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Katrina Ridley and Daniel Liu, Global Energy Summit co-chairs

On November 24, 2017 London Business School's Energy Club will be hosting its annual flagship event, the Global Energy Summit (GES). We caught up with co-chairs Katrina Ridley and Daniel Liu, both MBA 2018, to discover the power behind it all.

Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?

Katrina: Before attending LBS, I was a drilling engineer for Shell.  This took me to over 12 countries across the globe.  When I wasn't grabbing my hardhat to head to the field in far off places, I was working with a non-profit arts organisation in my community.  

Daniel: I’m an engineer from Australia but I’ve spent quite a bit of time in other countries, including Canada, U.S and Germany. I was an engineering consultant for five years at WorleyParsons – an oil and gas services provider – before joining a renewables start-up in Canada. Career aside, I mountain bike, snowboard and travel. Oh, and I love to cook.

What interested you in the Energy Club?

Katrina: I'd say it's having the opportunity to share ideas with others who have a keen interest in the industry. One of the wonderful elements about LBS is the diverse community. The clubs provide a fantastic platform where students and faculty can meet to discuss common interests.  You'd think this would lead to a whole lot of 'group think', but our diversity keeps our discussions lively.

Daniel: Energy is a passion of mine! It was actually the Energy Club’s work with the GES that made me commit to LBS over INSEAD when deciding on my MBA offers. The club brings in excellent speakers to talk about business and finance related topics in Energy. One of my favourite talks was from Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, about the global investment needed to reach the targets set by the Paris Climate Accord

Can you tell us about the Global Energy Summit, what’s involved and what people can expect at the event?

Katrina: GES2017 promises to be a great year for the attendees. I'm particularly proud of our group of speakers and panellists. They've got backgrounds in business, entrepreneurship, academics, the government, private equity... the list goes on. I think this is one of the few LBS events where you can find such a unique mix of professional experiences on one stage. 

Daniel: It’s the Energy Club’s flagship event, and one of the biggest and best attended student run conferences at LBS. Each year, we hold panels on the most important issues facing energy from a renewables, utilities, oil & gas and finance perspective. This year, we are holding a careers fair for students interested in the energy sector, as well as a networking roundtable to connect finance and consultancy professionals with energy organisations. The summit is a massive undertaking, both Katrina and I are really lucky to lead a dedicated team of our fellow MBAs to put this all together.

What's your highlight from LBS so far?

Katrina: Do I have to name just one? It's a really tough choice, but I'd say for me it was Tattoo (our annual cultural event).  I love international food and I'm a bit of a dance junkie.  Those are two of the key ingredients in the festivities, so it certainly proved to be an excellent night.

Daniel: Treks! I love to travel, and the LBS community easily caters to the travel itch. My favourite experience has been the Johannesburg GBE, working with a number of micro-entrepreneurs in economically disadvantaged communities to improve their businesses.

If you had the power to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be and why? 

Katrina: There are so many pressing issues today, all of which are critical to get right for future generations. I personally would want to tackle education. I believe education can unlock so many opportunities for people. It can also change the way communities relate to one another.

Daniel: Is it as easy as that? I think the world is just a bit too complex to solve only one problem. All jokes aside, likely climate change. It is the single biggest social, economic and environmental challenge the world is facing now, and it affects everybody.

Tell us something surprising about you?

Katrina: I was a ballet dancer for many years. I still dance today, but now it's more for fun and exercise. 

Daniel: I hold a self-defence instructor’s licence and an advanced ultralight pilot’s permit. Both of these I picked up in Canada.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Katrina: One of my favourite poems is 'If' by Rudyard Kipling.  This poem nicely lays out how to virtuously manage the difficult situations we face in life.  I actually have a printed copy of this posted at home. It reminds me that even though facing challenges is tough for everyone, I can still strive to be a better person.

Daniel: To paraphrase one of my friends at LBS: “No matter the challenges, it’ll work out somehow”. It’s a bit of an antithesis to the LBS mind-set of taking control of your own destiny, but so far, she’s been right!

Thanks both, and best of luck for the Global Energy Summit on 24 November. 


 If you're interested in attending the Global Energy Summit, click here to register and find out more.

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