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A team of Chicago Booth students earned an honorable mention for participating in the Aspen Institute’s 2019 Business & Society International MBA Competition on Friday, April 26. The Booth team was comprised of first-year students Shaliya Dehipawala, Tamara Pashinova, and Robert Lamell.

The Chicago Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago was one of 25 schools participating in the Aspen case competition, which focused this year on finding innovative solutions to social, ethical, and environmental problems facing businesses Connecticut Green Bank (CGB) and Inclusive Prosperity Capital (IPC).  

Booth’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation facilitated the competition at Booth, helping to select one team to advance to the next stage. The top five teams worldwide were flown to New York City to present in front of corporate, academic, and other friends of the Aspen Institute to compete for a share of over $35,000 in scholarship funds.  

The Aspen Institute awarded the Booth team an honorable mention. View the competition results here.  

Even though they didn’t win, Dehipawala said his teammates learned a lot by researching the market for “green bonds,” particularly which types of investors are interested in them, who supplies them, and how they are priced compared to standard bonds.  

He said his team, whose members met last fall during Booth professor Kevin Murphy’s advanced microeconomic analysis class, enjoyed the hands-on experience of working together to tackle a complex problem.  

“After understanding the problem, we segmented the analysis, presented tentative solutions to each other, agreed on our answer, and created the final product,” he said. “Tamara, Robert, and I come from diverse personal and professional backgrounds, creating an excellent dynamic for group problem-solving.”  

Caroline Grossman, ‘03, the Rustandy Center’s director of programs and adjunct professor of strategy at Booth, said the Aspen case competition is one of many Booth offerings that can help MBA students think about how to pursue meaningful careers in the sector. For more information on other social impact case competitions, visit the Rustandy Center website.

Note: The Aspen Case Competition was discontinued in 2019.