Imagine if someone asked you: “What problem do you want to solve in the world?”. What would you say? Would you know what to do?

Skills such as problem solving and critical thinking are increasingly important to enable people to adapt to a rapidly changing world. Unfortunately, these skills, known as the “STEM habits of mind”, are not being taught enough in universities in many countries, including Egypt.

In 2017, Shell launched its NXplorers programme to address this. It is a global education programme, which encourages young people to explore real-world issues, equipping them with tools and methodologies needed to form solutions.

Mariam El Gabry, an NXplorers workshop participant
Mariam El Gabry, an NXplorers workshop participant

The NXplorers workshop in Egypt

In October 2017, Shell ran the first of its global NXplorers workshops in Egypt. During two sessions over two weeks, participants from oil and gas companies as well as new geology and geophysics graduates from local universities were asked to think of a real-world challenge that they wanted to see solved.

A wide range of challenges emerged with participants exploring issues from: “How can we improve access to energy in rural parts of Egypt?” to “How can we improve the quality of data reporting in our organisation?”.

Over the course of the workshop teams were taught how to further define and explore their chosen issue. They were shown how to use scenario planning to consider different possible futures in relation to their problem. And they were encouraged to evaluate and rationalise the feasibility of various solutions, including examining the intended and unintended consequences.

By the end of the workshop, all participants had created an action plan to address their chosen problem, a plan that they presented to the wider group.

“It’s a perfect programme,” grins Mariam El Gabry who participated in the first NXplorers workshop. “I liked the process of understanding the tools because it helped me to see much more than one point of view. Nxplorers makes me optimistic about the future.”

Nashwa Saleh, Social Investment Lead for Shell Egypt
Nashwa Saleh, Social Investment Lead for Shell Egypt

Planning for the future

Shell Egypt has set a goal of reaching 10,000 participants with its NXplorers programme in 2018.

Nashwa Saleh, Social Investment Lead for Shell Egypt, is excited about the potential of the programme. “We’re training Shell employees to deliver the NXplorers programme,” she says. “Our vision is for Egypt to be the hub for delivering the programme for the whole Middle East region.”

 

For more information

NXplorers was developed by Shell and Shaping Learning. To find out more about the NXplorers programme visit the programme’s website.

Please visit our education page to learn more about our STEM programmes other countries.

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