April 23, 2019, by Lisa Chin

U21 and PwC Innovation Challenge 2018/2019

This post is written by Dr Tissa Chandesa, Research Training Development Manager. 

2018/2019 marked the first time University of Nottingham took part in the U21 and PwC Innovation Challenge competition. In a nutshell, the Innovation Competition is a world-class opportunity for postgraduate students to showcase their skills to PwC and its client base by answering a challenge question that is based on one of four scenarios they developed in their Workforce of the future study:

  • A Red World where innovation rules;
  • A Blue World where corporate is king;
  • A Green World where companies care;
  • A Yellow World where human comes first

Benefits of such competition is: firstly, it presents postgraduate students the opportunity to address a problem that lies outside of their research work with a different and new perspective, altogether. Secondly, answering a given challenge question enable students to hone on their critical thinking and presentation skill sets as they need to be creative to present an articulate speech.

The competition is split into 3 groups and University of Nottingham is categorised in Group C:

Group A

Group B

Group C

University of Melbourne

University of New South Wales

University of Queensland

University of Auckland

Fudan University

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Waseda University

University of Delhi

Pontifical University of Chile

Hong Kong University

National University of Singapore

Korea University

Tecnológico de Monterrey

University of Connecticut

University of Maryland

University of British Columbia

McMaster University

University of Amsterdam

University of Birmingham

University of California, Davis

University College Dublin

University of Edinburgh

University of Glasgow

University of Johannesburg

Lund University

University of Nottingham

University of Zurich

Over the duration of December 2018 to February 2019, an internal round was conducted to find 3 finalist to represent the University of Nottingham at the finals.

Once the challenge question was released by U21/PwC, participants only had 7-8 weeks to respond and submit a self-made 3 minute video. Below was our challenge question:

We are living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work; automation and ‘thinking machines’ are replacing human tasks, changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people. But what will the future look like? PwC has developed four scenarios in their Workforce of the Future study: a Red World where innovation rules; a Blue World where corporate is king; a Green World where companies care, and a Yellow World where humans come first.

Assuming you find yourself on a journey that looks like it ends in a ‘Blue World‘ scenario where Corporate is King, what are the pros and cons for you? what skills will be important for individuals to thrive in this world, and how do you plan on adapting to it?

A total of 10 entries took part in the internal round. University of Nottingham Malaysia was represented by Ms. Samar Abuwarda Maher Abdelwahab.

It was a highly competitive review process and after careful review of all entries, the panel declared Rhona Savin, Jose Claudio Espinaso Rocha and Ashley Lewis as University of Nottingham finalist for the final round (C). University of Nottingham entries videos are as follows:

On Tuesday, 9 April 2019, Universitas (U21) and PwC announced that Sarah Hashmi (https://vimeo.com/320766661) from the University of Birmingham as the overall winner of the third and final round (C) of the 2018/2019 U21/PwC Innovation Challenge competition. Sarah argued that skills such as creativity, profitability, interpersonal skills and adaptability are “skills of the future”.

The runners up were Daniel Student, from University of California, Davis and Eddie Morrissey from University College Dublin are both MBA students at their respective universities.

An international judging panel comprising PwC Partners and their client CEOs were asked to judge 19 entries from nine of U21’s member institutions. Judges included Cate Noble, Managing Director at Better Lives, Roshan Ramdhany, PwC Partner and Education Industry Leader and Professor Ian Dunn, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience), Coventry University.

I am sure that you will all join me in congratulating Sarah, Daniel, Davis and Eddie on their success and achievement. Well done!

For any queries, please email us at graduateschool@nottingham.edu.my.

Posted in News and EventsPostgraduate lifeResearcher Development