YouthDay: Energy of the future

Conclusive events of the International Project «YouthDay: Enegy of the future» in the frameworks of XI SPIGF were October, 1-3.  Project is carried out since 2015.

HES Unecon (Higher School of Economics Unecon) is traditionally the core organiser together with International Business Congress members; Gazprom, Gasunie, OMV, Uniper, Wintershall Dea, Shell, in the partnership with Energy Delta Institute, European School of Management and Technology, Schneider Electric, Siemens и Verbundnetz Gas.


Youth Day target is creation of interactional platform, which unites experts in energy sector and talented students from all over the world to pass energy market knowledge further and find new ideas and solutions.  

In 2019 Youthday received an update to the new format: Energy Challenge. It consisted from two interconnected stages:

  1. 3 month long online educational program on the base of Virtual Academy.
  2. 3 days offline meeting on the platform of IX SPIGF (Saint-Petersburg International Gas Forum)

Attendees of the project are gifted master and PhD students from different countries, compelling experts, Top-managers of global energy companies and leading scientists.

More than 500 applications on participation were sent to the Youthday Commitee. Only 223 students from 56 Universities worldwide passed through screening procedure. They were invited to study the course «Gas Role in the Enegybalance» on the base of Virtual Academy.

Young participants had been studying 5 modules online from April to July. Program contained 15 interactive webinars from experts working in the leading energy companies, 2 video lectures, additional materials on gas and oil industry, 3 check-tasks and one final project - #project_challange. On its results 60 best students (from 31 Higher Education Institutes located in 11 countries) received an invitation to Saint-Petersburg for participation in YouthDay of XI SPIGF October, 1-3.

Among them are Unecon students: graduate of bachelor program «Economics» Kirill Larionov, master student of the program «International Economics» and PhD students Vataliy Bobrov and Anastasia Rubanova.


Three days of offline part were filled up with events of different kinds.

On the opening ceremony, October 1, welcome speech gave Head of the Department PJSC «Gazprom» Elena Kasyan and Director of HES Unecon Jana Klementovichus.

Then students went through training «TeambuildingConstructor» to open their leadership qualities and learn team working skills. Participants from 11 countries met in person for the first time, but showed amazing performance by making the new game record: they started a construction set from the first try.

On the other half of the day was a quest «Searching Cooperation» through XI SPIGF. It was arranged by Vitaliy Stelmashonok – associate professor of Management of Innovation Research Department at Unecon)


The second day was fully dedicated to business game «Charge your city»


  • Christoph Burger - European School of Management and Technology
  • Natalya Sarakhanova – HES Unecon
  • Pavel MetelevHES Unecon
  • Rob Veersma – Gazprom International Training

The game imitated frequent and changeable market climate which is relevant for final investment decision (FID) on energy markets. Participants had to find out energy supply methods for large city district. Moreover, the primary task specifications had been changing while solution process. The result had to match with all Stakeholders expectations as much as possible.

Following experts from energy companies were helping:

  • Alexey Koshelets, Gazprom
  • Grigory Shevchenko, Uniper
  • Yulia Burman, Wintershall Dea
  • Dietrich Jochim, Verbundnetz Gas
  • Irina Kuznetsova, Schneider Electric
  • Konstantin Romanov, Газпром
  • Jan Paul, OMV.

Teams presented their solutions to city society (jury) represented by: 

  • Britta van Boven, Gasunie
  • Detlef Wessling, Uniper Global Commodities SE
  • Lars Drage, OMV
  • Maxim Nedzvedsky, Gazprom VNIIGAZ
  • Margarita Hoffmann, Wintershall Dea
  • Marcel Kramer, Energy Delta Institute
  • Olga Orlova, Unecon

The Jury choose the winning team.

October, 3, after the IX SPIGF Plenary session, it was the Youth Day key event - «off-tie meeting»  with Top-managers of energy companies under the topic «How to keep competitive advantage in 10 years and further». Sergey Khomyakov - Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee, Director General of the Corporate Security Service PJSC «Gazprom», opened the Event. He awarded with diplomas 7 best students by personal ranking – summarized score from Virtual Academy and participation in SPIGF off-line.

Following speaksers appeared on the stage afterwards.: Elena Burmistrova – Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee, Gazprom, Director General of Gazprom Export; Andreas Schierenbeck – Chief Executive Officer, Uniper SE; Mario Mehren – Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Wintershall DEA; Han Fennema – CEO and chairman of the Executive Board, N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie; Cederic Cremers Executive Vice President and Country Chair Russia at Shell; Thomas Moritz Senior Vice-President, OMV Russia.

When the welcome speeches were done, every manager went down to students. Each expert jointed one student team to discuss during 15 minutes major challenges, the energy sector is facing with: energy transition, digitalization, talent war, environmental hazards, sustainable energy supply and energy security. All dilemmas above were united under one key question «Which steps should the company take today to keep competitive advantage to the year 2029 and further?»   

Each team made a small presentation complimented with comments and questions from speakers and other attendees.


A big support to the YouthDay project gave the Unecon Rector Igor Maksimtsev. He spoke from behalf of organisers with a thankful speech to all participants and partners of Youth Day at the end of the «off-tie meeting»

Contact information

191023, Russia, St. Petersburg,
Griboedov canal emb., 30-32

Department of International Cooperation
+7 812 7105644