TKS and Shell Partnership: Transforming the Energy Industry

In November of 2021, a group of TKS students met with Shell executives at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. Students were then invited to visit Shell’s state-of-the-art technology center in Amsterdam where the world’s top scientists and researchers are working to shift toward net-zero carbon emissions. The meeting between Shell leaders and TKS Innovators sparked an interest in a deeper partnership that resulted in the PIE challenge.

The energy industry is undergoing a huge transformation with Shell at its helm. The first to outline plans to be a net-zero carbon emitter by 2050, Shell presents a myriad of opportunities to lead the energy industry in solving Problems Incentivized by Economics (PIE).

Partnering with multinational energy company Shell, TKS students were challenged to identify new technologies, digital and AI products, and operational frameworks which can help accelerate the energy transition.

A giant within the energy space that ranks within the top 10 of the Fortune Global 500, the challenge presented TKS Activate students with the opportunity to make a significant impact within the industry. 

As part of the challenge, students were encouraged to think about the most successful ways to build renewable infrastructure and operate more efficiently to reduce carbon emissions, thereby tackling the hardest problems in society to solve issues affecting every person on the globe.

Working with Shell, TKS students aimed to solve Problems Incentivized by Economics (PIE) by developing technology and systems geared toward facilitating new sustainable energy processes that allow Shell to be net-zero emitters by 2050.

Focusing especially on economic benefit, students were encouraged to adopt a 360° view of the problems faced and explore solutions in emerging technology, operational excellence, strategic incentives, product launches, and more to propose the most effective strategies. 

Naila Moloo, TKS Activator, was very pleased to be able to work with Shell, saying:

“I think the partnership between TKS and Shell is really exciting. Personally, I’m very interested in this renewable energy space and I don’t think that we can make the shift to renewable energy if we don’t have these big oil and gas companies making that shift as well.” 

Overall, students proposed some fantastic ideas to help Shell optimize and improve its organizational processes, all to increase revenue, save money, and support the 2050 transition plan.

Karina Fernandez, GM Emerging Digital Technologies at Shell was thrilled with the challenge outcome, stating:

“Shell is keen to enable a technology centric platform where the great young minds of the next generation can partner with us on (digital) innovation to accelerate the Energy Transition.”

Throughout the challenge, students were not only working to solve real-world problems but to develop their skills as future leaders, entrepreneurs, and CEOs with the power to solve systemic and institutional problems. Students were encouraged to: 

  • Be collaborative – utilize the skills of peers to gain unique insight and valuable critique
  • Act with conviction – know ideas inside and out, remaining confident in their propositions
  • Enjoy the ride – be excited by their valuable ideas and take pride in the process

By the end of the PIE challenge, TKS students had the opportunity to propose solutions to problems that affect all across the globe, all while developing their skills and understanding within a real-world setting. Proposing unique ways to use technology and innovation to ensure Shell delivers on its energy transition proposal and sustainability ethos, TKS students proved themselves to be innovators with ambition, drive, and curiosity to make a real change in the world.

Dan Jacob, Head of Partnerships at TKS, praised the challenge and the students involved:

The collaboration between Shell and TKS has afforded countless students in our program the opportunity to engage with senior executives at Shell and help them as they navigate a new world to a net-zero emissions economy. Students have built valuable skills, grown their network, and received real-world experience that will serve them well as they navigate careers of the future.

The PIE challenge is a fantastic example of The Knowledge Society’s mission to help ambitious young people change the world. Helping to nurture young people across the globe as they develop the skills and understanding to propose effective solutions to real problems, it’s a privilege to witness young people shaping the future before our very eyes.

Here’s a big thank you to Shell and the team for helping us to train future leaders and innovators!