GBSN welcomes learners from various fields to form teams and engage in an international virtual contest centered on devising solutions for social logistics issues. Upon finishing the competition, participants have the opportunity to earn an international micro-credential.
The Social Logistics Challenge is designed to immerse learners in a digital environment that promotes team-work, encourages collaboration, and stimulates innovation in addressing societal problems using logistics principles and technology. This year’s contest theme revolves around People, Technology, and Logistics.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, GBSN transitioned to the online GBSN Beyond Virtual Conference. Collaborating with the HUMLOG Institute at the Hanken School of Economics, GBSN introduced the HUMLOG Challenge – a virtual team contest focusing on practical solutions. The task given to students was to pinpoint a systematic supply chain problem in their local community and propose an innovative solution to mitigate medical and/or food supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.
In 2021, GBSN and the HUMLOG Institute once again presented the HUMLOG Challenge, this time focusing on community disaster resilience. Students were tasked to select a natural disaster relevant to their geographical location and address their community’s preparedness response and resilience levels.
Both 2020 and 2021 highlighted the potential of business students to devise captivating and inventive solutions concerning humanitarian logistics. The 2022 challenge reminded students about the essence of logistics: coordinating various activities into a unified movement of goods, services, and people. This challenge integrated this core logistics philosophy into the innovative study of social logistics, introducing a human aspect to the systems and applying logistics principles and methods to solve societal issues. This year, students are to explore the intersection of people and technology within their problem statements and/or solutions.
The transition from the HUMLOG Challenge to the Social Logistics Challenge signifies the competition’s evolution. Social Logistics presents both an unexplored territory and a unique chance for business students to collaborate with peers from different fields, integrating their expertise to create business solutions emphasizing social responsibility and awareness. The 2023 Social Logistics Challenge introduces a human factor into logistics’ systems and applies logistic principles and methods to tackle societal issues.
GBSN aims to utilize the strengths of Social Logistics, including conventional supply chain knowledge, humanitarian logistics, communication, programming, and technology. The Social Logistics Challenge will persist as a team-based virtual contest promoting interdisciplinary and multi-university cooperation.
Thanks to our Sponsors, a $5,000 scholarship prize will be awarded to the 1st place team, and $1,000 to the 2nd and 3rd place teams! The awards will be transferred via the students’ respective institution’s financial department and evenly distributed among the winning team members. The funds must be used towards educational expenses such as school materials, housing, tuitions, and programs. The management and disbursement of the funds fall under the responsibility of the university/college/faculty mentor. Teams are advised to consult with their universities about their disbursement policies.
Pamela SteeleSupply Chain Transformation Director, Pamela Steele Associates, United Kingdom
2023 Top 5 Team
2023 Winning Teams Announcement
Recorded on Monday, November 13th 2023.
How does it work?
Register your team.
We encourage multi-disciplinary teams of 2-5 students from different schools, disciplines, and levels. Schools are welcome to have more than one team. GBSN will not accept individual registrations. Teams must be made of students who are currently enrolled in an institution.
Identify a local problem.
Use your logistical knowledge and training to improve a societal access problem. Be sure to identify the community of this problem, the multiple stakeholders involved, and most importantly, how this solution supports one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Develop your solution.
Develop a unique and implementable solution that can be used in a locally-relevant context. Demonstrate that solution in a creative format. This year, we are encouraging highlights of technology disruptions or solutions.
Identify and define a social logistics problem in a community and propose an actionable business solution to address the problem. Social logistics involves applying logistics principles and methods to solve societal issues by considering human factors. The proposed solution should be relevant to the local community, outline the involved stakeholders, and demonstrate its alignment with one or more of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Additionally, for the year 2023, teams are encouraged to identify any technological disruptions within the problem and/or illustrate the role of technology in their solution.
Each team will prepare a Solutions Package that will incorporate both written and visual elements. Teams will submit a written report and a visual creative illustration.
Each solutions package should illustrate and consider the following:
- The solution must solve a problem related to access
- The solution must clearly demonstrate components of logistics principles, including, but not limited, to supply chain management
- The solution must benefit society whether on a local or global scale
- The solution must be locally relevant and multidisciplinary
- The solution must clearly incorporate one or more of the 17 SDGs
- The problem and/or solution must integrate a human aspect and digital element
Judging for this competition will happen in two phases. Phase 1 involves preliminary judging, that ultimately determines the Top Five teams to advance to the Finals Round. The Finals Round involves LIVE presentations to a panel of judges, that ultimately determines the 1st Place Winner.
Preliminary judges will review all submitted deliverables to ultimately determine the following:
- How well your team describes the problem and its local relevance
- Whether or not your team demonstrates creativity
- Whether or not the solution your team develops is feasible
- How your solution addresses one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
- How does your solution address the intersection between people and technology?
Finals Round: LIVE Presentations
The Top 5 teams will deliver a LIVE presentation to a panel of international judges.
10-minute pitch presentation delivered LIVE to judges.
- All team members must participate in the LIVE pitch for the team to be eligible to win the prize. Participation is defined as a minimum of 1 minute of speaking during the presentation.
- Teams can include supplemental materials to support their LIVE presentations in the finals round, including their creative illustration.
A 15-minute Q&A with the judges.
- All team members must be present for the LIVE pitch presentation and virtual Q&A
- Judge and team participation will be moderated by a GBSN staff member to keep time and ensure equal distribution of participation between judges and teams
- The LIVE Pitch Presentations and Q&A portion will be recorded and broadcasted LIVE for the public to watch
Examples of Qualifying Solutions
The following are a few examples of previous qualifying social logistics solutions. Please make sure to integrate technology for this year. You can email the GBSN team if you would like us to check your problem/solution!
GBSN would like to thank its sponsors for supporting the Social Logistics Competition! Sponsorship is used to fund the Challenge’s prizes, tools, resources, etc. that enables GBSN to build and execute a meaningful virtual learning experience for each cohort of student teams.
DHL Global Forwarding
Helping consumers connect goods to every corner of the world since 1815. As a leading organization in logistics, DHL Global Forwarding inhibits global trade by promising to always offer reliable, flexible, and efficient deliveries to and from every country globally, in total compliance with local regulations. DHL Global Forwarding partners with businesses, listens to their needs and takes action by collecting and collaborating with their networks and partners across the whole journey.
The University of Edinburgh Business School
The University of Edinburgh Business School maintains a clear mission, focus and vision for the future including advancing their standing among business schools and being recognised as a progressive and connected community for thought leadership on the national and global stage. In essence this translates to “inspiring people to do business better”. Edinburgh Business School’s mission is to develop effective and responsible leaders by creating insightful knowledge and inspiring minds in dialogue with the world around them. Their vision is to be recognised as a progressive and connected community for thought leadership on the international business stage.
The Kühne Foundation
The non-profit Kühne Foundation was established by the Kühne family in Switzerland in 1976. Today it is renowned for its initiatives to support academic and further education as well as research in the fields of logistics and supply chain management. The Kühne Foundation is also strongly involved in medical, cultural and humanitarian projects. It is an operative foundation, which develops almost all of its projects itself. Through its extensive funding projects, the Kühne Foundation and its donor Klaus-Michael Kühne exercise their socio-political responsibility.The Kühne Foundation pursues the goal of supporting and developing logistics as an academic field. Logistics plays a cross-sectional function in the global economy and is currently facing major challenges – one clear example being the coronavirus crisis. Digitalisation, along with the call for climate and environment protection are leading to transformations that require innovative approaches.