Student Competition: The HUMLOG Challenge

Welcome to GBSN Beyond’s inaugural Student Competition in partnership with Hanken School of Economics’ Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Research Institute (HUMLOG Institute).

Taking you Beyond Graduation, this is the first competition of its kind, involving both a globally recognized network and a leading institution in humanitarian logistics.

GBSN and the HUMLOG Institute have worked together to bring students an interdisciplinary, team-oriented, interactive digital competition experience, that drives solution development in their local communities. We are moving beyond the traditional competition and allowing for absolute creativity and exploration for sustainable humanitarian solutions. Throughout the month of October, teams will work through checkpoints. The Student Track will also offer teams access to professional development workshops and webinars focused on careers and learning. First place offers a cash prize to aid implementation!

We hope you, as participants, are inspired and implement much-needed change in your local communities.

Innovative Solutions for 
Supply Sourcing and/or Delivery

Your task is to identify a systematic supply chain problem within your community and suggest an innovative solution that would help alleviate medical and/or food supply chain disruptions during the current COVID-19 pandemic or other regional issue. The focus can be on any aspect of the supply chain, though we specifically encourage material procurement and/or delivery.  We encourage you to think out of the box, engage local participants, and record local perspectives.

Example: Your town in South Africa is lacking Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), a solution your team could come up with is utilizing your university’s 3-D printer to create recyclable PPE for the local clinics.

Prize Information

The winning team will be offered a 5,000 USD prize to be used towards their continuing education!

Top FIVE teams will be offered a one hour professional mentoring session from one of our judges!

*This opportunity will be catered to the best times of the team and judge and can be used within a year post-event

In partnership with Localized, all participating teams will have access to participate in employment development opportunities such as a two-day virtual career fair. Students will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with potential employers across various industries from across the globe. All teams will have the opportunity to showcase their work in a Virtual Presentation Hall. This opportunity allows for networking, idea development, and unique presentations that can both spark interest and create investment in the ideas.

This also an incredible opportunity to add your CV experience!

Team Formation & Sign-Up

We encourage multi-disciplinary, diversified teams, with members from different schools and studies, background and levels, (Undergraduate, Graduate, or Doctoral). That being said, teams from the same schools are welcome! Sign ups for teams continue until the submission date for solutions on November 2nd.

Note: Only ONE student needs to sign up the entire team.

  • 3 to 5 students per team
  • Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate students welcome
  • Team members DO NOT have to be registered at the same school
  • All majors welcome
  • Interdisciplinary teams are highly encouraged
  • Team facilitators can be provided by GBSN if requested
  • If you are unable to formulate a team of 3-5 but would like to participate, please complete a registration form and we will attempt to place you in a team

Note: Once all team members are registered overall for the GBSN Beyond conference, only one team member needs to sign up the entire team for the competition via a link provided after initial registration. Team members can reach out to their school for their unique registration code.

Proposed Weekly Schedule

This is a proposed outline for how teams should best manage their time.

Week One (Oct 5-9)Topics are discussed and reviewed
A project topic is developed
Week Two (Oct 12-16)The project idea is investigated and background material collected.
This could include survey preparation, reaching out for interviews, etc
Week Three (Oct 19-23)Data collected for the proposed problem.
Development of solution.
Week Four (Oct 26-30)Data is analyzed and solution is determined
Preparations for final presentation

Submission Guidelines

Each team will prepare a Solutions Package. The package will incorporate both written and visual elements. Teams will submit a written report and a visual creative presentation. The presentation should include a visual that can be in any chosen digital format, (PowerPoint, Google Slides, MP4, JPEG, PNG etc.), but must be in English or with an English translation and videos must be limited to only 2 minutes in length and identify the following:

  • The region represented
  • Problem outlined
  • Proof of research
  • The solution and implementation plan

The written report must be no longer than 5 pages in length (double spaced) and must be in English. It will be separated into the following:

  • Introduction and Executive Summary
  • Problem Framing (inclusive of the connection within the community ecosystem and supply chain)
  • Solution Description
  • Proof of Research
  • Implementation Exploration

Submission deadline is Sunday, November 2nd at 10 PM of your respected time zone. To be submitted on the Pathable site.

We are so excited to see your creativity!

Finalist LIVE Presentation Guidelines

The TOP 5 teams will present their projects in a LIVE open Zoom meeting to the judging panel that will include a Q&A portion during the culminating virtual event November 9-13. Other GBSN Beyond participants will be able to join the audience. Final presentation time slots will be allocated ONE week before they are due to take place.

Presentation Time

15 mins

Judges’ Q&A

10 mins


Slides, PPT, Prezi, etc.

Judging Process

Preliminary judging of all submissions will begin November 3rd after all presentations, summaries, and graphics have been delivered.  A panel of expert academics will be reviewing your materials to determine the top five teams that will move on to the final judging, which requires a formal presentation to the following jury, who will be scoring on the four criteria mentioned below. Those top five teams will be announced November 6th.

Chair: Gyöngyi Kovács, Hanken School of Economics

Prof. Gyöngyi Kovács is Erkko Professor in Humanitarian Logistics at the Hanken School of Economics and is the Subject Head of Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility. Prof. Kovács led the HUMLOG Institute since its establishment in 2008 until 2014. She is a founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management (JHLSCM) and is on the editorial board of several other journals. She has published extensively in the areas of humanitarian logistics and sustainable supply chain management and is currently leading the EU project HERoS on the COVID-19 response.

