Sydney MBA Team Gives Leaders Recipe For A Better World

Katrina Van De Ven, Ashley O’Connell, Liana Porihis, Chris Murphy, James Watson and Matt Gatzoubaros

The University of Sydney Business School has helped set a benchmark for the future generations of government by placing second in the Global Universities Challenge in Dubai.

The university sent a team of MBA students to compete against other MBA teams from top business schools from all over the world, including Wharton, INSEAD, the London Business School and Harvard.

The Challenge was a feature of the annual World Government Summit, which brings together around 4,000 political, public and private sector leaders with the aim of shaping the “future generation of government” and “helping to create a positive impact for citizens worldwide.”

The teams were given 48 hours to develop a strategy to revive a fictional failed state.

With a budget of $100 billion, Sydney proposed a three-pronged approach involving short-term crisis management, a governance model changing the role of technocrats, a venture capital model to attract foreign investment and solutions to “wicked” problems.

Sydney team members Liana Porihis, Matt Gatzoubaros, James Watson, Ashley O’Connell agreed that the challenge presented a unique opportunity to contribute to the future of public policy on the world stage, alongside some of the brightest minds on the planet.

“I hope that both the diversity of nations that were represented and the collaborative spirit of the challenge represent how global policy makers and business leaders will work together for years to come,” Ms O’Connell said.

Despite a valiant effort and edging out several teams, Sydney’s representatives came in second to to Dartmouth College’s Tuck Business School

However, every team member agreed that the Global Universities Challenge was the highlight of their MBA studies.

“Opportunities like the Global Universities Challenge that sit outside the formal curriculum are where you learn the most about yourself, others and what you do or don’t really know,” Mr Watson said.

“What I learnt through this process is that everyone has the power to shape the future of governments worldwide and that different perspectives are important,” Ms Porihis added.

“The key lies in taking action and in finding the confidence to put yourself and your ideas forward.”

The Global World Summit is sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (