The winning team

Student competition delivers crystal-clear solutions for health workers

International business students, from across Europe, arrived at the University of Exeter Business School for the annual One Planet MBA Sustainability Challenge this month.

Organised annually by current students of the innovative One Planet MBA, the challenge offers international teams the opportunity to develop a practical solution to a sustainability problem set by a guest organisation. 

This year’s organisation was Blue Ventures; a charity that develops life-changing approaches for improving locally-led marine conservation. Blue Ventures work in places where the ocean is vital to local cultures and economies, and is committed to protecting marine biodiversity in ways that benefit local people. The ‘virtual’ location for this year’s challenge was Madagascar.

To set the scene, Vik Mohan, Blue Ventures Medical Director, delivered an extensive presentation on the aims of Blue Ventures and some of its current projects. In addition, participants received a number of presentations from country experts.

Whilst teams from Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University and Audencia Nantes School of Management, France reached the semi-final, the University of Birmingham was the eventual winner.  The team from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Netherlands secured second place.

The judges, who were a mix of academics and practitioners, thought University of Birmingham’s winning proposal demonstrated the multiple advantages of connecting environmental and human welfare by using the popularity of herbal medicines amongst local populations to raise the profile of more modern medicines provided by local health workers.  At the end of the competition, Vik Mohan of Blue Ventures said: “It’s very exciting for us to be able to benefit from the creativity and entrepreneurial thinking of the different teams taking part in the Challenge. I look forward to taking these ideas to our leadership team, to see how our communities can benefit from them.”

At the end of the event Nicolas Forsans, MBA Course Director was invited to present the prizes to the various teams. When asked to comment on this year’s event he noted: “The teams have worked very hard over the last two days and should be proud of the solutions they have produced for Blue Ventures.” 

Date: 1 July 2015

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