23 September 2020, Virtual Event
For a third consecutive year, the PRME Innovation Challenge brings together students from Advanced PRME Signatories to engage with companies to build sustainable business solutions addressing their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) / corporate social responsibility objectives. The programme aims to connect companies with next-generation innovators and entrepreneurs to catalyze corporate innovation which advances the SDGs.
The two participating companies this year are Manitou Group and Rockwell Automation. They have each defined a challenge specific to their own business and two teams of students have been working with each of the companies to develop a solution to the company-specific challenge.
Jury member Dr. Tom Hunsaker, Associate Dean of Innovation at Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University, noted: “The PRME Innovation Challenge is a fantastic model for building sustainability momentum – bright young minds paired with enterprise sponsors to solve particular SDG-responsive challenges for shared benefit.” At the same time, another distinguished jury member, Ms. Nkiruka Chiemelu, Senior Manager, Global Operations, UN Global Compact said: “Initiatives like the PRME Innovation Challenge demonstrate how PRME is investing in the future of business – both by shaping new mindsets among the next generation of business leaders while also developing innovative solutions at the intersection of the SDGs and technology.”
Today, on the sideline of the 75th Annual UN General Assembly Week and the UN Global Compact’s Uniting Business LIVE events, the 2020 PRME Innovation Challenge Finale showcased two student teams, one from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in the Philippines and the other from Copenhagen Business School (CBS) in Denmark. The two teams virtually presented their innovative solutions to the company-specific challenges in front of a five-member jury panel and an audience of over 400 online viewers from the wider PRME and UN Global Compact communities.
The esteemed jury members, representing business, academia and the UN, evaluated the student teams’ presentations based on a set of criteria, such as originality, feasibility, clarity of presentation, and overall impact of their solutions. After careful deliberation, the jury arrived at a winner of this year’s Challenge – the team from the Asian Institute of Management who will be awarded a certificate of excellence in corporate innovation, as well as a monetary reward of USD 1000 each towards their education expenses.
Jury member Dr. Adel Guitouni, Associate Professor and Associate Co-Chair of the Victoria Forum at the Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria noted: “Both AIM and CBS teams did an outstanding job, and they made their institutions proud. It was a hard job to choose a winner. I encourage both Rockwell Automation and Manitou Group to follow through with the proposed recommendations. I am sure they will reap the benefits.”
PRME will continue providing such engagement opportunities for students from Advanced PRME Signatory schools in the future with the help of key stakeholders and businesses interested in supporting the achievement of the SDGs in cooperation with bright young minds.
Rockwell Automation Inc. is an American provider of industrial automation and information technology. Brands include Allen-Bradley and FactoryTalk software. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rockwell Automation employs over 23,000 people and has customers in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Manitou is a French heavy equipment manufacturer that makes forklifts, cherry pickers, telehandlers, and other heavy equipment. Manitou started in France in 1957 when Marcel Braud designed the first forklift truck for use in rough terrain. Its headquarters are in Ancenis.
Asian Institute of Management Team
Tonophine Flores, Jaganath Taduri, Rahul Nagaraj and Venghat Bhalaji
Copenhagen Business School Team
Sara Rolén, Ida Kristine Hansen, Axel Jerre Larsson and Laura Hönig
Nkiruka Chiemelu, Senior Manager, Global Operations, UN Global Compact, Ann Rosenberg, former Senior Vice President UN Partnerships at SAP & Global Head of SAP Next- Gen, Dr. Tom Hunsaker, Associate Dean of Innovation, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University, Dr. Mohan V. Avvari, Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation and Director of Research, Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Dr. Adel Guitouni, Associate Professor & Associate Co-Chair of the Victoria Forum, Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria