Events / Energy Group: View from the Edge

Energy Group: View from the Edge

June 23, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Energy Group: View from the Edge
Wednesday 23 June, 18:00 – 19:15


Are innovators the key to decentralising power systems for net zero?


Much has been said about the role of decentralised power and demand side response in changing the energy landscape. A recent report by the Centre for Research in Energy Demand Solutions highlighted the importance of demand side solutions in the journey towards net zero. One only has to look at the proliferation of domestic solar panels and consumer battery systems in the UK in the last few years to see examples of the way our energy system is changing. In the US, reports following the power outages in Texas at the beginning of the year have confirmed the growing popularity of solutions such as the Tesla Powerwall.


Our panel brings together four leading INSEAD innovators and entrepreneurs who have been active in the decentralised power and demand side response space for many years in the UK and internationally. They will be joined by our expert moderator Molly Webb to discuss issues such as the role of technology, how to change consumer behaviour and smart grids. We expect a lively discussion so sign up soon.


Gregor Hoefter (MBA 00J) founded GridDuck after a career in telecoms, e-commerce and finance. GridDuck helps commercial buildings reduce their electricity bills and CO2 emissions by cutting the amount of energy that they waste. The cloud-based wireless energy management system is low-cost and easy to install. Users can monitor the consumption of their appliances and automatically switch them off when they are not needed. The system can also be used to balance intermittent renewables and for turning down non-sensitive devices under Demand Response schemes.


Benjamin Kott (MBA 03J) is the CEO of Lightsource BP Labs, Lightsource BP’s technology division that is working on scaling smart digital energy solutions across residential and commercial applications. Previously, Benjamin was the founder and CEO of Fabriq, an award-winning online platform that helps optimise building operations and reduce energy consumption.


Prior to Fabriq, Benjamin was Google’s Green Business Operations and Energy Manager for Europe, where he was responsible for a range of initiatives from energy performance optimisation to Google’s support of the UN’s COP15 climate summit. Benjamin holds a M. Eng. in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from Technical University of Munich and an MBA from Insead in France. He is a member of the Sustainability Advisory Panel of the BBC and the Sustainability Council of the Urban Land Institute.


Andrew Mack (MBA 05J) has dedicated his career to providing more efficient and customer-centric alternatives to traditional energy suppliers across Europe. As Head of Strategy at Ovo Energy, UK, Andrew was instrumental in developing the company into second largest independent energy supplier in the UK that prides itself on low prices and excellent customer service. In 2014 Andrew founded the OVO Communities business, reintroducing municipal energy to the UK after a gap of nearly 70 years. In 2017, Andrew founded 4hundred in Germany to provide an alternative to traditional German energy suppliers, which he subsequently sold to Octopus Energy UK. Andrew continues to lead the business as its CEO.


Aleksey Toporkov (YMP 04May) is the co-founder and President of ARDA Power. ARDA Power is a Canadian startup commercialising proprietary DC (direct current) Microgrid solution which integrates energy storage with EV fast charging infrastructure, solar and utility grid as well as with other loads and energy resources. Prior to joining ARDA, Aleksey was co-owner and CEO of a Schindler Elevators and Escalators’ joint venture in Russia. Upon completion of an exit for the joint venture founders he joined Schindler USA, managing their Cost Leadership and Industrialization Programs.


Moderator: Molly Webb has more than years of experience in market acceleration and advocacy for global innovation in tech, climate change, smart cities and energy. She has worked in partnership with companies and cities (Google, Cisco, BT, Arup) at The Climate Group and UK think tank Demos. Molly set up the non-profit Energy Unlocked in 2015 to accelerate energy system transitions through policy, programme design and innovator support, including with Greater London Authority, the Coalition for Urban Transitions, International Energy Agency and innovators including Gommyr and LO3 Energy. She founded Yoyu Tech Ltd in 2020 to make it easy for consumers to access the carbon value from energy actions at home. She serves as jury member for cleanweb and clean tech awards. Earlier in her career, she worked in software and IT product development in New York, Tokyo and London. Molly has an MSc in Environmental Policy from the London School of Economics.