KELOWNA - Incentivize and they will share rides.
That was the concept behind the winning submission from the UBC Okanagan Faculty of Management (FoM) Live Case Challenge, sponsored by Argus Properties Ltd.
Third-year students Audrey Kaake, Cameron Mahler, Jenel McKenney, Kyle Patan and Gopal Patel won the fifth-annual management competition, which challenges students to devise an innovative solution to a complex problem.
Every April, some 200 third-year Bachelor of Management students are given 48 hours to solve an actual complex problem on behalf of a client. Students are expected to draw on their knowledge of marketing, IT, leadership, communication, sustainability, regional development, and more in order to research and tackle a challenge presented by an organization in the community.
“Experiential learning opportunities like Live Case Challenge are on the cutting edge of university education,” says FoM Dean Roger Sugden. “We are proud to offer students an innovative learning environment that benefits the community and region.”
This year, the City of Kelowna (represented by the Planning, Transportation and Infrastructure departments) had a simple but huge challenge: how can the municipality reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicle trips within the Kelowna area without excessive infrastructure investment? The City of Kelowna’s Community Climate Action Plan outlines targets for greenhouse gas emissions, and identifies key actions like reducing vehicle kilometres travelled by 20 per cent.
“The City of Kelowna is very excited to be part of Live Case this year. These are things we deal with on a daily basis, and as we undertake regional and municipal transportation plans, the students’ creative and innovative solutions will be incorporated as much as possible. It is extremely impressive what the students accomplished in 48 hours,” says Alan Newcombe, Divisional Director of Infrastructure from the City of Kelowna.
The winning team proposed augmenting the City of Kelowna’s SmartTrips program to provide incentives to employers and employees in the Landmark area that recognize and reward the corporate community for ride-sharing participants.
Sponsored by Argus Properties Ltd., the Live Case Challenge showcases how collaborating with regional organizations, large and small, can develop flourishing and sustainable organizations, businesses, communities and regions. The winning team receives the coveted Argus Cup and a $5,000 prize.
“Argus loves supporting the community, education and what UBC’s Okanagan campus means to the community. It’s really exciting to see the opportunity the students have to learn from a live case that’s local. They are the future of the Okanagan, and we congratulate all the students for their efforts,” says Justin Bierwirth, vice-president of Finance and Accounting at Argus Properties.
“Live Case Challenge is about an organization facing a unique situation, whether it’s a problem or an opportunity. In this case with the City of Kelowna, it was a little of both. We asked students to come up with creative solutions to shift people toward alternative modes of transportation like walking, cycling, riding transit or ride sharing, through use of social marketing,” says Norine Webster, a FoM lecturer who helped organize Live Case as part of her MGMT 390:Industry Analysis class. “I saw tremendous effort by students during the competition to come up with ideas and solutions.”