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Business School Hosts Annual Energy Symposium

By Michelle J. Hu, Contributing Writer

Heated debates and thought-provoking questions marked the Harvard Business School’s 12th annual Energy Symposium this weekend.

Hosted by the school's Energy and Environment Club, the conference consisted of a series of keynote speakers, including CEO of SunEdison Ahmad Chatila, Secretary General of the International Energy Forum Aldo Flores-Quiroga, and Miguel Galuccio, CEO of the Argentine energy company YPF. Additionally, the event featured break-out panel sessions on specific aspects of energy-related industries and issues. Attendees ranged from local students and private sector employees to officials of energy conglomerates.

Speakers presented their views on some of the most pressing issues facing the environment and energy industry.

“From all the environmental issues we discussed, climate change is a real issue we have to discuss,” Galuccio said. “I’m very conscious of that, and if you look at what happened in the last few years, I believe that the end solution for climate change is here.”

Break-out panels focused on the categories of energy finance, energy policy, technology and innovation, and managing change. Panelists in each field were presented with a variety of questions from conference attendees, spurring discussion on current legislative issues on energy and options for growth in key energy sectors.

“There’s an amazing amount of infrastructure in place, and pieces of technology exist everywhere— the question is how to put it all together to create a different kind of system for the future,” said panelist Ellen S. Smith, senior managing director of FTI Consulting.

“Whether you’re focused in Hawaii, or upstate New York, everyone’s trying to figure out the tools we need to create cleaner, more reliable, more sustainable energy,” she said. “The forefathers asked how to electrify our nation. Now we’re re-electrifying the nation and we need to be unified in our approach.”

Attendees praised the symposium’s focus on fostering dialogue and helping them to achieve greater clarity on the energy concerns of the future.

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