The Challenge deals with a global issue where Helsinki can pave the way, and we want to make sure the winning solutions are decided upon by the top experts in the field. Therefore, an international jury will make the decisions on the winners based on the final detailed proposals of the finalists.  

The jury will evaluate the finalised competition entries anonymously – only the solutions and their impact will be evaluated.

Helsinki Energy Challenge jury:


Hans Jørgen Koch

Hans Jørgen Koch served as the CEO of Nordic Energy Research 2014-2020. In the period 1982- 2014 he was Director General, Deputy Permanent Secretary of State, in the Ministries responsible for energy issues in Denmark. He has also held the position of Director for Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Research, Development and Deployment in The International Energy Agency of OECD in Paris (IEA/OECD). For a 30-year period, he was member of The Governing Board of the International Energy Agency and of EU’s High-Level-Group of Director Generals on Energy. He has also been Chairman of IEA’s Committee on Renewable Energy and IEA’s Committee on Research and Technology. Earlier, he has been Governor in the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. He was Chairman of the Energy Committee of the Nordic Council of Ministers and acting minister several times in the period between 1982 and 2013.

Markku Ollikainen

Chair of the Finnish Climate Change Panel, Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, University of Helsinki 

Markku Ollikainen is a recognized expert on climate change as well as on environmental and resource economics, and on the sustainable use of renewable natural resources. The Finnish Government has appointed him to chair the Finnish Climate Change Panel for the term 1 January 2020–31 December 2023. He chaired the Panel during the previous term as well. The Finnish Climate Change Panel is an independent, interdisciplinary think tank of 15 top-level Finnish scholars and specialists that promotes dialogue between science and policy-making. The Panel provides scientific advice for policy-making and reinforces interdisciplinary insight in the operation of different sectors. The Panel also serves as an advisor to the Finnish ministerial working group on energy and climate policy. 

Robert Stoner

Deputy Director, Science and Technology, MIT Energy Initiative; Founding Director, MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design

Robert Stoner is the Deputy Director for Science and Technology of the MIT Energy Initiative, Founding Director of the MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design, and faculty co-director of the MIT Electric Power Systems Center. He is currently a member of the MIT Energy Council, the Science and Technology Committee of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and the Technical Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Science, Technology and Energy Policy. Stoner also advises numerous venture backed technology companies, and is a member of the External Advisory Committee of the venture firm EniNext.  He also serves as the secretary of the Rockefeller Foundation funded Global Commission to End Energy Poverty. Stoner is the inventor of numerous computational and ultrafast optical measurement techniques, and has built and managed successful technology firms in the semiconductor, IT and optics industries.  From 2007 through 2009 he lived and worked in Africa and India while serving in a variety of senior roles within the Clinton Foundation, including as the CEO of the Clinton Development Initiative, and Director of the Clinton Climate Initiative for Africa.  His current research interests include energy technology and policy for developing countries.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Queen’s University, and his Ph.D. from Brown University in condensed matter physics. 

Sanna Syri

Professor, Energy Technology and Energy Economics, Aalto University

Sanna Syri is professor of Energy Technology and Energy Economics at Aalto University School of Engineering. She received her PhD in Technical Physics from Helsinki University of Technology in 2001. Before her appointment at Aalto University, she has worked at the Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT, at the Finnish Environment Institute and at IIASA in Austria. Her research work concentrates on efficient climate change mitigation in large-scale energy systems. Her research group especially studies sustainable transitions of international electricity markets and city-level district heat systems.

Brian Vad Mathiesen

Professor, University of Aalborg

Brian Vad Mathiesen focuses on the design of 100 % Renewable Energy Systems and the transition from current systems towards such systems from both a technical and economic perspective; research focus on Smart Energy Systems and large-scale integration of fluctuating renewable resources (e.g. wind power). Sector integration and identifying synergies in all parts of the energy and transport system for feasible storage and management of intermittent resources are key. For a decade, Brian has done research in energy planning, technical energy system analyses, feasibility studies as well as public regulation and technological changes in society.

Martin Young

Senior Director, Scenarios and Business Insights, World Energy Council

Prior to the appointment as Senior Director, Business Insights and Scenarios, Martin Young served as Director of Policy and Risk, leading the work with the Council’s community on the Energy Trilemma and Dynamic Risk. He led the evolution of the Trilemma methodology from a global metric to a broader regional, national and sub-national framework to help identify and share best practice, and enable a richer policy dialogue. Martin joined the Council in August 2017 after spending 5 years at the International Energy Agency where he led the Emergency Policy Division working on the IEA’s core energy security mandate and reviewing emergency response policies in various countries. He previously worked for the UK government in various departments, focusing on energy after becoming responsible for the UK’s oil and gas statistics in 2002.

The World Energy Council was established in 1923 as the world’s first pragmatic global energy transition community. Its member-based global network includes some 3,000 organisations  across government, industry and academia in over 90 countries. The Council is independent, politically and technologically neutral, working across the whole energy sector to assist diverse societies to better prepare for and to shape more sustainable energy futures.