. The program includes about 17 online webinars.

Module 1. Hindsight (April 15 – May 6)

Module 2. Foresight (May 7 – May 27)

Module 3. Insight (May 28 – June 17)

At the end of the third Module, the VA CONFERENCE 2020 is planned with the participation of the middle and top management of the partner companies. Its topic: “Energy industry and black swans. Where are we now and how it will shape our energy future?”

The participants will have additional time to prepare the final challenge and present their own research or technical projects. The partner companies will be called to the expert review.

According to the results of the Virtual Academy, about 50 best students will be invited to the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum to participate in the Youth Day events, the 2nd stage of the project. The format of the final events will be designed, adapted, and realized according to the current global situation.


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