Winning Business Model to Help Disabled Employees Find Work

In the culmination of a year-long Cornerstone Capital Group initiative called “Sustainable Games: The Business Model Challenge,” a team of students from Fundação Instituto de Administração (FIA) in Sao Paulo Brazil was named the winner of the  $25,000 Grand Prize.  The business idea presented is a program to facilitate employment opportunities for disabled young adults while seeking market rate returns.

Team “Life Hunters,” working with the domain name “ExcitingJourney.net,” was recognized as having the best concept and business plan during final pitches before a panel of judges and mentors in the inaugural competition held by Cornerstone Capital Group together with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), RobecoSAM and the UN Principles for Responsible Management in Education (PRME).

Other finalists included two teams from FIA, Team Coconuts (“SupplyCircle.net”) and Team Rio Tiete (“SustainableCities.com”), along with Team Anirudh (“ClimateBankers.com”) from the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin and Team Lions (“SharedEconomy.biz”) from the Columbia Business School in New York.

“The winning idea demonstrated vision, creativity and a thoughtful approach to addressing an urgent societal need in partnership with employers and training resources,” said Erika Karp, Founder and CEO of Cornerstone Capital Inc. “We were very impressed with the tremendous level of energy and optimism that went into developing this innovative project.” EJ slide

Aside from the cash award and ownership of the “ExcitingJourney.net” domain name, the winning team members Larissa Majerowicz, Aline Oliveira Simão and Gustavo Abrahão Allioni also will have their idea highlighted in an upcoming edition of Cornerstone’s Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking” (JSFB) and access to additional mentoring opportunities.

Thirty-seven teams from around the world representing 185 participants competed in the Challenge, the goal of which was to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges in scalable and profitable ways. Of the five finalists, three focused on social ideas, while two were more focused on environmental issues. The finalists were paired with a mentor from Cornerstone Capital’s Global Advisory Council and industry representatives who worked during Summer 2015 to assist in the professional development and viability of their business models.

“It has been an honor to sponsor The Sustainable Games, a project that supports the next generation of sustainability leaders,” said Michael Baldinger, CEO of RobecoSAM, an investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing, whose data powers the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. “The spirit of the Challenge closely aligns with RobecoSAM’s belief that companies with sustainable business practices are better equipped to face future challenges. Congratulations to Team Life Hunters!”

“Sustainable Games: The Business Model Challenge” was declared as a Cornerstone “Commitment to Action” at the Clinton Global Initiative’s 2014 Annual Meeting to accelerate market-ready solutions that reflect a value inherent in the systematic understanding of today’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) imperatives.

Students formed teams of three-to-five members to compete and selected a Domain from Cornerstone Capital’s “Sustainable Domain Bank” designated for use in the contest. Cornerstone worked with PRME Chapters from across the globe to support the Challenge by reaching out to students on more than 600 university campuses in 12 regions.

“On behalf of the UN Global Compact’s PRME Secretariat, I congratulate the winning team as well as the runner-up teams for their innovative ideas and proposals. It is a great to see how business school students identify business solutions to solving concrete social challenges. We are proud to have sponsored this competition,” said Jonas Haertle, Head PRME Secretariat, UN Global Compact Office.

Congratulations to our student winners, the other finalists and to all the teams who submitted an entry to the 2015 Challenge.  For more information, visit: www.sustainablegames.com

More About Cornerstone Capital Group

Founded in 2013, Cornerstone Capital Inc. is a woman-owned financial services firm based in New York whose mission is to bring the discipline of sustainable finance to the mainstream of the capital markets. In offering investment consulting and advising, investment banking, and strategic consulting services, Cornerstone works with asset owners, corporations and financial institutions, promoting new research in the field of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) analysis, and facilitating capital introductions for companies around the world engaged in sustainable business practices. Cornerstone’s Board of Directors, Global Advisory Council and Staff partner with organizations including the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and the Principles for Responsible Investment to work towards collaboration and transparency in the global capital markets.

More About Our Sponsors

Founded in 1995, RobecoSAM is an investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing. It offers asset management, indices, engagement, voting, impact analysis, sustainability assessments, and benchmarking services. Together with S&P Dow Jones Indices, RobecoSAM publishes the globally recognized Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). Approximately 130 professionals work for RobecoSAM, which is headquartered in Zurich.

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,100 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.

The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) is a United Nations Global Compact sponsored initiative with the mission to inspire and champion responsible management education, research and thought leadership globally. The Six Principles of PRME are inspired by internationally accepted values and provide an engagement structure for academic institutions to incorporate sustainability into curricula and research. Beyond the Principles, this “network of networks” is a vibrant learning community that supports continuous improvement at the global and local level. At the regional level, the PRME Chapters are platforms that advance the Six Principles of PRME within a particular geographic context, performing an important role in rooting PRME within different national, regional, cultural and linguistic contexts, and facilitating the growth and engagement of PRME with respect to implementing the Six Principles.