Earthwish team, representing Zewail City University for Science and Technology, won first place in Shell Egypt’s “Imagine the Future” competition held on 10 May, bringing together university students to devise solutions for global challenges and lay out their vision for creating a better world by 2060.
Total of 623 applicants from 39 Egyptian universities signed up, out of which 32 finalists have been selected and divided into five teams, tasked with crafting innovative scenarios addressing the key problem statement: “More and cleaner energy in 2060: how will you live, work, and play?” The challenge required taking into account different factors including the economy, environment, politics, and technologies affecting global energy use and demand, and how these can vastly change how we live, work, and play in the future.
Participants explored and anticipated alternative futures of an Egyptian city of their choice by 2060, better helping us navigate the world of tomorrow; winners as well as runners-up received symbolic monetary awards in recognition of their efforts. First-place winners ‘Earthwish’ team were awarded EGP 25,000 and will represent Egypt in the competition’s global edition taking place in July. The ‘Supervision’ team came in 2nd place while the ‘Entrophy’ team came in 3rd place and they were awarded EGP 20,000 and 15,000 respectively. Teams that came in 4th and 5th place were also awarded recognition cheques worth EGP 10,000 each.
‘Earthwish’ team presented a dual scenario capturing their vision for Port Said 2060. The first scenario ‘Low battery tech-topia’ envisioned Port Said as a hub for next-generation transport technologies, hand-in-hand with sustainable living driven by renewable energy and eco-friendly fishing methods. The second scenario ‘Monopolized Charger’ placed environmental sustainability at the heart of Port Said’s innovative development, featuring urban agriculture and smart water management systems that support biodiversity and reduce contamination. Ultimately both scenarios were underpinned by sustainable development principles that drive improvement in residents’ quality of life, in tandem with fostering a thriving environmental ecosystem.
Khaled Kacem, Vice President and Country Chair of Shell Egypt, said: “At Shell, we continue to focus on advancing our social investment programmes in Egypt, a key pillar of which is enhancing capacity building among the country’s wide base of talented and dynamic youth. Empowering social progress by enabling youth, as the nation’s driving force, to develop and showcase solutions for a better tomorrow is the key to a brighter, more sustainable and prosperous future.”
Launched in Egypt in 2018, Imagine the Future is part of Shell’s social investment efforts to nurture creative and innovative problem-solving skills among university students, in a bid to build a brighter future across the MENA region, and the world as a whole. The company supports participating students by providing technical and practical training throughout the competition’s life cycle. In its sixth edition, Imagine the Future is leveraging the potential of Egyptian youth to inspire all-encompassing solutions to global challenges, taking into consideration economic, environmental, legal, political, social and technological driving forces of the present and the future.
This year’s participating teams included students from 39 Egyptian universities, with students from Ain Shams, Zewail, Nile, Tanta, Cairo, Al Azhar, Galala and Zagazig University reaching the final stage of the local competition. Most of them are enrolled in the universities’ respective faculties of engineering and science, with a few students from the faculties of pharmacy, information technology, economics and political science.
Nashwa Saleh, Social Investment Manager at Shell Egypt, said: “As one of Shell Egypt’s core social investment programs, ‘Imagine the Future’ is a great platform for the country’s youth to showcase their agile thinking skills which is instrumental for overcoming the challenges that we collectively face both on a local and global level. We are very proud of what Earthwish team achieved, and we are looking to further advance our commitment to progress by empowering youth and enhancing their innovation, creativity and problem-solving skills, so they can effectively pave the way for a brighter future.”
Ms Saleh added: “‘Imagine the Future’ underlines the need for concerted global action as the key to a better future by mobilising youth from around the world towards one mutual goal – a better tomorrow for all. Our global network and Shell Egypt’s on-ground support help unleash the immense potential of youth to solve a myriad of challenges facing today’s societies on diverse fronts.”
‘Imagine the Future’ is one of Shell Egypt’s wide-ranging social investment initiatives, spanning the Shell Intilaaqah Egypt Programme, Shell Eco-Marathon, and Shell NXplorers as well as supporting the Al-Amal Programme.