On April 10-11 in Graz, Austria, the International Sustainable Energy Conference (ISEC 2024) focused on how we can achieve energy sovereignty within a time horizon dictated by climate change and defined by politics.

As an impetus for forward-looking concepts, ISEC 2024 aimed to inspire groundbreaking ideas for heat transformation in renewable energy systems and resource efficiency and facilitate a comprehensive exchange between research, industry, and energy policy. Through ISEC 2024's cooperation with the international organisations UNIDO, IEA, and REN21, all topics had an additional focus on developing and emerging countries.

Representatives of the UNIDO, European Commission, the Federal Ministry Republic of Austria for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, the Ministry of Development, Industry, Commerce and Services, ORF, AEE INTEC, Climate and Energy Fund, and many other stakeholders in the sustainability-related policies and businesses shared opinions, data and solutions in such areas as the transformation of economic systems towards a sustainable circular economy, the complete phase-out of fossil fuels, the implementation of sector coupling and energy storage systems as well as the smart electrification of the energy supply.

In its turn, BE OPEN used its participation in the conference to promote the results and ambition of the foundation's five-year-long SDG-themed student competition programme that chooses to focus on one particular goal every year, and has so far covered SDG12, SDG11, SDG2, SDG7, and SDG13. The programme aims to encourage creation of innovative solutions by younger creatives, for a more prosperous and sustainable future.

"Over the five years of our competition programme", explains Founder of BE OPEN Elena Baturina, "sustainable energy solutions have played a major role in achieving all of the development goals our competitions focused on.

“We are proud to be part of Austria's formidable effort and commitment to reaching the ambitious targets set by the UN's SDG programme, to be part of the solution that without doubt requires the creativity, knowhow, technology and financial resources from all of humanity." BE OPEN is a global initiative to foster creativity and innovation.

It is a cultural and social initiative supported by the Austria-based philanthropist and businessperson Elena Baturina. BE OPEN was set up to harness creative brain power through a system of conferences, competitions, exhibitions, master classes and cultural events.