MSM team joins the national SDG-challenge: contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals

Recently a team of MSM Master in Management and full-time MBA students battled in the grand final of the yearly university SDG-Challenge. The mission of the SDG-Challenge is to inspire and mobilize students in universities, throughout the Netherlands, and companies to work together on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The MSM SDG students teamed up with CB to work on the reduction of returns in the book sector.

About CB
CB stands for 150 years of experience in logistics services and distributes physical books and e-books in the Netherlands and Belgium. CB also offers logistics solutions for the Healthcare market.

The team of MSM students saw it as their prerogative to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. “That is why we were excited to join the national SDG-challenge. The Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations is not just an institutional affair but comes from a personal space for every member of the society. As management students, it is our prerogative to stand by its relevance in the private sector by playing our roles in achieving it. We wanted to be part of this change actively and positively. The challenge helped us to understand the nitty gritty of the change-making process.”

CB is dealing with 3 million books that are returned, 60% of them do not make it back to a store or consumer. “Therefore, CB identified this situation as a matter of concern and showed its willingness to overcome it. They not only want to make the company more sustainable but also the entire book sector. As part of the SDG-Challenge and the real-world implementation, we have proposed a holistic plan consisting of three interrelated parts.

(1) Prediction Analysis
(2) Awareness Program
(3) Consultancy Program

Throughout the challenge and problem-solving process, we conversed with CB officials, publishers, and retailers. All the stakeholders are willing to commit to the solution and are optimistic about the potential solution and results this can bring. The support of all the parties involved is important for the success of this project proposal",
 said current full-time MBA student Devina Chandola on behalf of the team.

Key learning outcomes
In addition to the implementable solutions for CB, the SDG-challenge proved to be a good way to put theory into practice and to work on the development of soft skills. Devina continues: “The best possible learning outcome was to get to interact with professionals and approach the problem-solving process. Along with that, it is always good when soft skills are put into practice. The team got insight and inlet into the Dutch publishing industry which was an opportunity to learn more about the market mechanism and the different implications that come with it.

Taking part in the SDG-challenge was a step-by-step process of understanding, evaluating, and implementing solutions. The feasibility of the solution is not only to be discussed on the table but we as individuals were fine-tuning our professional skills needed to address problem areas and issues.  The experience brought along an insight into the Dutch work environment and honed our interpersonal and time management skills."

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