Students of Zewail City of Science and Technology (ZU12) won the first place in Shell’s national Imagine the Future competition 2019-2020.

For the third consecutive year, Royal Dutch Shell hosted its local finals’ competition Shell: Imagine the Future online on June 29, where out of 129 teams, three finalists got to present their innovative ideas to a selected panel of jury. The jury included Moataz Darwish, Deputy Chairman at Shell Egypt; Nashwa Saleh, Social Investment Manager at Shell; Geraldine Wessing, Senior Strategy Analyst at Shell International; and Salma Nagy, Government Relations Manager at Shell.

This year’s theme aimed to present plausible and alternative scenarios for what the future may look like, taking into consideration the technical, economic, and societal impact of these scenarios. It proposed the idea of a clean energy-driven future in Egypt by the year 2050 under the title “More and Cleaner Energy in Egyptian Cities in 2050: How Does the Population Live, Work, and Play?”

The winning team presented two scenarios for utilizing several technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) in Aswan. The first scenario leaned towards a conservative and competitive approach whereas utilizing solar energy could turn Aswan into a green smart city, highlighting the drawbacks of such a scenario are represented in periodic unrest against unusual technologies. Meanwhile, the second scenario leaned towards a cooperative and progressive approach that will pave the way to cultural integration and technologies between other countries supported by a strong trade system. It proposes the idea of Aswan becoming a leading city in solar power and a main part of the African electricity grid. The team delved into both scenarios with a focus on geopolitical relations and economic and societal aspects.

Darwish gave a speech on behalf of Shell’s Country Manager stating that “[Shell] firmly believes in the youth potential in Egypt.” He added that this competition aims to “encourage the students for creative thinking and it helps them expand their horizons and mindsets to envision the future, [while] also thinking of the energy context when developing these scenarios.”

The winning team will progress to the global final competition which should have been held in Singapore this year. However, due to the pandemic, the event will be held virtually on August 11. ZU12 will compete against two other teams from Singapore and Thailand.

Students of Zewail City of Science and Technology continue to raise up the bar as the Imagine the Future 2019 edition winners were also from the same university and managed to win at the global competition as well.

The American University students (ASU07) came in second place, and the Cairo University students (CU09) came in third place. All participating members will receive a certificate from Shell as part of their achievement in the competition.