Leading Futures: an ESADE Full-Time MBA student initiative aimed at bringing innovation to companies

160 students from six business schools and 15 companies participated in Leading Futures, a conference and case competition organised by students in the ESADE Full-Time MBA

Bringing innovation to companies: that was the aim of Leading Futures, a conference and case competition organised by Full-Time ESADE MBA students. The event involved 160 students from ESADE Business School, Bocconi University, Amsterdam Business School (ABS), McGill University, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Georgetown University. “The Leading Futures conference is a brilliant student-run initiative,” explained Prof. Luis Vives, Associate Dean of the ESADE MBA. “As a conference, it serves multiple purposes. It creates value for the participating companies, as it brings together 160 talented MBA students to work on their projects, looking at ways to create more value for their customers or solve existing challenges. And it also allows companies to engage with MBA talent and identify potential future employees.”


Recruiting top talent

The aim of the case competition was to provide solutions to complex business cases using design-thinking methodologies and newly acquired MBA expertise. Evonik, HP and Bragi were among the participating companies that came to scout for potential new recruits. “The value proposition for companies has three main pillars: hiring top talent, promoting their brand and receiving fresh ideas from motivated top MBAs,” explained Johannes Burgard, Full-Time MBA student and Leading Futures manager. “The purpose of the Leading Futures conference is twofold: on the one hand, it helps the participating companies by giving them a chance to work with MBA talent to develop brilliant ideas and solutions to their challenges,” explained Prof. Vives. “At the same time, it allows the companies to identify talent and potential future employees to move these ideas forward.” The nine winners will have the opportunity to interview for an internship or a full-time position at the company for which the case solution was provided.


Leading Futures case competition

“Students can practice their skills and challenge their thinking. At the same time, great companies are watching while they show off their best work,” said Mr. Burgard. At the start of the Leading Futures event, students were asked which of two teams they would like to join: the All-Stars or the Chameleons. The former had a full month to mull over the case at hand, whilst the latter were tested on how quickly they could adapt, working under pressure to deliver their best solution in only two hours.

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