Welcome to ROCA

A word of welcome from ROCA’s host institutions

Jerry Tomberlin, President and Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University

On behalf of Carleton University, welcome to the Rotterdam-Carleton International Case Competition. We’re delighted to host this important international event in Canada’s capital, and look forward to welcoming you to the new home of the Sprott School of Business.

ROCA is a unique partnership between two of the world’s leading business schools. It reflects our philosophy of collaboration, our belief in the value of experiential learning, and our shared commitment to positive change.

While universities were established to create and share knowledge, they also have a responsibility to prepare students to address the big challenges facing our world. ROCA was conceived with that goal in mind. Our aim is to encourage young people to expand their minds, imagine possibilities and harness the power of teamwork to solve complex problems. In bringing teams together from around the globe, we also showcase the benefits of diversity, inclusion and the exchange of ideas across boundaries.

ROCA cases are more than just interesting business challenges. They are opportunities for you to think differently and develop solutions that are ethical, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. We are delighted to share them with you and excited to explore your ideas and resolutions.

Best wishes for an amazing and transformative week.

About Carleton University & the Sprott School of Business

Carleton University is a leading research and teaching institution located in Ottawa, Canada’s capital.  Our scholarly community includes 32,000 students from more than 100 countries.  We’re renowned for our academic excellence, global perspective, and supportive learning environment.

Sprott is Canada’s most forward-thinking business school.  We offer innovative programs that prepare graduates for the challenges of tomorrow with the knowledge and skills they need to make a positive difference.  Our active, experiential approach gives students the opportunity to apply classroom learning to real-world challenges and opportunities.

Learn more about what makes ROCA unique!



Ron Bormans, President, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences

Welcome to ROCA. The Rotterdam-Carleton International Case Competition will be a great event: 16 highly motivated student teams from 16 top universities from across the globe competing for the best solutions.

Our university strongly supports case education and case competitions. With ROCA, on the one hand, we want to enable talented student teams to apply their knowledge to actual and complicated business challenges – a great learning experience. On the other hand, we want to help companies and institutions by providing them with creative, innovative and feasible solutions for their “wicked problems”. We want to create a win-win, for both students and organizations.

Students should be taught that current major problems require a different approach. Climate change, inequality, energy crisis … the list long. “Doing business as usual” is no longer a valid approach, the “usual” has brought us where we are now. Therefore, questions addressing the balance between economic success, ecology and social responsibility need to be raised. Higher education plays an important role here. We as universities and business schools, should interpret the word “value” in a much broader way. Maybe we have focused too much and too long on economic value in particular. We have to innovate and reset our minds. Sustainability, Circular Economy, Purpose Economy, New Leadership… They all should be core.

We as educators have to strengthen our efforts to “deliver” the best education possible. After all, we have the obligation to turn students into good decision makers. How to make the best decisions in business? What is of real value? I hope that cases, competitions and our own ROCA in particular can be one of the important tools for finding the best answers. Highly talented students and our future leaders, advising the leaders of today’s companies! What more can you wish for? Good luck!

About Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences & the Rotterdam Business School

Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences has more than 36,000 students and more than 3,500 employees. There are a wide variety of programs to choose from across all educational sectors, with the exception of the agrarian sector. Our education is closely connected to developments in the metropolitan region of Rotterdam.

Over 12,000 students and 800 staff members study and work within Rotterdam Business School on financial, business, commercial and international business study programmes. We share the same drive. We are here every day to contribute to the development of young people.

No one knows what the business world will look like 10 years from now. One thing is for sure, it will be totally different than it is today. More digital, international, sustainable, more social and versatile. What organisations primarily ask of our students, is to be able to cope with change. That they are capable of taking on new developments and turning them into advantages. That is exactly what we teach them, and that’s why we say: our students are the future of the business world.

Rotterdam Business School reflects the city with its cultural diversity and a practical approach to contemporary issues in which education, professional practice and practice-oriented research go hand in hand.