The Global Student Voice on the Future of Energy  


Read solutions to the 10 "Unsolvable" Energy Problems - visit www.10unsolvables.org! 



“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.” - John W. Gardner 

Comprised of members from around the globe, and inspired by the ISES 2011 theme of the “Evolving Energy Ecosystem,” the Student Assembly Team engages stakeholders within their home regions to gain insight into a vision of a sustainable energy future. The Student Assembly aims to unravel the strands of competing interests of stakeholders, limitations of technology and other forces that prevent the transition to an ideal future. These seemingly “unsolvable” problems were voted on by delegates prior to ISES 2011 in Vancouver and presented by the Student Assembly on the first day. They are as follows:

  1. Most regions, particularly developing countries are experiencing significant energy demand growth which puts pressure on global fossil fuel consumption.
    Muhammad Iqbal, Indonesia, representing Asia

  2. In developed countries existing systems and infrastructure creates resistance to adoption of renewables.
    Iris Ferguson, USA, representing USA

  3. Lack of public awareness creates barriers to long term thinking about energy.
    Nuseir Yassin, Israel, representing Middle East and Africa

  4. Existing energy generation through renewables is not competitive with current carbon intensive energy sources.
    Salomon Theinert, Germany, representing Europe

  5. Insufficient mitigation of short and long term risk associated with nuclear generation and waste disposal.
    Salomon Theinert, Germany, representing Europe

  6. Disagreement on responsibility between the developed and developing world to transform the way energy is produced and used.
    Mats Van Kleef, Canada, representing Canada

  7. Energy efficiency is not being embraced to the required degree due to political, financial and cultural drivers despite significant savings potential.
    Iris Ferguson, USA, representing USA

  8. High environmental degradation related to global diversification of fossil fuel extraction.
    Mats Van Kleef, Canada, representing Canada

  9. Lack of energy policy coordination among countries is impacting regional stability and is an obstacle to cohesive regional energy planning.
    Aswin Chandrasekharan, India, representing South Asia
  10. Policy and legal frameworks are not in place to enable and incentivize market-based mechanisms.
    Camilla Urdahl, New Zealand, representing Australia/Oceania


During the conference, The Student Assembly:

  • Engaged their cohorts in discussion and debate around the 10 "Unsolvables"
  • Collected thoughts and perspectives from delegates and speakers

The Student Assembly's findings will be presented on www.10unsolvables.org which embodies the conference’s legacy and represents a call to action for the student energy movement around the world. Stay tuned for the release on September 1st!

Meet the ISES 2011 Student Assembly!

Matheus Silva - South America (Brazil)

South America: Nowhere else one will find energy and ecosystem as entwined as in South America. How to cope with the ever-increasing energy demand without jeopardizing our rivers, the Amazon, our environment? I’m a Brazilian, Chemical Engineering... major and traveler. I want to found a world leading Chemical Company that focuses on emerging markets. We, the youth, are the changers of today and leaders of tomorrow’s energy industry!

Read Matheus' analysis of energy problems faced in South America by clicking here.


Salomon Theinert - Europe (Germany)

Hi everybody, I am Salomon from Germany representing Europe with a background in economics and politics. Of particular interest to me are the geopolitical consequences of modern energy supply and demand, as well as the chances, options and risks associated with recent efforts to shift away from fossil fuels. The ISES 2011 Student Assembly is an exciting opportunity, and I greatly look forward to working with all of you in the near future.

Read Salmon's analysis of energy problems faced in Europe by clicking here.


Camilla Urdahl - Australia (New Zealand)

Camilla is representing the Australasian region and is studying Energy Management at Massey University. She is just completing research related to the application of IT for energy efficiency gains, but has an interest in energy issues related to supply chain management, production processes, product design and consumption patterns.

Read Camilla's analysis of energy problems faced in the Australiasian region by clicking here.


