In early March, the UBC Sauder School of Business hosted the Sauder Summit Global Case Competition – a week-long case competition that pits business students from around the world against each other to solve real and complex business problems. The final round of this year’s competition featured the Kanaka Bar Indian Band.
Kanaka Bar, a First Nations community in the Fraser Canyon, is developing a diverse range of economic, social and cultural opportunities for its community. In late 2013, Kanaka Bar, in partnership with Innergex Renewable Energy Inc., completed construction of the 49.9 megawatt Kwoiek Creek run-of-river hydro project located within its reserve land and traditional territory.
Following the success of Kwoiek Creek, Kanaka found itself at a cross-road. With a long list of potential new opportunities in hand, Kanaka has been working hard to form consensus around a five-year development plan focusing on a broad range of strategies. This made Kanaka Bar an ideal, yet challenging, case study for this year’s Sauder Summit competitors.
Armed with a summary of Kanaka Bar’s history and objectives, a presentation from Kanaka’s Chief, Patrick Michell and an internet connection, each team of four business students had 24 hours to develop and present a five-year development plan for Kanaka focusing on the economic, social and cultural growth of the community.
We were thrilled when Kanaka, our long-standing client, invited us to help judge the competition alongside Chief Michell and other Kanaka representatives. The presentations were as diverse as they were impressive, highlighting the countless opportunities available to Kanaka Bar. A few of the great ideas included:
- an eco-resort
- a local agriculture initiative
- a hybrid wind solar project
- bee farming
The range of ideas made for truly difficult deliberations among the judges.
And the winner is…
Congratulations to the University of South California for taking first prize with a creative yet practical proposal. Rounding out the top three were the University of British Columbia and Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.
- First Place: University of Southern California (USC)
- Second Place: University of British Columbia (UBC)
- Third Place: Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Congratulations to all winners!
Thank you to all of the organizers and participants in the Sauder Summit for taking on such a unique and challenging case. It was truly inspiring to see students from all over the world develop an understanding of First Nations issues in Canada and present such impressive proposals.
Particular thanks to Chief Michell and everyone at Kanaka Bar for inviting us to be a part of this event. We look forward to putting some of the great ideas into action!
Thanks to CUS Visual Media for providing the photographs from the Sauder Summit Gala on March 11, 2016.