MBRSG Master of Innovation Management Students present final projects to a panel of judges from Capital Club Dubai
Students in the Master of Innovation Management (MIM) programme at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) have presented their final projects to a panel of judges from the Capital Club Dubai.
The Club is a forward-thinking global collective of business leaders and innovators working to shape a better future for the region and beyond.
“The Master of Innovation Management at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government is one of just a handful of programmes in the world that focus on innovation in the public value space,” said MBRSG’s Executive President His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Sebaa Al Marri. “The Programme embodies our mission to train and empower the leaders of tomorrow; we strive to raise awareness about the importance of governance, policy, and innovation in public policy.”
“MBRSG is the first research and teaching institution focusing on governance and public policy in the Arab world,” H.E. Al Marri added. “Our collaboration with Capital Club Dubai, which began as part of our agile government initiative last year, helps engage the private sector in government education, and allows us to tap into their vast insight and expertise into the market.”
For his part, Mohamed Karmaoui, General Manager of Capital Club Dubai, noted: “Our members are thought-leaders and decision makers across all sectors, and we are happy to create a platform for collaborations and knowledge creation with academia, government, and the private sector.”
The student projects focused on the circular economy, and particularly on food waste and fast fashion. In under two months, the students interviewed 60 people, collected approximately 1,000 “moments of truth” in the customer journey, and identified areas that impede progress towards a circular economy.
A key finding in both projects was the lack of awareness of what a circular economy meant and the difference between reuse and recycling. Notably, culture often came up as a key variable when individuals buy more clothes and food than needed. The two groups presented consumer, retail, and government strategies to address these challenges, while panel members provided their feedback.
The Circular Economy Fast Fashion project came to the conclusion that a majority of imports to the UAE come from a handful of large international fast fashion brands, which would make it easier to implement a strategy for the sector. The team found discrepancies in labelling and suggested a uniform label for sustainable fashion.
Meanwhile, the Circular Economy Food project focused on consumption and household waste. The team found that the challenge in many Emirati households was that the person who cooked the food was often not the person who bought the food, and this led to waste. Another issue was that from a cultural point of view, families wanted to make sure there was always more than enough food of different varieties and the choices, which also created more waste. With fresh foods (vegetables) making up the bulk of food waste, the team highlighted community fridges for excess food as an interesting solution being implemented in many areas.
Prof. Melodena Stephens, Professor of Innovation Management at MBSRG, who mentored the student projects, said: “The Master of Innovation Management programme at MBRSG is unique and focuses on ensuring that our future government leaders have a bottom-up understanding of what goes into consultancy reports and the need to understand diverse stakeholders’ perspectives. While the project focuses on a narrow area, the students learn future skills you cannot get in normal classes.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Arthur King, Director of Academic Affairs at MBRSG, applauded the judges’ commitment to mentoring future leaders, and said: “Our project-based learning system is unique and a key differentiator. Our faculty are passionate about education, and their practice-based knowledge makes them invaluable in contributing to the future government leaders.”
The judging panel brought together members of the Capital Club Dubai, namely Hussain Khansaheb, Director of Marine Engineering at Nakheel; Nader Al Bastaki, Acting Chief of Strategy and Corporate Strategy Lead at Dubai Future Foundation, Member of the Investment Committee at Dubai Future District Fund; Karl Tlais, Founder and Strategic Advisor at iAdvisory; Aruna Narayan, Senior Advisor for Sustainability & ESG at The Partnerships Advisory; Anuscha Iqbal, Co-Founder Spotii, a ZipPay Company; and Adrienne Dolan, CEO of Green Touches Echoes of Sustainability.