Aspen Institute Competition Prompts MBA Students To Innovate For The Good Of Business And Society


The Aspen Institute 

03 May, 2017, 11:56 ET

Eighteen MBA students – selected from close to 1,000 worldwide – have won a share of nearly $35,000 in scholarship money by tackling a real-life business challenge at the intersection of corporate profitability and positive social and environmental impact. 

Through the Aspen Institute's Business & Society International MBA Case Competition, along with lead partner BNY Mellon, students representing 25 top business schools analyzed a brand new case study, authored by the Yale School of Management, about the IBM Corporate Service Corps (CSC). Founded in 2007, IBM CSC had become the largest pro bono consulting program in the world sending nearly 500 IBM employees each year to consult with organizations in countries all over the globe.

About the Case
Students had just 72 hours to review and respond to the new case study which challenged them to enhance the social impact of IBM's renowned Corporate Service Corps (CSC). The CSC promises a triple benefit: leadership training for IBM staff, brand recognition for the company in emerging markets, and community development in the areas served by IBM's host organizations. In the competition, students were tasked with developing practical strategies for IBM to implement that would systematically improve CSC's design in order to maximize the social impact of the consulting projects while preserving the program's other benefits.

On-campus competitions determined first place school winners, whose case analyses were then blindly reviewed by an academic panel assembled by the Aspen Institute to determine the five finalist teams. All finalist teams received prize money, with the first place team receiving $15,000 in scholarship funds. Now in its eighth year, the Aspen Institute's Business & Society International MBA Case Competition encourages the next generation of business leaders to think innovatively about the role of business in solving the world's most complex and pressing challenges.

During the breakfast event, Jennifer Crozier, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship at IBM and President of the IBM International Foundation, shared insights on IBM CSC and the role of business in societal change. She was joined on the panel by Jyoti Chopra, Managing Director of Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Global Citizenship & Sustainability at BNY Mellon and David Bach, Senior Associate Dean, Executive MBA & Global Programs and Professor of Practice of Management at the Yale School of Management.

The Aspen Institute is also thankful for the support, time, and enthusiasm of this year's judges: Vero Bourg-Meyer, Project Editor, Case Study Research and Development, Yale School of ManagementLiz Dahan, Director, New York, Brunswick Group; Heidi DuBois, Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Investing, BNY Mellon; Thomas Kamei, Investor, Growth Team, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Aspen Institute First Mover Fellow; Samuel Lee, Teaching Fellow, Department of Asian and Policy Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong; Jason Tauber, Portfolio Manager, Large Cap Disciplined Growth Team, Neuberger Berman; Gina Tesla, Director of Corporate Citizenship Initiatives, IBM; Marc J Ventresca, Organizational and Economic Sociologist, Faculty, University of Oxford, Saïd Business School.

Read the entire press release from the Aspen Institute. 

Learn more about the IBM CSC case study