The Aspen Institute and BNY Mellon Recognize MBA Student Innovators

The Aspen Institute and BNY Mellon Recognize MBA Student Innovators

tweet me:
.@AspenBizSociety announces 2014 #AspenCaseComp winners, recognizing #MBA student innovators!

Multimedia from this Release

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 9:00am

NEW YORK, April 9, 2014 /3BL Media/ - Twenty MBA students – selected from nearly 1,000 competitors worldwide – competed for a share of $30,000 in scholarship money by tackling a real-life business challenge at the intersection of corporate profitability and positive social and environmental impact. 

This spring, students representing 25 business schools analyzed a brand new case study, co-authored by the Yale School of Management and Tecnológico de Monterrey, focused on questions of regional economic development and public health that San Miguel – a Mexican social enterprise – is currently facing.  Now in its fifth year, the Aspen Institute’s Business & Society International MBA Case Competition, along with lead partner BNY Mellon, encourages next generation business leaders to think innovatively about the role of business in solving the world’s most pressing issues.

This year’s winning teams are:

  • 1st Place: Wilfrid Laurier University, School of Business and Economics (Canada)
  • 2nd Place: Duquesne University, Donahue Graduate School of Business
  • 3rd Place: University of Iowa, Henry B. Tippie School of Management
  • 4th Place: Boston University, School of Management
  • 5th Place: The American University in Cairo, School of Business (Egypt)

And honorable mentions were awarded to five additional teams from:


  • Audencia Nantes, School of Management (France)
  • Middlebury College, Monterey Institute of International Studies
  • Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management
  • University of London, London Business School (United Kingdom)
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst, Isenberg School of Management

San Miguel, the company at the heart of this year’s case, has pioneered the processing of amaranth, a highly nutritious and versatile grain.  Because of the founders’ 28 year commitment to the community, the small Mexican village where the company is headquartered has become a “rural utopia,” having eradicated infant mortality and providing stable employment.  Now San Miguel is poised for growth but faces urgent, complex challenges.   

“Students working on the San Miguel case had to wrestle with these challenges and develop recommendations for the company’s management that would achieve profitable growth even while it continued to remain one with the community that has helped it thrive and to whom it is dedicated,” explained Nancy McGaw, Director of the Aspen Institute’s Center for Business Education.

John Buckley, BNY Mellon’s head of corporate social responsibility, further noted, “This year’s MBA teams demonstrated strong insight on creating long-term value – financial, social and environmental – for all stakeholders.  This capability gives us confidence that the next generation of business leaders will be prepared to meet the challenges of making financial decisions that truly further the well-being of all.” 

Students had just three days to review and respond to the new case study.  On-campus competitions determined first place school winners, whose work was then reviewed by an academic panel assembled by the Aspen Institute to determine the five finalist teams.  All finalist teams received prize money, with the first place team receiving $15,000, as well as $1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice.

The Aspen Institute’s Business & Society International MBA Case Competition is grateful for the generous support of its corporate partners:

  •        BNY Mellon
  •        Bertelsmann
  •        Liquidnet
  •        Lockheed Martin
  •        Motorola Solutions Foundation

The Aspen Institute is also thankful for the support, time, and enthusiasm of this year’s judges: Gustavo Cam, BNY Mellon’s Chief Administrative Officer for Latin America; Kate Cooney, lecturer in social enterprise and management at the Yale School of Management; Jennifer Johnson, research consultant to the Aspen Institute; Leo Mackay, vice president at Lockheed Martin; Sarah Murray, specialist writer on corporate responsibility for publications such as the Financial Times; Michele de Nevers, Senior Program Associate at the Center for Global Development; Maureen Scully, faculty member and associate dean for graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s College of Management; Carsten Tams, ethics and compliance executive at Bertelsmann; Jonathan Walters, director of sales and marketing at Nu-World Foods, Inc.; Meng Zhao, assistant professor in organization and strategy at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO.

In addition to the schools mentioned above, the Aspen Institute is proud to celebrate other partnering schools in this year’s program:

  • Baruch College – CUNY, Zicklin School of Business
  • Business School Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University, Silberman College of Business
  • Fordham University, Graduate School of Business
  • Lamar University, College of Business
  • New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business
  • Rollins College, Crummer Graduate School of Business
  • Seton Hall University, Stillman School of Business
  • University of Alberta, Alberta School of Business (Canada)
  • University of Denver, Daniels College of Business
  • University of Jyväskylä, School of Business and Economics (Finland)
  • University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business
  • University of Stellenbosch Business School (South Africa)
  • Villanova University, Villanova School of Business
  • York University, Schulich School of Business (Canada)

Learn more about the 2014 Business & Society International MBA Case Competition by visiting the competition’s official website:


The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education (Aspen CBE) equips business leaders for the 21st century with the vision and knowledge to integrate corporate profitability and social value. We help business educators incorporate issues of social and environmental stewardship into teaching and research by offering targeted resources, networks, and a platform to share cutting-edge practice among peers.

As part of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, Aspen CBE maintains close ties with over 150 MBA programs in 28 countries. Through dialogue and path-breaking research, the Program creates opportunity for executives and educators to explore new pathways to sustainability and values-based leadership.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.




Laurie Ginsberg
Senior Program Manager
The Aspen Institute’s Center for Business Education
(212) 895-8008│