The Shell Ideas360 focus on energy, food and water for sustainable development interested Shuyuan, Varun and Samuel. Add to that the global scale of the competition and Shell’s reputation, they knew it would be a valuable way of applying their education outside the confines of university.
As all their studies focused on energy systems, they knew from the outset that their idea would be based on encouraging better energy consumption behaviour. After a lot of brainstorming, they decided to look at the demand for electricity and tried to find a way of influencing people’s consumption behaviour through gamification. Thanks to Shuyuan’s experience in using gamification through Fitocracy, an online gamified social network that encourages people to exercise, their idea was born. “We thought about pairing social media with device monitors – if people could monitor their energy devices and compete with others in their community, perhaps their behavior would be influenced to consume less energy.”
First, they had to write down their idea into a credible proposal. “We poured over every sentence and nit-picked every word,” Varun said. However, creating the pitch video was relatively easy, thanks to Samuel’s video-editing skills, Varun’s narration and ease in front of the camera and Shuyuan’s research skills on YouTube.
The guys agree that the most challenging part of the process was grappling with the ‘business’ to support the idea. Shuyan explained: “We were a rather homogenous team consisting of three engineers, so we didn’t exactly have an intuitive grasp of business concepts.”