2011 Brazil - Sustainable Sao Paulo

9/29/2010  8:00 am

Sao Paulo

In the spring of 2011, selected UI undergraduate students will work in high-performance, interdisciplinary teams and collaborate virtually with students from overseas universities to create business plans related to the theme "Sustainable São Paulo". This class starts with an on-campus preparatory course in the spring, culminating in a trip to São Paulo, Brazil from May 29 - June 7 where students from each university will gather to present their proposals in conjunction with the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit.

CIBER C40 Business Plan Competition APPLICATION
(Due November 7, 2010)

Personal interviews will be held for shortlisted candidates November 10, 11, 12 , 15, and 16. Candidates will be notified of the date and time. Final list of student selected for the course will be notified by email by November 19th, 2010.

Course Details

  • The course consists of two inseparable components: a preparatory course and a ten day immersion study tour
  • Students in the course will be required to travel to São Paulo, Brazil from May 29 – June 7
  • Part of the cost of the trip will be covered by the University and the balance must be paid by the students--students are required to pay $2,000--some scholarships are available
  • Students must have a valid passport when they apply to the program and pay a 50% non refundable deposit on accepting a position in the class
  • This course is experimental in nature and students should only apply if they have a strong desire to participate, are passionate about the opportunity, and are willing to contribute to the learning experience
  • BUS199 is a two credit hour course open to juniors and seniors in engineering and business (other disciplines will be considered)
  • Students will be meeting on select Tuesday evenings for events and activities (guest lecturers, participating in conferences) from 5-7 pm
  • Students must be able to attend these events--classroom location TBD

Course Description

BUS199 provides an opportunity for students to apply classroom learning to real world problems and engage directly with representatives from government and industry as well as students from other countries. This innovative experience is a collaboration between the University of Illinois, overseas university partners, and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.

The C40 is a group of large cities committed to tackling climate change and sustainability issues. This network offers cities an effective forum in which to work together, share information and demonstrate leadership. In partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative, the C40 helps cities reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a range of energy efficiency and clean energy programs. The C40 group has invited the University of Illinois to offer this international business case competition in conjunction with their bi-annual summit meeting. The competition forces students to confront the tension between the global challenge of sustainability and the need for locally appropriate responses. It also requires students to work extensively within a multinational, multidisciplinary team, virtually and in person.

While this is the sixth business plan competition, this is the first time it will be held in Brazil. An RA with extensive experience in Brazil will provide historical and cultural aspects of Brazil in addition to teaching students key phrases in Portuguese.

During the spring, UI students form teams with students from overseas universities including the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong), Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil), and London South Bank University (United Kingdom). For the next three months, they communicate with each other via the Internet to research and develop their sustainable business plan. To help students develop their ideas and business plans, they attend lectures, practice their elevator pitch, and receive feedback from faculty members and industry leaders.

Students then convene in São Paulo, Brazil during the 2011 C40 Large Cities Climate Summit to fine-tune their plans before presenting their ideas to a panel of judges consisting of academics, venture capitalists, policy makers, and entrepreneurs. Throughout the competition, students strengthen their teamwork, problem-solving, and presentation skills.

Course Objectives

  • Provide an international business experience to support students early in their careers
  • Allow students to investigate a societal issue of local and global importance of climate change and sustainable development, and engage intellectually in developing solutions
  • Build awareness of the global nature of business and the interactions between universities, governments, companies, and NGOs
  • Learn to work effectively as individuals and as part of a team across cultures, disciplines, and backgrounds
  • Develop an understanding of the new venture creation and business plan development
  • Learn about Brazil


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Center for International Business Education and Research
College of Business
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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