A World Intertwined

Hello fellow energy keeners!

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Kali Taylor and I was the chair of the inaugural ISES conference in Calgary 2009 and am now acting as the president of the Student Energy not-for-profit organization that oversees the ISES conferences and will manage the ISES network in the future.  I am so looking forward to June in Vancouver, not because of the beautiful weather and vibrant city (although those are a plus!) but because I know I am going to meet hundreds of amazing students from all over the world who will once again reignite my passion for energy and the environment.


I want to caveat my post by saying that everyone who attends ISES will take something different away from the experience (that's the beauty of it) and I am simply trying to provide insight into my vision, as the leader of the organization, that helped to shape the movement and bring it to where it is today and where it will go in the future. So here it is...


The world is deeply intertwined. 


I can already hear you... "thanks for that, Captain Obvious!"  But this statement is not as simple a concept as it may first appear; in fact it is a concept I once had no understanding of and that I am only now just starting to fully grasp. Why? Because being an intertwined society occurs on multiple dimensions.  Across disciplines - industry, academia, government. Across communities - individuals, families, cities, regions, companies, countries. Across ideologies and religions and experiences and geographics and demographics and psychographics... the list could go on and on. No wonder it is so difficult to comprehend just how intertwined we are with each other; because these connections can occur on hundreds of different levels.  And our own perception of ourselves and our surroundings only adds to the complexity.  It is easy to become entrenched in thinking that only our immediate surroundings and interactions matter.  This is why it is so difficult to understand our connection to others and the challenges we as a globe face collectively.


So, what does this have to do with ENERGY? 


The answer is that this has EVERYTHING to do with energy.  Energy is society's lifeline and therefore is deeply rooted in society's most difficult challenges from equity to biodiversity to development to security to politics to climate change.  This makes energy one of the most clear examples of how closely our world is connected.  Given its disparity and importance, every day we deal with challenges around how to develop resources equitably and sustainably.  And once again, our immediate perceptions and self-interest normally prevail and dictate the way we approach these challenges. 


So, what does this all have to do with ISES?


ISES was built on the premise that we, as society, will come up with better solutions if we fully understand and appreciate the challenges that people across the globe are facing when it comes to energy.  ISES has no specific agenda other than it is meant to provide AS MANY PERSPECTIVES AS POSSIBLE to allow for broader understanding and more informed decisions.  We chose to focus on students because not only are students open to new ideas, they are also future leaders in the energy world.  They seem to "get" each other and truly connect with these tough challenges that seem to be too politically loaded for today's leaders to touch. 


There is something truly amazing about an open platform where people with very unique backgrounds and experiences can engage in a dialogue about how to advance solutions to energy challenges. There is something even more powerful about having our eyes opened to the fact that each of us is just one small piece of the puzzle but that we still have profound effects on not only our own future but the futures of people all over the world.

By: michaelgordon On Tuesday, 10 May 2011 Comment Comments( 6 ) Hits Views(707)
Comments advice and encouragement

Hi Kali,


Thank you for your inspiring words. Could you offer any advice to the 2011 ISES team, based on your own experiences, regarding the challenges of planning the conference? Also, to encourage potential delegates who might be reluctant to attend the conference because of various reasons, could you please share how ISES has affected your life?

By: alice paul , On Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Comments re: advice and encouragement

Hi Nick,   I will try to provide some insight into your very good questions.  Sorry in advance for the long-winded response, but I could talk about this stuff all day if someone let me ;)  



For the planning team, I would simply say that it is now go-time.  There is no longer time to strategize, you have set yourself up well and it is now time to push through and get all hands on deck.  One of the best parts about ISES is that it is planned for students by students but this can also be a challenge because of students’ busy lives.  It is important that everyone realize that the conference will come on June 9 no matter how ready everyone is so we must be as prepared as possible.  In 2009 around this time we were dealing with visa problems, low numbers and H1N1 blacklisting travel to Canada.  It wasn’t easy but it all worked out in the end because we had a great team of very committed students who were willing to spend a lot of late nights working out the kinks.  I know that the ISES 2011 team is just as committed and I am confident you are going to put on a great show!  One thing I always told my team when times got tough was “failure is not an option” because ISES is just too important!  



As for students who are on the fence about attending, all I can do is tell you about my experience (and the experience of the 349 delegates I had the pleasure of getting to know in 2009).  ISES is literally a life changing experience.  I have been to many, many events in my days but nothing so far has compared to ISES.  It isn’t because ISES has some extraordinary, innovative format; it is just like many other conferences.  But what makes ISES different is there is a level of inspiration that I have never experienced at another event.  I found it very powerful to be in a room with people who truly cared about the same issues I did came even if we all came from very different backgrounds.  I met life long friends and was exposed to perspectives that literally changed the way I see the energy problem and the world.   



One story I love to share with people about ISES is that on the last day of the conference we hosted a future leader’s panel that had some of today’s greatest energy leaders on a panel with a select few student delegates to debate issues from both perspectives.  The panel discussed many issues but at one point was talking about SmartGrid.  Most of the panelists were talking about its importance in terms matching supply and demand with real data and allowing for the incorporation of a variety of energy sources.  It seemed as though there was agreement across the panel until one of our panelists from India leaned forward and said “ummm excuse me… I would just like A grid.  I don’t really care if it is smart or not, I would just like to not have to do my homework by candle light.” The whole room went silent, most of the people at the conference had never had to deal with intermittent electricity and the fact that this was a reality for one of our new friends was completely sobering.  THAT is perspective, that is a life-changing realization.  



I still receive messages from some of the my peers all over the world who are doing amazing things.  Timon in Holland has started sustainability circles where him and his peers talk about energy issues; Sandra in Germany is doing her masters specialized in wind energy; Innocent in Washington DC is working for the UN and will be attending COP17 in Durban; Manuel in Mexico has started ilumexico, an organization that focuses on rural electrification, the list could go on and on.  I am inspired every day by these people and it helps me to keep working towards a clean energy future!  The point is ISES encourages people to go in their own direction but asks that they consider all perspectives!



By: michaelgordon , On Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Comments Re: A world Intertwined

You are right all true Kali.

By: Timothy , On Thursday, 12 May 2011
Comments GoAssignmentHelp management assignment help
I would like to recommend you online assignment help of GoAssignmentHelp. Their service helped me come out of that zombie zone of assignment writing. Till some time ago, I was so stressed up working on my assignments. By the time I hardly reached halfway through them, I had just given up. And, then I started looking for professional help for management assignment help, I found GoAssignmentHelp. They have helped me a lot with my academic assignment. I’m very impressed with their service and that’s the reason I’m suggesting you this company.
By: michaelgordon , On Thursday, 15 February 2018
Comments wq
By: wq123 , On Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Comments IDN Poker
By: IDN Poker , On Sunday, 20 October 2019
Add Comment Please login to write comment

Information Package

Click here to download the 2011 Information Package.

The Publication

How do students see the future of energy? Read the ISES 2009 Publication.

Student Energy

ISES is a Student Energy initiative.
Learn more about the movement.

ISES Updates

Click here to receive ISES updates.