Day One: Dream and Discover
Day One of Europe’s Energy Earthshot was a day of dreaming and discovering. Nearly 200 stakeholders across 50 countries came together to co-create ambitious solutions for Europe’s clean energy future. From citizens to energy suppliers, policymakers to young people, participants were empowered to be brave and dream big.
The day began with a focus on the strengths of the current energy system (through the Appreciative Inquiry model) — a process of affirming what works today whilst building, urgently, for tomorrow.
“In Europe we have a lot of experience with crisis and transition. What makes us strong is the sense and value of unity — and that is where we can unlock the energy solutions we need.”
— Europe’s Energy Earthshot participant
Some common themes emerged in the opening session: energy democracy and the transition to new energy sources, including distributed renewables; increased collaboration, across communities, countries, sectors and generations; mobilising the circular economy; solidarity with the people of Ukraine as they rebuild their country; the need for systemic change and more human solutions; and centring gender and generational equality in Europe’s energy transformation.
“Technology is already available. The answers, in most cases, are available. It is the system, set in the past, which stands in our way."
— Ester Baiget, president & CEO, Novozymes
Storytelling reverberated as a key theme — particularly in catalysing the behaviour change necessary to transition to an energy efficient Europe — as did the importance of local context and local action in achieving global goals. Lastly, participants stressed the need for young people to take a lead role in the energy transition.
“We need to make the youth voice a formal part of all negotiations, all institutions, all spaces. Young people are the ones who will inherit and navigate an uncertain future.”
— Europe’s Energy Earthshot participant
Day Two: Time to Design
Thinking big and acting bold were the big takeaways of Day Two of Europe’s Energy Earthshot. Following a curtain-raising speech from Natalie Jaresko, Ukraine’s former minister of finance, participants were challenged to bring their most compelling ideas to life. They did not disappoint.
Fourteen prototypes, rich with creativity and a belief in the possible, were presented, from an Energy Earthshot manifesto to speeding up renewable energy permitting to supporting Ukraine’s efforts to reimagine and rebuild its energy infrastructure.
“There are more people on board the train than on the platform. Today is proof: we have enough agreement and momentum to move forward an ambitious agenda.”
— Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group (IKEA), and chair, The B Team
The conversations were dynamic. Former politicians underscored the need to hone the right messages to citizens and communities. UN youth delegates found hope to match their urgency. Storytellers were pushed to rethink narrative and break down climate misinformation via partnerships with educators and media institutions. Participants challenged business leaders to articulate the business case for the Earthshot prototypes.
“As an entrepreneur, my five tips to refining prototypes include: focus on the problem; surround yourself with passionate people; embrace diversity of thought; listen to everyone’s ideas; simplify the idea.”
— Sir Richard Branson, founder, Virgin Group, and co-founder, The B Team
A great idea means little without action. Our third and final day focused on creating action plans for each prototype, defining next steps and establishing shared accountability.
Day Three: Destiny
Alongside nearly 200 stakeholders from 50 countries, we discovered, dreamed and co-designed 14 prototypes, building upon themes explored across Europe’s Energy Earthshot’s first day: solidarity with the people of Ukraine, intergenerational solutions, the buildout of emissions-free infrastructure and much more.
On our third and final day, we drafted action plans and shared aspirations for accelerating Europe’s energy transformation.
“We need a critical mass of stakeholders. I used to be very concerned about people that didn’t get it, but it is much better to spend your energy on the 20 or 30% of people that really get it, because these people are going to create the tipping points.”
— Paul Polman, business leader, campaigner and co-author of “Net Positive”
Europe’s Energy Earthshot demonstrated what is possible when we align our strengths and, together, build the future that rising generations deserve. But this is just the beginning. What we achieve will depend on your commitment going forward — and making our bold ideas real.
In the months ahead, we will reconvene to share updates on our progress, as we advance towards Europe's clean energy future.