Masdar Institute’s YFEL Members and 6 Ladakhi Students Gather in Leh for 8-Day Workshop on ‘Energy Access, Ethics and Development’ in India
Nobel Laureate Dalai Lama has commended members of the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL), an outreach program by Masdar Institute of Science of Technology, for their global commitment to spreading awareness on sustainable technologies and living.
The 14th Dalai Lama met with the eight YFEL members who were in India as part of an eight-day workshop on ‘Energy Access, Ethics and Development’ jointly organized by YFEL, the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT and the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) in Leh, India. The YFEL members gathered in Leh to learn about energy systems, micro-grid design with community participation, and social entrepreneurship as part of the course that aims to turn them into future leaders in expanding energy access. A total of six Ladakhi participants from various institutions and organizations were also part of the program that began on 18 August.
The Dalai Lama welcomed the YFEL members on the first day of their stay in India and appreciated their enthusiastic activities in the far northern Himalayan region. They were accompanied by Tenzin Priyadarshi, Director of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values, MIT. The Dalai Lama, who travels across the globe to propagate the ideals of sustainability, is outspoken in his concerns about environmental challenges and frequently focuses on themes related to the preservation of natural resources.
YFEL members, with Dr Ken Volk, Head of Outreach, Masdar Institute, visited nearby areas of interest including the Saspol village, some caves with 1,000-year old Buddhist temples, and a recently-opened hydroelectric plant. They also went trekking near the SECMOL building.
The Ladakhi participants were made up of young students and graduates from various organizations and academic institutions such as SECMOL, Jammu University, Industrial Training Institute in Leh, and Thapar University in Patiala. They joined the YFEL members in learning how to design energy-efficient systems and formulating socio-development measures with a particular focus on Ladakhi communities. Through a combination of lecture-based content and hands-on group projects, the course emphasized effective sustainable programs that help economic development in rural and remote communities.
Other Masdar Institute faculty and officials visiting India included Dr. Scott Kennedy, Dean of Research, Dr. Vinod Khadkikar, Assistant Professor in the Electrical Power Engineering program, and Ayu Abdullah, Program Teaching Assistant.
YFEL member Mohammad Abdulaziz Al Jasmi, an Electrical Engineer and UAE University Graduate, said: “The meeting with the Dalai Lama was truly remarkable as the Nobel Laureate welcomed us and answered our queries with interest. We were honored and felt grateful for the unique opportunity to meet the Tibetan leader. He also appreciated YFEL’s contribution to the local community’s development through our program.”
Part of the Masdar Institute’s Outreach program, YFEL offers young professionals and students from the UAE and abroad an opportunity to become more engaged in finding solutions to the world’s biggest challenges – achieving energy efficiency and tackling climate change. It also aims to bring young professionals closer to government representatives, business leaders and other organizations active in the area of alternative energy and sustainability.