Words of Welcome

Ron Bormans

President, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences

On behalf of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, it is my pleasure to invite you to participate in ROCA 2022. 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… It is a recipe for success and for us an honour to host this competition in our beautiful city of Rotterdam.

Our university strongly supports case education and case competitions; that is why we established the Rotterdam International Case Academy more than three years ago. The academy offers students from many different backgrounds case-based semester programmes, and prepares students and lecturers for participation in international case competitions. Co-hosting ROCA is a logical next step.

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 NGOs 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. Now more than ever.

The world is changing rapidly. Climate change, inequality, COVID-19… We all know, all these problems have to be addressed. But how? I truly believe that the role of education is, among other things, to create awareness among students. The world of today does not happen to us, but is the result of human choices, certainly economic choices. Current business models are destroying the planet, creating more and more inequality and proving to be incredibly vulnerable. What to do?

University students should be taught that current major problems require a different approach. “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. 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, Social Responsibility… 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!

Jerry Tomberlin

Provost, Carleton University

On behalf of Carleton University, it is my pleasure to extend a warm welcome from Ottawa, Canada’s capital.  We gratefully acknowledge and respect the Algonquin Anishinaabe people, on whose unceded, unsurrendered territory the Carleton University campus is located.

Students from Carleton’s Sprott School of Business have a long tradition of success as participants in case competitions.  We are delighted to co-host the ROCA International Case Competition in partnership with the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

ROCA is no ordinary case competition. As participants, you will have an opportunity to engage with real businesses and tackle real challenges in real-time.  This reflects our commitment to experiential learning, community engagement, and real-world impact.  ROCA is also uniquely international in its perspective, thanks to an organizing committee that brings together talent and resources from two world-class universities on opposite sides of the Atlantic.  This is an important difference that will have a meaningful and positive impact on your experience.

You will be challenged by cases that will test your problem-solving skills, adaptability, and ability to work as a team. These qualities are critical, not only to your success as professionals, but as leaders and global citizens. I encourage you to embrace these unusual circumstances and seize every aspect of this remarkable opportunity.

I want to express my particular gratitude and appreciation to the members of the organizing committee, to our co-host, the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, and to the outstanding group of companies that are partnering with us to develop this year’s cases.  This event would not be possible without their hard work and tremendous dedication.

We look forward to an outstanding competition!