The Business School was unexpectedly invited to take part in the challenge by the office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai.
The challenge was timed to coincide with the high powered World Government Summit, which brings together prominent leaders from the public and private sectors for an “inspirational, thought-provoking, and future-focused dialogue” on ways to improve the lives of the world’s citizens.
The summit is supported by the United Nations, the World Bank, the WTO and the World Economic Forum. Attendees this year will include the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi; the CEO of NASDAQ; the President of the World Bank, the Director General of the WTO and the Secretary General of the OECD.
The teams were given a scenario set in the UAE in 2031 and asked to maintain the nation’s success with a future roadmap to 2071. Teams were informed of the topic and required to deliver a six minute presentation less than three days later.
The London Business School came first out of 17 schools, including Wharton, HEC, and Harvard.
Team member and advertising consultant, Celia Wallace, said that the University of Sydney team was “up there amongst the best”.
There is no doubt in our minds that the University of Sydney Business School will be invited back to compete next year
“This experience has been outstanding and being able to represent the Business School in the summit for us was second to none,” said Celia.
“There is no doubt in our minds that the University of Sydney Business School will be invited back to compete next year,” she added.
Celia saw the challenge as an opportunity to apply the skills acquired through the School’s MBA. “The program taught me to look at complex problems in a creative and innovative way,” she said.
Fellow team member, Suzette Joachim, who is a policy manager with the New South Wales Department of Education, said the MBA gave her an understanding of just how fast the world is changing and the skills needed to effectively manage through those changes.
The remaining four team members were Chris Murphy, Adam Brownlee, Willis Gray and Diane Chapman.
All six, said Director of the MBA Professor Guy Ford, have some formal qualifications in public policy or international relations. “The MBA has also given them other skills; a broader perspective and creative problem solving abilities.”
“They’ve all worked together before really well, they’ve got these exceptional team building skills. It is also a diverse, lean and very agile group of highly talented people,” Professor Ford added.
Congratulating the team, the Dean, Professor Greg Whitwell, said “the School’s fundamental mission is to provide a transformative educational experience that prepares students for the jobs and the industries of the future and to nurture leaders who can thrive in a world subject to more change and uncertainty than ever before.”
“Our team’s performance is a clear indication that we are succeeding in that mission,” he said.
The Business School's MBA is the nation's number one program of its kind, according to the biennial MBA ranking published by the Australian Financial Review’s highly respected BOSS magazine.