Teams of students will be gathering Friday to solve global issues during the International Program’s second annual Global Case Competition (GCC) at 2 p.m. in Todd 276.
The competition is made up of 10 teams of four to six students of multi-disciplinary studies and backgrounds, all within the WSU campuses.
“Once the global case is revealed to teams, they have one week to come up with a solution, which they display in a two-page paper.” said Denise Chin, GCC coordinator.
The case is decided by the planning committee, a group of graduate and undergraduate students and one faculty advisor, and kept secret until a week before the competition, she said.
“This committee looks for recent global issues that are relevant locally and globally,” Chin said. “We want students to think about sustainability in a broader sense, rather than just what is good for the environment around us.”
This year’s case asks teams, “How can renewable energy be developed in Nigeria in a way that would uplift the well-being of its people, given the challenges it is facing with crude oil extraction and the recent oil rig burn?” according to GCC website.
According to the GCC website, the oil rig burn was a 46-day fire on Jan. 16, just off the coast of Nigeria which has been “exemplifying the harmful effects of harnessing natural gas.”
Once the teams have submitted their papers the competitors are dwindled down to five teams that are chosen to present their solutions to a panel of three judges, Chin said.
One of these judges is Orlin Reinbold, CEO of Landmark Native Seed Co., who was on the panel last year.
“The presentations are judged on their grasp of the project, as well as their understanding of solving the issue in a global market. We also look at how well the solution can be implemented.” Reinbold said.
The final presentation is a 15-minute process. Competitors have 10 minutes to present their solution with a five minute question and answer period with the judges, who pick them based on a point system.
“What we are doing is taking geographic location, climate and infrastructure and trying to fit them into a workable solution to figure out renewable energy,” said environmental science major Roger Stringer.
Stringer’s team won the competition last year, in which the case was to develop an action plan for Haiti following the earthquake in 2010, according to a WSU News Center article.
“On our team we have three undergraduates from the Pullman and Tri Cities campuses, an international business student, civil engineering student, and a human sciences and anthropology student,” Stringer said. “It’s part of the requirement to have a multiple-disciplinary team.”
The winner of this competition will win a $1,000 cash prize.
Chin said the International Program hopes to collaborate in the future with organizations like U.S. Agency for International Development to look for ways that winning teams might be able to carry out their solutions, as well as engage student education in more creative ways.
“Part of what I’m doing is applying what I’ve learned about global economics and finance to real global issues.” junior international business major Cody Nelson said.
Nelson is also a returning competitor on Stringer’s team.
“We are dealing with real world challenges, and I think as a student body, gathering innovative ways of overcoming these challenges is part of education.” he said.
The event is free and open to the public.
“Our vision of what we think we can do within our community is often easier than what we think we can do internationally,” Reinbold said. “You run into a lot of logistical obstacles when you are doing business overseas ... one thing that this competition is doing is giving students a global experience without going overseas.”