Powering Progress Together (PPT) is a global series of engagements convened by Shell to encourage dialogue about future energy challenges.

In the UK we invited 150 business leaders, academics, entrepreneurs, NGOs, policy-influencers and community leaders to come together on 25 May 2017 to stimulate innovative thinking and share practical, on-the-ground solutions. This took place alongside Shell’s Make the Future Live Festival of ideas and innovation.

Our 2017 discussion topic was: How will new technologies accelerate the pace of the energy transition?

Energy plays a central role in enhancing the quality of life for people across the planet. However, the world needs much more energy in order to address development needs, as well as far fewer emissions to address environmental concerns. Many think technology will be instrumental and Shell is choosing to adapt and innovate in order to play its part in the global drive to provide more and cleaner energy for all in a sustainable future.

The event opened with a keynote address by Shell’s Downstream Director, John Abbott, who suggested that adopting the Silicon Valley attitude of being prepared to “fail fast”, gaining understanding of new areas and fighting for the right investment landscape are all important approaches. But, he stressed, all of them will fail without a commitment to collaboration.

A panel debate and Q & A session then enabled strategic discussion of the theme. The speakers were: Georg Ell - Director, Western Europe, Tesla; David Hone - Chief Climate Change Advisor, Shell; Occo Roelofsen - Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company; Jacqueline de Rojas - President, techUK; David Rowan - Editor-at Large, WIRED; Geert van de Wouw – Managing Director, Shell Technology Ventures

In the afternoon attendees focused on three more practical areas of opportunity:

  • How will new technologies help change energy behaviour?
  • How will new technologies drive low emission mobility?
  • How will new technologies transform future energy systems?

The day concluded with an exploration of the vital role of partnerships, the challenge of providing consumers with something better than they have now, and the need for Shell, and other big corporate organisations to build public trust through greater transparency.

You can read our summary of the conversations that took place across the day.

Prospect Magazine have produced this report featuring many of the PPT panellists. It includes interviews with Geert van de Wouw, Managing Director of Shell Technology Ventures and Ed Davey, former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. 

Prospect will also host a panel debate to launch the supplement on September 7, 2017 where Ed Davey and Laura Sandys (CEO at Challenging Ideas) will continue the themes explored at PPT. You can register your interest in attending.

More in about us

Powering Progress Together

A forum aiming to spark new thinking and help build resilience in a world where vital resources face growing pressure.

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