It started as an idea... and grew into a movement.

The International Student Energy Summit (ISES) started as an idea in the mind of a second year Bachelor of Commerce student at the University of Calgary, Mark Blackwell. Mark had attended many forums around the world that discussed key issues in energy. Although all the events were informative, they were lacking a platform for students to connect and learn at their own level. He took the idea back to a friend and fellow energy enthusiast, Sabrina Sullivan, who helped to further conceptualize the idea of an event FOR STUDENTS, BY STUDENTS. This is when ISES was born.

The vision was to have experts from all over the world come together with the ultimate goal of educating the leaders of tomorrow. Mark and Sabrina were able to gain the support of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE) at the University of Calgary, a think tank that strives to support student innovation and energy education. With ISEEE on board, the planning committee grew and the first event took place in Calgary, Canada - June 11-13, 2009. The event was extremely successful in bringing together young minds from over 30 countries, and a family of supportive sponsors and energy experts from various disciplines ready to impart their knowledge.

Due to the overwhelming success of the inaugural ISES, Kali Taylor and Janice Tran (the Chair and Vice-Chair of ISES 2009) decided to continue the movement and hold an ISES every two years in a different city around the world – enabling students to continue coming together to reignite their passion for energy. In 2010, Rosie Pidcock and Emily Brown were engaged to lead the planning of ISES 2011 in Vancouver. Both Rosie and Emily attended ISES 2009 and believe wholeheartedly in the ISES vision and mission.

Building off the success of the first two ISES events, Student Energy was formed as a not-for-profit organization to continue the legacy of ISES events and to build additional programs that would encourage young people to engage in the transition to a sustainable energy future. Kali Taylor, Janice Tran and Sean Collins are the founders of the organization. Under their leadership, ISES is now open to any school interested in planning the summit. At ISES 2011 the first ever ISES Bid was launched.

In 2011, three Norwegian students Alexander Hanssen, Andreas Grav Karlsen and Anders Kallhovd took interest in ISES and submitted a successful bid to host the 2013 event. For the very first time, ISES would be hosted on another continent; at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. The “A-Team” and their peers at NTNU continue to work tirelessly to make inroads for ISES in Europe and around the world.

In 2013, Hilman Syahri Fathoni, a geology student from Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) in Indonesia, attended the ISES 2013 in Norway and brought home the inspiration to hold the next summit in Indonesia. Hilman and two of his friends submitted a successful bid to host the ISES 2015 event in Bali, Indonesia with the Bandung Institute of Technology as host institution. For the very first time in ISES history, the biennial summit will be held in Southeast Asia and it will bring new perspective for students from around the globe to ‘Connect the Unconnected’.