Global Sustainability Case Competition

Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: $610

Letter of Intent:

January 20, 2021

ReThink is committed to organizing professional interdisciplinary opportunities to students to demonstrate the impact and intersection of business with sustainability. Through ReThink, we have put together several successful past projects including our 2019-2020 beginner-friendly Global Sustainability Case Competition (GSCC) in collaboration with Net Impact and Global Case Competition Club. We hope that this collaboration shows students that our respective clubs can come together under the common goal of increasing sustainability education while exposing students to case competitions. Our club has hosted this event several times in the past; after a brief break, it was brought back under new leadership last year in 2020 in which we addressed the carbon impact of fashion through the case of Patagonia. We are pleased to have reached our goal of 12 qualified teams (46 students) who, over the course of 72 hours, dove into these impacts and ramifications culminating in an intense 8 hour competition day. This year, through a virtual setting, we hope to bring this same energy to the topic of sustainable meats/alternative proteins through a case study on Beyond Meat. This case is a unique opportunity to tackle food sustainability, marketing, and positioning by answering the question: How does Beyond Meat grow its market share within the protein market? Students will use the following questions to guide their responses: Define where beyond meat fits into the competitive landscape as of now, How can they tap into the animal protein market?, How does Beyond Meat position itself in the future? (Ecological vs Health vs Other?). We chose this case in effort to allow students from different backgrounds to personally immerse themselves in the field of sustainable investment and understand the issue from a financial, environmental, and consumer lens. Alternative proteins are a major point in the fight for sustainable food sources and are an easy way for new students to get involved with understanding the environmental impacts of daily choices as well as preparing them for a potential future in green careers. This case was also chosen as a jumping point for continued conversations surrounding the accessibility of sustainable food such as food deserts and corporate responsibility which we will continue addressing in ReThink.  

We expect to match the number of participants, from last year around 12 teams of 3-4 students, though we are flexible to support between 9-15 teams. Additionally, we intend on minimizing the barrier to entry as much as possible by allowing for  individuals as well as first-come-first-serve sign ups, and placing no restrictions on major/experience. We anticipate opening applications on February 1st and closing them by February 17th. During kick-off, on February 23rd, participants will hear a unique presentation given by a faculty member at the University of Washington surrounding these topics of sustainable investment and sustainable food access. Our long-term goal, as is with all of our events, is to generate membership retention in order to begin a progression of the ReThink sustainability curriculum. Through one-time involvements in events such as this, we hope to reach new audiences and engage them in our future opportunities such as our consulting engagements, tech projects, or simply our bi-weekly round table program. Our teams will be responsible for schedule coordination for the day of the event, keeping time in the rooms and ensuring professionalism is maintained.

Our current leadership team has successfully hosted a version of this case competition in the past and we are confident we will be able to replicate that success this year regardless of the unique challenges presented by the virtual adjustment. This past summer, we offered a virtual economic engagement opportunity in collaboration with Ebey’s Reserve on Whidbey Island and are currently managing the Sustainability Upheld in Business (SUB) Initiative further showing our competencies in virtual project management. Under the expertise of Professor Ruth Huwe of Foster School of Business, we will ensure transparency and accountability for all monies involved in this production including that of CSF.

We are seeking corporate sponsors in the food industry to provide their expertise and professionalism to our case competition allowing them valuable access to new industry trends. We seek to use CSF monies to purchase the cases from Harvard Business School in order to offer this event

Line by Line Budget

  1. $550; Copies of the Beyond Meat Case from Harvard Business School for Students and Judges; 55 copies at $10
  2. $60; Social media ads on Facebook and Instagram; $10 per campaign * 6 campaigns  

Requesting $610

Additional Funds Anticipated

We are seeking $400 in corporate funding to support the $100/team member prize money incentive. Should this goal not be met, we are prepared to fund it via our own budgets at present to offer $50 gift cards to specific sustainable local businesses - these businesses have not been identified at time of writing. We are also seeking funding from the Global Business Center.

Finalized Timeline

  • February 1 - Applications Open
  • February 17 - Registration Officially Closes 
  • February 23 - Kickoff Event and Case Release 
  • February 27 - Presentation Submissions
  • February 28 - March 5 - Judging Period
  • March 6 - Live Final Round on Zoom
Primary Contact First & Last Name: YuYu Madigan
Supplementary Documents: