Young ambassadors from the Youth 4 Sustainability group travelled from as far as Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah to the Innovation Centre in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

On the first day of the workshop, the facilitators introduced students to the NXplorers programme and explained the Shell methodology that the programme is based on. Then, through a series of short, fun games and activities, students were shown what makes a good NXplorer and what NXthinking is all about.

Students were then asked to use their systems thinking skills to identify food, water and energy problems in their local area, and were put in teams to frame their Problem Statements. After a lot of interesting discussions, they chose various thought-provoking statements such as:

  • How can we maximise energy efficiency in artificial farming?
  • How can we reduce excess food waste?

Students then used these statements as the basis for their next discussions, where they explored using NXplorers tools such as The Connections Circle, Perspectives Tool and the Scenario Planning Tool.

Before the students left to enjoy their night off in Abu Dhabi city, they were provided with one piece of homework: to think about what possible futures they could mentally model.

Image: students brainstorming 'how to maximise energy efficiency in artificial farming' during the workshop

The facilitators started the next morning with a quick recap of all that was covered the day before, before discussing what the students had come up with overnight as their preferred future. Students then got back into their teams to create possible solutions that tackle the issues they had explored on day one and took those solutions through the Feasibility Funnel, Scamper Tool and Ripple Effect Tool.

The teams went on to learn about how they could focus their solutions using the Persuasion Pyramid and how to turn them into compelling presentations; which they then went on to present to their peers, as well as representatives from Shell, EdComs and Masdar.

Both the students and the facilitators found the two-day workshop very rewarding, and when asked about their experience, participants said the below:

“First of all, I would like to thank you for the amazing workshop that was very productive, active, and engaging for all the students. We are sure that with the tools you have provided students with over the last 2 days, they will be able to come up with solutions, by organizing their thoughts and looking at all the key players involved and their perspectives.”

Shaikha Altenaiji, Operations Officer, Outreach and Stakeholder Relations for Masdar

“These tools as we call them, kind of get you in a different set of thinking because you actually start considering all factors.”

Ahmed Assaf Student Ambassador

Image: student ambassadors and facilitators on the final day of the workshop

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