The newly established International Vienna Energy and Climate Forum provided an opportunity to discuss best practices and present solutions to tackle climate change and achieve a green energy transition. Hossein Hassani and Nadejda Komendantova share their insights from a fireside chat at the event that focused on the role of young people in clean energy transitions.

During the recent International Vienna Energy and Climate Forum, we had the privilege of organizing and participating in a fireside chat that served as an inspirational and educational forum to encourage dialogue and collaboration to accelerate the global shift towards cleaner, more sustainable energy sources, while harnessing the passion and vision of youth to shape a greener future. This engaging event spotlighted the crucial role of young people in shaping a sustainable energy landscape.

The session featured a series of interactive dialogues between experienced experts and emerging young leaders, creating a bridge between knowledge and youthful innovation. Topics of discussion ranged from the contribution of youth in advancing clean energy technologies to overcoming barriers to their involvement in this critical sector. Participants delved into actual success stories of young trailblazers in clean energy, examining the powerful impact of their contributions.

Key themes covered included:

  • Strategies for youth to advance clean energy technology and practices.
  • Overcoming challenges young people face in clean energy initiatives.
  • Success stories of impactful youth leadership in clean energy.
  • Supportive initiatives and programs for youths in clean energy transitions.
  • Roles of education and government in preparing youth for a clean energy career.
  • Youth engagement with policymakers and communities for cleaner energy.
  • Noteworthy contributions by youth in certain regions or industries.
  • Innovations sparked by young entrepreneurs in the clean energy sector.
  • Fostering mentorship between professionals and young energy enthusiasts.
  • The future implications of youth involvement in clean energy transitions.
  • The importance of humanizing energy transitions through the inclusion of young perspectives.

The participants emphasized the importance of continuous dialogue, urging that sessions like this become a regular feature of events like the International Vienna Energy and Climate Forum to further engage youth in discussions on energy transition. It was widely recognized that such platforms are not only necessary, but also critical for a successful shift to more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy systems.

The enthusiasm and insightful contributions made by the younger generation at this session underscore the necessity of their involvement in charting the course towards cleaner energy. There was a clear consensus that empowering the youth is not just an investment in the energy sector, but an investment in the future of our planet and a cornerstone for both contemporary and prospective initiatives. It is crucial to integrate young perspectives into our decision-making processes since these decisions shape their future. Such an inclusive approach ought to be ingrained in our societal framework, spanning from childhood to the senior years.

It's imperative that young individuals are not only given a voice but also that they witness the tangible outcomes of their involvement within the community. This visibility of impact reinforces the value of their contributions and encourages ongoing participation in societal development. By doing so, we not only empower our youth but also ensure that our systems evolve with the dynamism and innovation that young minds bring.


Note: This article gives the views of the authors, and not the position of the IIASA blog, nor of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.