Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The end - after the 2013 Baku Summer Energy School

Well, the 2013 Baku Summer Energy School has come to an end. I'm back in Tbilisi, Georgia now and I've had a couple days to reflect on my experiences at the BSES program. 

Before getting into that, a quick recap of the program's second week --- we started off with two days about geopolitics and the political forces underlying the provision of oil and gas resources, mainly focusing on Azerbaijan and with important digressions about Turkmenistan. Renowned energy analyst John Roberts joined us for these two days, during which time he lectured and led a couple of simulations that very clearly illustrated the concepts we were discussing. After a day on strategic management, we continued to discuss the oil and gas industry from the perspective of oil companies, as well as from the relevant states. The week culminated in a round-table with four representatives (which included two ambassadors) of countries relevant to Azerbaijan's and the Caspian Sea region's natural resources - Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The final keynote speaker was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov. After he presented us with our certificates of participation in the program, we were done. 

I've now had about four days to think back on the 7th Baku Summer Energy School. First off, I really enjoyed my time in Baku. I had a lot of fun at the program, which is not what I was anticipating --- I was expecting 100% serious, 100% of the time. I learned a lot too, which is by far the most important thing, but I'm really glad I was able to have a great time while doing it. For me, the best aspect of the Baku Summer Energy School was meeting and spending time with the other participants, who were all really interesting people from all over the world that are also working in or studying the energy sector. I'm going to keep in touch with them for a long time, as well as with the program staff, who were also fantastic! The conference was extremely well organized and the staff also did a great job of attracting top-notch speakers. I had several favorites over the course of the two weeks - namely Dr. Tatiana Mitrova, Karl Petter Waern, Rikard Scoufias, John Roberts, and Ilgar Mehti - but the most memorable session for me was the one led by John Roberts in which we simulated an outbreak of violence in Nagorno-Karabagh, the territory disputed by Azerbaijan and Armenia. We split into four groups, with one representing Azerbaijan, another Armenia, a third Russia, and the final group international oil companies. In a matter of minutes, he demonstrated to us how tenuous the situation in Nagorno-Karabagh really is and how - theoretically - easily it could devolve into violence. 

All in all, I'm very happy that I participated in the 2013 Baku Summer Energy School. I absolutely would recommend the program to any and all of my friends and classmates who are interested in the energy sphere! 

The AU crew at Azerbaijan Diplomatic AcademyThe AU crew at Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy

Discussing the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict (photo cred to Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy)

The Flame Towers + mosque

Some Baku Summer Energy School participants by the Eternal Flame memorial in Baku's Martyrs' Lane

BSES participants posing with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov (photo cred to Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy)
Greetings from Tbilisi, Georgia!

1 comment:

  1. What a great post, Inta! Thanks for sharing your final reflections on the program and the great photos. Best of luck at your internship in Tiblisi now!