MBA Student’s Clean Cooking Fuel Concept Goes Global

An MBA student with an idea to produce clean cooking fuel has not only earned himself a finalist spot in a global competition but has enticed potential investors to explore commercialisation of the concept.

In early 2021, Torrens University student Curt Plumer competed as a finalist of Map the System – a global competition run by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Saïd Business School, Oxford University.

Curt was one of 36 finalists selected from 400 entries from around the world to enter the challenge where participants explore complex social and environmental issue addressing one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Participants were required to map the extent of the problem, the key stakeholders and how changes can be made to make society better.

Curt, who is studying a MBA at Torrens University, said it was nice recognition to be selected as a finalist in the global competition.

“As part of the Global Social Enterprise Incubator program, I had chosen to explore options to provide millions of people around the world with access to clean cooking fuel,” says Curt.

“When my lecturer suggested entering the Map the System challenge, I jumped at the chance to test my ideas on a global stage.”

Professor Khimji Vaghjiani, a Senior Learning Facilitator from the business faculty, said it was the first time Torrens University had participated in the Map the System Challenge.

“Curt’s research shows that 4 million people die each year from using cooking fuels like wood and charcoal, not to mention the impact on the world’s air and environment.

“Curt’s solution has the potential to benefit 341 million people worldwide in reducing household air pollution and removing 174 tonnes of CO2 per family per year,” says Professor Vaghjiani.

“When you consider the UN Sustainable Development Goals like clean and affordable energy, good health and wellbeing and climate action, Curt’s project is truly relevant and important.”

Curt’s research and idea to produce clean cooking fuel has enticed potential investors to explore the commercialisation of Curt’s idea.

“While emerging with a viable social enterprise is not a key objective of the Map the System Challenge, I wanted to develop a real and marketable idea that could change the lives of millions of people and have a positive impact on the environment,” he said.

“We’ve received interest from different stakeholders across many disciplines on the business plan, and we are exploring options to create a prototype of the design for trial before commercialising it.”

“It is exciting to know that my idea could become reality and benefit many lives around the world, along with contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Doug Estwick
Doug is an author for MBA News and Fixed Income News Australia. Doug has been a media and communications professional for more than 10 years, including working as an editor for News Corp's Quest Newspaper group.