There are various ways to embed sustainability into the curriculum and to get students engaged in sustainability issues. One such method is to invite students to get involved in the growing number of global competitions and contests, often organised in partnership with the business sector. These competitions provide a valuable opportunity to explore solutions to existing business and sustainability challenges. These contests sometimes offer winners fame, other times cash prizes; in any case, they are an important opportunity to move these issues forward.
In this section, I will regularly share with you different contests that could be used to generate enthusiasm around the topic of sustainability. Here we look at challenges relating to Marketing, Retail and Sustainability.
Marketing students from business schools around the world including the University of Limerick participated in the Global Google Marketing Challenge, working in teams to develop and online marketing campaign for a local charity or start-up enterprise. With a US$250 budget provided by Google, students and faculty from business schools around the world can win a range of prizes, including trips to Google Headquarters.
Marks & Spencer Sustainable Retailing Challenge 2012 is organised by retailer Marks & Spencer and the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield School of Management. The first round involves teams from leading business schools making short assessments comparing a retailer’s decision to source roses from Kenya or the Netherlands. The second phase looked at sustainability of cotton. The five most impressive teams made it to the final round where students were asked to develop their ideas for a new product or service which would represent M&S as a world-leading sustainable retailer.
The Imagine Cup World Citizen Competition recognizes software apps that have the greatest potential to improve the world we live in. It encourages teams to come up with an idea for an app that will help reduce world hunger, provide better treatment for disease, raise awareness of environmental issues or provide better access to education. The competition is in collaboration with Microsoft.
The Major of New York has launched a Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge which challenges anyone, anywhere to redesign New York’s 11,412 payphones. The current payphone vendor agreement expires in 2014 creating opportunities for innovation. The submission period ends on February 18th and up to 15 prototypes will be selected as semi-finalists and invited to participate in the Demo Day.