Established in 2018, A4SICC provides an opportunity for business and accounting students to develop, build on and apply their skills to solve sustainability challenges in a commercial business environment – helping in the transition to a sustainable economy.
Every year the case focuses on a different aspect of sustainable business. This year’s focus puts a spotlight on Human Rights. We are challenging students globally to select one of the world’s most influential companies assessed by the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) in the 2022 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark and to:
- Examine connections between the features of their business model (value proposition; value chain; and cost structure and revenue model) and potential impacts on people’s human rights.
- Develop innovative business practices, approaches and/or solutions for the company to adapt their business model and practices to address these potential impacts through mitigation strategies and/or alternative models.
Participating in and promoting the competition – why and how
Right now, we see significant and growing barriers to human wellbeing and development globally: a cost-of-living crisis, supply chain volatility, climate anxiety and a widening skills gap. The more students, business schools, partners and sponsors we engage in this competition, the more impact we have on both students and businesses alike.
Within the corporate sphere, human rights are often viewed through a compliance lens – a risk to manage. This means many are missing out on the opportunity to drive value for both companies and society through ensuring business models support and enhances human rights. We want to leverage business, accounting, and entrepreneurial-minded students to reimagine the status quo – improving human rights up and down the value chain.
Truly global reach will allow us to access diverse perspectives, pool our resources, and deepen our collective understanding. This knowledge will put us in a much better position to take action to address sustainability challenges, while at the same time empowering students to be part of the solution.
As an A4S partner, we hope you will work with us to provide opportunities for students to gain practical experience in sustainable business, and to be creative and test concepts – supporting them to transition to the workforce with purpose.
Beyond providing students with invaluable experience and equipping them with tools and skills to develop and apply sustainable business solutions, the competition also rewards the winning team with a CA$10,000 cash prize and the runner-up with CA$5,000.
Competition Key Information
Format: video presentation, business proposal and panel presentation
Participants: The competition is open to teams of 3-5 students and attracts both graduate and undergraduate students. There are no restrictions on the discipline(s) students are studying, but the financial rigor of models presented will be carefully evaluated, so a healthy dose of business/accounting acumen is strongly recommended.
Geography: Global. Semi-finals take place virtually, the in-person final is in Toronto, Canada (a travel fund is available)
Prize: CA $10,000 for the winning team, CA$5,000 for the runners up.
Expected timeline for A4SICC 2024:
|Applications Open||6th November 2023|
|Application deadline||14th January 2024|
|Assessment deadline||w/c 15th January 2024||Entries are assessed based on their written submissions and entry videos, to select semi finalists.|
|Semi-finalists announced||22nd January 2024|
|Semi-final judging||w/c 5th February 2024||Semi-finalists present their entries live, with Q&A, in virtual semi-final.|
|Finalists announced||12th February 2024||Finalists announced and People’s Choice Award voting options.|
|Live final||23rd March 2024||In-person final in Toronto, hosted by Rotman Business School, University of Toronto.|
|Winner’s blog published||w/c 1st April 2024|