Top-tier Business Schools Develop Solutions to Global Water Crisis

by Jenna Hobocan, MBA ‘12 (11/22/10)

Jenna Hobocan, MBA ‘12

The 2011 Hult Global Case Challenge was a call to action for the world’s brightest business school minds to tackle the world’s most pressing issues.

The 2011 Hult Global Case Challenge was a call to action for the world’s brightest business school minds to tackle the world’s most pressing issues.  This year’s event, in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative and, an organization co-founded by Gary White and actor Matt Damon, focused on developing solutions to the global water crisis. was chosen by Hult because of their pioneering efforts in the clean water space – including their innovative WaterCredit initiative, which facilitates small loans for water and sanitation access. The ideas generated through the Challenge will be made available to to accelerate access to clean water and sanitation.


A team of five Johnson students used the 2011 Hult Global Case Challenge as an opportunity to apply market theory to today’s world water crisis.  The team was comprised of 2nd year MBA students Ryan Barba, John Galvan and Agata Kostecka and 1st year MBA students John Tauzel and Jenna Hobocan.  The team’s combined industry experience, knowledge built through Cornell’s graduate management program, and support from the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise prepared them to frame solutions to this critical issue as new business growth opportunities.


The focus on innovation in clean water supply was a unique opportunity to leverage our experience and apply our developing knowledge in sustainable technology and business applications to form practical and implementable ideas. The team’s combined experience in water policy, sustainability, marketing, infrastructure design, and finance facilitated our development of a comprehensive solution to this year’s challenge based on transforming latent demand to market demand and providing a practical and game changing move for increasing access to clean water and sanitation. The team tapped the knowledge and resources available in Johnson school faculty, students, and alumni who are working in water and development related fields to provide a recommendation for a centralized and scalable venture capital backed solution to accelerate’s mission. 


“Hult is thrilled that the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University joined the Challenge,” said Stephen Hodges, President of the Hult International Business School.  “This year, we have thousands of students from around the globe to help solve the issue of clean water access which can benefit millions of people.  The diversity of these teams, from the world’s top business schools, consists of some of the most talented thought leaders of our time, ensuring a spirited competition.  We thank them for supporting this effort.”