UVic MBA students win first place in case competition at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

UVic MBA students win first place in case competition at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

After months of preparation and three intensive rounds of competition, a group of Gill Graduate School MBA students at the University of Victoria, competed in, and placed first, at the Corporate Knights’ Business for a Better World case study competition during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Gill MBA students Jesal Shah, Andrew Spence, Susan Laidlaw, and Karin Feldkamp advanced to the second and third rounds of the case competition. From the second round, in-person presentation, three of the five teams advanced to the final round, where they competed for $10,000 in top prizes. It was in this final round that the Gill MBA students were awarded the top prize and first place.

In the lead up to their final presentations in Davos, the group underwent rigorous training, including a mock presentation and Q&A session with local pharmaceutical veterans Noel Hall, co-founder and president, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals; and Martin Thornton, director and head of human resources (North America), Vifor Pharma, who were in the audience to provide counsel and advice for the students. The case study presentation was limited to just 10 minutes before leading into the Q&As.

Heading to Switzerland, the competition was narrowed down from 25 teams, from around the world, to five and then to the final three teams, including UVic’s. The competition required each group to apply 12 of the most widely disclosed and tracked sustainability indicators to the case. Teams were challenged to identify priority social, environmental, and governance metrics for the study (in this case, Novartis, a global healthcare company) and improve its performance relative to industry peers on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, an annual benchmark ranking that has been produced by Corporate Knights since 2005. The Business for a Better World Case Competition is a partnership between Corporate Knights, the company for clean capitalism, and the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto. For more information on the case competition, visit www.corporateknights.com/affiliates/2015contest/