YFEL Consistently Contributes to Developing Knowledge-Based Economy in UAE
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 3 January, 2012 – A widening support base that includes UAE nationals and various government and private institutions, an effective networking forum that engages the youth with global energy leaders, and an avenue for enhancing knowledge and leadership skills are some of the key characteristics that have made the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program, a Masdar Institute outreach initiative, one of the most dynamic platforms in the UAE for fostering tomorrow’s leaders.
Even more importantly, YFEL plays an instrumental role in building the UAE’s human capital, while contributing to the objectives of the Masdar initiative through developing a knowledge-based economy as spelt out by Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 program.
Throughout 2011, YFEL has consistently supported eligible youth, engaged them in global events, offered exclusive academic and professional courses locally and at renowned universities overseas, and guided them through offering specialized courses in advanced energy and sustainable technology. These initiatives were part of the annual YFEL program that reaches out to mould the members into consummate professionals while steering them on the right path towards overall development.
With the successful completion of the 2011 program, the stage is now set for the YFEL members to participate in the forthcoming World Future Energy Summit (WFES) that will be held from 16-19 January, 2012 in Abu Dhabi. A key element of WFES, YFEL will gather global political and business leaders as well as NGOs. And, through YFEL, students from universities in the UAE and internationally, and young professionals from local companies will be attending specialized forums, seminars, debates and panels at WFES.
In YFEL 2011, a total of 150 students and young professionals participated – nominated by their Deans and CEOs respectively. They included 60 UAE National students from key universities as well as 20 young professionals from companies such as Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), Emirates Foundation, and Mubadala. The program also increased international participation, inviting students from universities such as Harvard, MIT, Duke, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
The YFEL program expanded beyond the four-day event at WFES in Abu Dhabi to become a full-year program that included two-day workshops on Technology, Leadership and Policy, as well as a case study competition that selected winners to attend the European Future Energy Forum (EFEF 2011) in Geneva. Four YFEL participants from UAE University were also selected to participate in a two-week experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) based on innovative research projects they had developed and displayed at WFES 2011.
The October 2011 visit to Geneva to attend the EFEF 2011 marked a crucial moment in the YFEL program. For the 14-member YFEL team, it was an occasion to listen to and witness some of the most interesting workshops and panel discussions that showcased evolving new clean technology trends and products. In addition, the MIT Summer Practical Course hosted in June significantly benefited the YFEL members to acquire various job-related skills, hands-on experience and exposed them to international research culture.
Some individual and institutional sponsors have steadfastly supported the YFEL. Mohamed Bin Kardous Al Ameri, an Emirati philanthropist made a personal contribution of AED1 million to the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program in 2011. Highly influenced by the late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE, Al Ameri is an advocate of education in the UAE. In his opinion, today’s youth in the UAE have great opportunities to pursue higher education because of the presence of world class institutions. For Al Ameri, the YFEL program is unique – in setting precedence and creating role models – and identifying young people who would like to contribute to the environment and country.
In addition to the vital support provided by government and private sector organizations, such individual support has remained crucial in offering the right ingredients to the young professionals and students who are members of the YFEL program.
Communication has an important role to play in keeping pace with such a hectic schedule of events. In addition to a half-yearly newsletter that keeps participants informed of each other’s achievements and events, YFEL members also utilize social media platforms such as Facebook to communicate and keep themselves informed on developments at various fronts as well as to keep in contact with each other while forming a strong network of future leaders.
It is pertinent to note that the pre-eminent YFEL program develops tomorrow’s leaders in the fields of advanced energy and sustainability while equipping the students and young professionals with the right skill sets. The expertise these talented youth have acquired is expected to help them develop into capable leaders in steering the world towards sustainability as well as contribute towards building a knowledge-based society in the region.
The UAE leadership continues their support to YFEL in its efforts towards capacity building and knowledge development. At the same time, YFEL was able to accomplish so much during the year because of the significant contribution by business leaders and CEOs of sponsor organizations as well as some individual UAE national donors who have remained committed to empowering the youth.
Probably the most salient feature of the YFEL program is its ability to offer exposure to new technological trends and products, in addition to opportunities for mentoring and knowledge-sharing.
Moreover, the unique YFEL program helps in developing human capital to positively involve the youth in leading the change and building a better future. The program has steadily attracted an increasing number of young professionals and select university students. In 2011, a diverse team of experts have shared their insights with the YFEL members on various subjects in clean energy and sustainable technologies. The dedicated courses on policy, leadership and technology during the year offered an opportunity for the YFEL members to identify areas in the global energy sector that may need their contribution in innovation.
An outreach program by Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, YFEL aims to educate, inspire and position students and young professionals in advanced energy and sustainability to become future leaders capable of solving the world’s most pressing challenges – energy efficiency and climate change.
As an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technology, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology continues to initiate programs that nurture the youth and prepared them to meet the challenges of tomorrow, especially in the energy sector.