Media Releases

Business & design students challenged at Rotman School design competition

March 7, 2011

TORONTO, ON – Students from institutions across North America who are recognized for their groundbreaking work in design thinking will be coming to Toronto on March 25 and 26 to tackle a “wicked problem” in the second annual Rotman Design Challenge. The event will be held at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and is hosted by the Rotman Business Design Club.  This year’s Challenge is an international one, with a number of US graduate and undergraduate programs participating including the California College of the Arts, the Darden School of Business, the School of Visual Arts, the University of Cincinnati and the Weatherhead School of Management.

The case will be one based on a real-world problem in the area of health and wellness. The case is being developed by the Rotman Business Design Club, Doblin, a Chicago-based innovation strategy firm and the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, who will incorporate the solutions developed in this case into their patient-centric approaches to delivering improved health and wellness outcomes. Judges will include representatives from the Mayo Clinic and Doblin as well as Blueprint Business Architecture, Bridgepoint Health, Rotman DesignWorks, Idea Couture, Saatchi & Saatchi, We Rep Ideas and others.

With a belief that the mindsets and practices behind great design can also be applied to the breakthrough growth of enterprises and institutions, the Rotman School has been teaching students and organizations about Business Design since 2006. In essence, Business Design blends design methodologies and business acumen to create a process that helps identify broader opportunities, create new ideas and accelerate market success.

“The competition will help participants understand how design thinking broadens possibilities for innovation and develops growth strategies that strengthen competitive advantage,” say competition co-chairs Alex Lee, MBA’11 and Sam Singh, MBA’11. “The teams from leading business and design schools will be provided with much of the case information before the competition starts but crucial pieces of information will be released on the day of the competition to simulate real time deliberation, constraints and decision-making conditions. We’re looking forward to the creative solutions that the teams will come up with.”

Further information about the competition, including registration information for eligible students and additional information about the competition’s partners and sponsors, is available online at

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is redesigning business education for the 21st century with a curriculum based on Integrative Thinking. Located in the world’s most diverse city, the Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables the design of creative business solutions.  The School is currently raising $200 million to ensure Canada has the world-class business school it deserves. For more information, visit


For more information, please contact:

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto

Follow Rotman on Twitter @rotmanschool