How will we consume energy in the future? What could the cities of the future look like? And what role will businesses, government and regulators have to play?
These were just some of the questions addressed at Shell's Powering Progress Together (PPT), an event near London exploring the energy future.
The afternoon opened with a session entitled "A day in the life of a new energy empowered consumer". In it delegates were invited to consider what the "energy empowered consumer" may look like.
Cate Trotter, founder of the trend forecasting consultancy Insider Trends, depicted a world where by 2040 parks are planted with bamboo to absorb carbon dioxide.
Forecast vs reality
Then "Undercover Economist" journalist Tim Harford then focused minds on 2019 -- as it had been imagined by the 1982 science fiction film Blade Runner.
The Hollywood film, said Harford, depicted 2019 with artificial intelligence capabilities so spectacular that it would feature machine-based "replicants" of human beings.
Yet, he said, it had missed less extravagant innovations, like the smartphone. It was these more mundane innovations that had really changed the world, Harford said.
Solar power, he suggested, was a good example of how real technological change is often more Ikea than Hollywood.
"Solar is getting cheaper in an incredibly boring way," said Harford. "If you make things modular, like an Ikea bookcase, they are easy to assemble - and who here hasn't marvelled at how easy it is to assemble an Ikea bookcase?"