Dr. Jarrod Goentzel is the founder and director of the MIT Humanitarian Supply Chain Lab in the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics. His research focuses on meeting human needs in resource-constrained settings through better supply chain management, information systems, and decision support technology. Dr. Goentzel leads fieldwork in a range of contexts to develop insights that improve response efforts during emergencies and strengthen supply chains in vulnerable communities. He has created residential and online courses and in humanitarian logistics, international operations, and supply chain finance, and has extensive experience using simulation games to build intuition and leadership skills.

Dr. Sherwat Elwan Ibrahim is an Associate Professor  of Operations Management at The American University in Cairo (AUC), and the Director of the MBA programs at AUC School of Business. She has been jointly awarded the Ted Eschenbach prize for best paper in Engineering Management Journal, and the “Bright Idea” award, for her paper in New Jersey Publications. Her current research interests include sustainable supply chain management, responsible sourcing, supplier governance, and supply chain technology adoption. She is an expert on SMEs’ business growth and development and was a core faculty member of Goldman Sachs (GS) Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership Program (WEL) that has overseen the graduation of hundreds of women entrepreneurs in the Middle East as part of GS 10,000 Women Initiative.

Prof. Tina Wakolbinger is the Deputy Head of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Management at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. She is an international award-winning researcher for her work on supply chain management, with specific interests in humanitarian supply chains and closed-loop supply chains, based on variational inequalities, game-theory, optimization, and agent-based simulation. She received her Master’s in International Economic and Business Studies from University of Innsbruck, Austria and her PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in Management Science from the University of Massachusetts.

Mr. Larry St. Onge is President of the Life Sciences and Healthcare sector at DHL, Customer Solutions & Innovation. He is a member of the Customer Solutions & Innovation Global Senior Management Team and heads the DHL Life Sciences & Healthcare Global Senior Management Team. He is responsible for driving the growth and development of life sciences and healthcare business on a global scale and leads sector strategy along with commercial and solution development. During his 14 years at DHL, he has held several leadership positions across several sectors, developing innovative customer solutions and working to expand DHL’s capabilities around the globe.

Judging Criteria

Problem FramingInnovationRelevancePresentation
Does the team showcase evident research in their solution development and framing of the problem?Does the team provide convincing rationale to the actual innovation? Is the solution innovative?Is the solution feasible and relevant to the selected represented region?How effective was the presentation? Did the team showcase a diversity of backgrounds that lends to solution credibility?


The following resources are available to reference throughout the competition as reading and learning materials, as well as for inspiration.

  • Introduction to Humanitarian Logistics free online course
  • HERoS Project by HUMLOG
  • HUMLOG Institutes’ past and current research projects
  • WHO’s technical specifications of materials needed in the COVID-19 response (download the disease commodity package info)
  • COVID-19 Supply Chain Impact Update by some of the World’s Leading Supply Chain and Logistics Academics here 
  • The World Pandemic Research Network (WPRN) a database on ongoing COVID/19 research projects
  • GloPID-R’s COVID-19 research tracker here


  1. Terms

    The following terms apply to participation in this competition (“Team Competition”).  Entrants may create original solutions, prototypes, visual content, data sets, scripts, or other content, materials, solutions, or discoveries (a “Submission”).  All submissions will abide by the GBSN Conduct Statement Below.

  2. Code of Conduct

    Unethical behaviour, including but not limited to plagiarism or academic dishonesty, will automatically lead to the disqualification of the team, as well as banning from future competitions for a period of time to be determined by GBSN, and notification of the academic representatives of the school.

  3. Intellectual Property Rights

    Contestants may be individuals or organizations (profit, non-profit organizations, academic).  Contestants are responsible for compliance with legal requirements of their country. Intellectual property rights of Submissions will be owned by the Contestants but must be made available on public licenses that allow re-use without restrictions. All submissions will be made publicly available on GBSN website and attributed to the individual or organization as its creator and intellectual property right owner.  Once a Submission is submitted to GBSN, the Contestant cannot make any changes or alterations to the Submission after the Challenge close date.

  4. Submission Terms

    GBSN and HUMLOG are not responsible for: (1) any false, incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by Contestants or GBSN Beyond ; (2) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the submission process or the Competition; (3) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Competition or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from Contestant’s  participation in the Competition or receipt or use or misuse of any prize. No more than the stated amount of prizes will be awarded.

    Submissions must a) be original; b) be solely owned by Contestant, who represents that no other party has any rights or interest, whether known or unknown; and 3) Contestant represents that it has obtained the license or permission to use materials owned by third parties  granting  Contestant  the right to use such third party or proprietary materials for the Submission and 4) does not violate the privacy rights of other parties.

  5. Prize Money

    Winners are responsible for all applicable taxes and fees associated with prize receipt. No transfer or substitution of a prize is permitted except by GBSN. If a team of individuals from different universities is selected as a prize winner, the prize will be awarded to the group and it will be split equally to the universities represented by the individuals to be disseminated as scholarship funds.

  6. Media

    Photos, videos, and/or other media may be taken in the GBSN Team Competition. By entering and attending this virtual event, you acknowledge and agree that your likeness may be included in photos and videos of the event and used by GBSN and/or HUMLOG in connection with communications about the GBSN Team Competition or in other communications.

    If you do not agree to this usage, please do not attend and contact


For any questions or requests, please email Maddie Handler, Program, Coordinator at

ABOUT: The Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Research Institute (HUMLOG Institute) conducts research in areas of humanitarian logistics, including disaster preparedness, response and recovery, with the intention of influencing activities that will provide measurable benefits to persons requiring assistance. The HUMLOG Institute is a platform and a physical space for researchers to share ideas and disseminate knowledge in this field. The Institute has since its foundation in 2008, grown into a large international network of researchers from around the world. The main related output is publications, with a focus on high-quality peer-reviewed articles in academic journals. The research contributes to education and strives to have an impact on society.