31 January 2024 marked a significant milestone as the Hinrich Foundation launched the first-ever Sustainable Trade Challenge.

Against the backdrop of the ESSEC Asia-Pacific Singapore campus, the current Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB) cohort enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to participate, signaling a new era in trade innovation and sustainability.

Following the launch, participants were immediately immersed in an environment that demanded high engagement and creativity. The excitement on campus was palpable as students, educators, and industry professionals gathered to kick off this pioneering challenge.

This initiative highlights ESSEC’s commitment to sustainability and fosters a practical understanding of global trade dynamics among students.

The Sustainable Trade Challenge is an educator-directed, student-led immersive simulation plunging them into the competitive world of international trade policy consultancy as a team member from one of the world’s leading international sustainable trade consultancy firms.

Embarking on a Real-world Mission

As they embarked on this journey, the students quickly realized the complexity of their task. Each team spent countless hours researching global trade policies, sustainability practices, and innovative solutions to present compelling pitches.

This rigorous process was designed to mirror the real-world scenarios consultants often face, providing invaluable experience in tackling global challenges through sustainable trade solutions.

Students were grouped into teams through a random selection process and tasked with pitching strategies to government officials to elevate their country’s sustainability rankings.

Fostering critical thinking about the intersection of economy and sustainability, the challenge prompted students to weigh trade-offs and consider the broader implications of their proposals.

This collaborative effort encouraged students to leverage their diverse backgrounds and perspectives, leading to a rich exchange of ideas and fostering a deeper understanding of sustainable trade practices.

The challenge was a powerful reminder of the collective action required to address global sustainability issues, inspiring students to envision innovative approaches that balance economic growth with environmental stewardship.

Professional Insights and Global Impact

“The SMIB international trade sustainability consultants faced tight deadlines and immense pressure and conducted deep dives into new subject matter enthusiastically,” says Alex Boom, Hinrich Foundation Program Director.

He added: “The government ministers panel was extremely impressed with each team’s pitch. We are confident that the world will be more sustainable with these ESSEC graduates in the workforce.”

Reflecting on the event, Alex Boome expressed optimism about the future impact of these young professionals on the global stage.

Their ability to handle complex issues under pressure, combined with a passionate commitment to sustainability, bodes well for their potential to drive meaningful change in the world of trade and beyond.

This event has tested their capabilities and instilled a sense of responsibility toward contributing to a more sustainable future.

Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders

“The Hinrich Foundation Sustainable Trade Challenge Consulting Simulation has been an invaluable addition to our program,” says Srividya Jandhyala, SMIB Associate Professor.

She adds: “The immersive experience allowed SMIB students to delve into the competitive world of international trade, grapple with important real-world challenges, and hone business, analytic, and teamwork skills.”

Echoing the sentiments of the program director, Prof. Jandhyala highlighted the transformational impact of the challenge on the participants. She noted how the simulation facilitated a deeper engagement with the material, enabling students to apply theoretical concepts in practical, high-stakes situations.

This unique blend of academic rigor and real-world application exemplifies ESSEC’s innovative approach to education, preparing students to excel in a rapidly evolving global market.