Thunderbird Kicks off $20,000 sustainabile innovation competition

August 20, 2008

Thunderbird School of Global Management is preparing for its third annual Global Sustainable Innovation Summit that draws the brightest graduate-level students from top universities around the world. The event includes a global competition to develop sustainable and innovative business solutions to real-world challenges presented by sponsoring companies. Last year, the challenge attracted 118 teams from 59 universities and 15 countries. The winning team receives a $20,000 prize and the title of “Global Champions of Sustainable Innovation.”

Thunderbird’s Global Sustainable Innovation Summit builds upon the school’s efforts in global citizenship and its mission to educate global leaders who create sustainable prosperity worldwide.

“Thunderbird’s Global Sustainable Innovation Summit has been a great opportunity for our sponsoring companies to tap into the creative insight of hundreds of MBA students from around the world,” says Dr. Robert Hisrich, director of the Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship. “The companies value their fresh perspective about how innovation and sustainability can be integrated in ways that simultaneously create social, environmental and business value.”

The competition begins Oct. 6 with an online round of questions from sponsoring companies with a global focus seeking innovative solutions to their every-day business challenges. Ten teams will emerge from the online round as finalists Oct. 27 and will be invited to travel to Thunderbird’s campus in Glendale, Ariz. to compete in the final round Nov. 13-15.

This year’s sponsors and summit partners include Johnson & Johnson, APS, BillMatrix, Xerox, and Net Impact. Opportunities to participate as a sponsor and/or judge are still available in all three categories of silver, gold and platinum. Silver sponsorships of $8,500 provide keynote speakers, panel discussions and networking events. Gold sponsorships of $25,000 allow companies to pose questions during the online phase of the competition. Each will receive more than 30 innovative concept plans pertaining directly to their business challenges and receive access to about 1,000 student-participant résumés. Platinum sponsorships of $50,000 allow companies to pose questions during both the online and final rounds of the challenge. These companies will receive more than 30 concept plans in the online round, plus the innovative solutions presented live by the top 10 teams. They will also receive access to about 1,000 résumés.

Summit partners at negotiable amounts can sponsor a meal, a networking event, or provide other services. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or a judge please e-mail For more information please visit the Summit’s Web site.