New Project Pyramid Case Competition Brings B-Schools to Bear Against Global Poverty
Winning Team To Be Named at the November Net Impact Conference at Vanderbilt’s Owen School
Senior Public Affairs Officer
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Sep 14, 2007
As interest continues to grow among today’s MBA students about the role of business in the fight against global poverty, now for the first time graduate business student teams from around the world can participate in a case competition designed to produce tangible solutions to poverty-related conditions in society.
The Project Pyramid Case Competition, sponsored and hosted by the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management, is believed to be the only contest of its kind and is the product of Vanderbilt’s Project Pyramid, a student-driven initiative to arm future leaders at all of Vanderbilt University’s schools with the business tools to produce sustainable solutions that alleviate poverty. The winning team will be announced at the upcoming Net Impact Conference, the world’s largest gathering of socially responsible graduate business students and young professionals, November 1-3 on the Vanderbilt campus.
Registration for the inaugural Project Pyramid Case Competition will take place from September 14-28 through a dedicated contest Web site (www.projectpyramidcase.org). Over the course of the two-month contest, student teams will compete in two rounds of competition for $15,000 in prize money, provided through a generous gift of support by Cal Turner, Jr., chairman of the Cal Turner Family Foundation and retired Chairman and CEO of Dollar General Corporation, for the Project Pyramid initiative.
The first round of competition will be held online for one week beginning September 28, with the top ten teams then invited to Vanderbilt University to participate in the final round during the Net Impact conference. After the final round question is distributed on October 21, the teams will have 10 days to prepare their solutions, which they will present on November 1. The top three teams will then showcase their presentations to corporate executives during the final day of the conference (November 3). Judges for both rounds will include Project Pyramid student members and Owen faculty.
Vanderbilt’s Project Pyramid was established in 2006 by Owen students in pursuit of a philosophy of investing in the poor, including the principles of microfinance championed by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Vanderbilt graduate Muhammad Yunus. The initiative now involves scores of students, faculty and administrators from across all areas of the university, and was recently profiled in a major story in leading global newspaper Financial Times (“A divine perspective on global poverty,” June 25, 2007).
“This competition gives MBA students the opportunity to think about what positive actions they can take during their two years in business school and throughout their careers,” said second-year Owen student Asif Shah Mohammed, one of the contest’s founders. “We hope participants will be able to take their ideas and experience back to their own institutions to foster a dialogue on how business concepts can be used to address poverty-related problems.”
Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is ranked as a top institution by BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Forbes. For more information about Owen, visit www.owen.vanderbilt.edu.