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Saïd Business School Hosts Global Challenge, Saïd Team Wins

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On Monday, May 1st, Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford hosted the finale of the Global Challenge. Six finalist teams from around the globe competed to take home a prize of £3,000 cash as well as tickets and travel allowance to attend the Skoll World Forum 2018 and Emerge 2017.

About the Global Challenge

The Global Challenge is a competition that offers students and recent graduates a chance to learn more about the global issues that interest them and to present those findings to a global audience. Participants are asked to develop a business plan or to present an idea for a quick fix, while also demonstrating a deep understanding of a pressing social or environmental issue by mapping out the landscape of the current solutions and identifying missing opportunities for positive change.

The challenge was founded in 2016 by Saïd’s Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which works to advance entrepreneurial activity that combats unjust or unsatisfactory systems and practices. This year, the challenge expanded to include participants from more than 20 universities across five continents, making it a truly global competition.

The Global Challenge Details

The Global Challenge took place over a series of event presentations, including a semi-final held on March 27th. It was at this semi-final that Saïd’s “Saving Mothers” team was selected to represent Oxford at the finale. The winning team’s submission focused on maternal health challenges in a rural district of KwaZulu, South Africa. The team included two MBA students and a sociology master’s student:

    • Miguel Strobel (MBA 2017)
    • Dr. Chris Mathew (MBA 2017)
    • Dr. Claire Keene (MSc 2017)

Mathew spoke about his team making it to the final in a recent news release.

“Two of us are doctors who have worked in South Africa and even in rural parts of KwaZulu-Natal—so we naturally assumed we had a pretty solid grasp on the problem,” he said. “Only once we started the competition and began researching the problem did we realize how many assumptions we had incorrectly made—nearly all of them! We discovered perspectives on our South African mothers that hadn’t even remotely occurred to us, let alone [been] expected. This has been an incredibly enlightening experience for all three of us, and we are absolutely thrilled to be representing the University of Oxford in the global final!”

But making it to the final didn’t mean the team’s work was done. According to Andrea Warriner, deputy director of the Skoll Center, the team could expect fierce competition during the final.

“We were excited about the range of challenges Oxford participants selected for their submissions, and the deep learning that teams experienced,” Warriner said in a statement. “We know that the finalists from all over the world who will travel to Oxford to compete in the global final will also have powerful entries—our winning Oxford team should expect tough competition!”

May 1st Final

As predicted, the final round brought stiff competition. Six teams from universities around the world met up on May 1st inside Saïd’s Nelson Mandela Lecture Theater to present their research and findings to a panel of six judges. The schools represented and their proposals were:

    • SFU Beedie School of Business: MediMorph
    • Melbourne University: Umps Health
    • Saïd Business School: Saving Mothers
    • University of San Diego: Simple Seat, Better Lives
    • University of Cape Town: Allsafe
    • Mount Royal University: Braden Etzerza

The final was judged by:

    • Cheryl Dahle: an entrepreneur and journalist who works at the intersection of business and social change
    • Claudia Kelly Li: a Global Ashoka Fellow with nearly a decade of experience in cross-cultural communications and environmental campaigning
    • Henry Majed: a Partnerships Director at 2degrees, the leading collaboration platform for sustainable business
    • Avani Patel: the Local Portfolio Director of the Peery Foundation, which is focused on closing the opportunity gap for youth in East Palo Alto
    • Baljeet Sandhu: the founding director of the Migrant & Refugee Children’s Legal Unit (MiCLU), a national legal and policy hub
    • Darian Stibbe: a professional who consults to companies, the UN, NGOs, and governments to foster cross-sector partnership to support social innovation and sustainable development

In the end, the MediMorph team from SFU Beedie took first place, followed by Simple Seat, Better Lives from the University of San Diego in second place, and Umps Health from Melbourne University in third.

This post has been republished in its entirety from its original source,