Aswin Chandrasekharan - South Asia (India)

My primary interest is the technical aspect of environmental solutions. I specialize in energy auditing, feasibility analysis and business plans. I have worked as a mentor for the Global Challenge Awards and successfully mentored and completed over 8 environmental projects with teams from all over the world. Having primarily being involved with students, I’ve realized that the potential of youth and the magnitude of change that they can bring. I hope to create a youth momentum to implement the solutions for the ’10 Unsolvable Problems’.

Read Aswin's analysis of energy problems faced in South Asia by clicking here.

Steve Arowolo - Africa (South Africa)

Fellow delegates, I am Steve Arowolo from South Africa, I major in Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics. I am a postgraduate (MSc) Student at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa. I am representing Africa in the Student Assembly of ISES 2011. I am passionate about positive causes that has to do with the environment. It is a very rare opportunity to be part of this great community of articulate students drawn from all over the world. As we cross-pollinate ideas, let us do it with all the fervency of the spirit it deserves particularly as we concentrate on the urgency of the tasks.

Read Steve's analysis of energy problems faced in Africa by clicking here.

Nuseir Yassin - Middle East (Israel)

I developed an interest in renewable sources of energy around 4 years ago when I realized that the supply of energy might not suffice for future generations. I see great potential in the field of renewable energy sources as a substitute for traditional environmentally unfriendly sources of energy. As a citizen of a Middle Eastern country, I have great concern for the future of energy supply in this region. Having oil and natural gas as the sole suppliers of energy, Middle Eastern countries face the possibility of running out of oil supply. Because such countries have no dependency on renewable energy sources, immediate action should be taken by stakeholders in order to implement renewable sources in the region as soon as possible. My work with the student assembly will hopefully expedite the transition process from oil dependency to renewable energy sources.

Read Nuseir's analysis of energy problems faced in the Middle East by clicking here.

Iris Ferguson - North America (USA)

I am pursuing a masters in International Affairs & Economics with a concentration in Energy, Resources and Environment. Energy policy has long been a focus, with previous experience working on the US-India Nuclear Agreement on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as legislative research for the Natural Resources Defense Council. My most recent studies have focused on the development of smart grid pilot-projects within the United States and the application of renewables to the grid. I look forward to being exposed to the international and diverse perspectives that will arise from ISES. I plan on bringing the ideas generated from the conference back to the policy-makers in DC, working at the legislative level to realize the solutions to the 10 most unsolvable energy problems.

Read Iris' analysis of energy problems faced in the USA by clicking here.

Mats Van Kleef - North America (Canada)

Canada is the birthplace of ISES. Our vast regions of nature inspire us towards sustainability, realizing what it is we’re protecting. With great economic opportunity in the Alberta oil sands and our CANDU nuclear reactors comes great environmental and social responsibility. With his background in Energy Engineering and Management, Mats van Kleef encourages all delegates to consider both the technical and economic faces of the world’s energy problems

Read Mats' analysis of energy problems faced in Canada by clicking here.


Muhummad Iqbal - Asia (Indonesia)

I will represent Asia on this wonderful summit and I live at Jakarta, but my origin is from West Sumatra. Now I am a second year student of bioprocess engineering, Universitas Indonesia. My energy interest is about the alternative energy, especially bioenergy, according to my major. At campus, I like to do some research and make paper about this stuff. I also interested in environmental issues, in Indonesia, these sort of energy problems has been a common problem. That is why, our government created a vision for bioenergy target at 2025. I am glad we all will meet soon at ISES 2011. I hope I can learn as much as possible about world energy.

Read Muhammad's analysis of energy problems faced in Asia by clicking here.


Read about the transregional problems the Student Assembly compiled together by clicking here.


Questions about the Student Assembly? Contact Nick Choy (ISES 2011 Deliverable Coordinator) at nchoy@studentenergy.org.


Information Package

Click here to download the 2011 Information Package.

The Publication

How do students see the future of energy? Read the ISES 2009 Publication.

Student Energy

ISES is a Student Energy initiative.
Learn more about the movement.

ISES Updates

Click here to receive ISES updates.