In efforts to expand the experiential learning opportunities offered to its MBA candidates, Temple University’s Fox School of Business (Fox) has partnered with two universities across the globe to tackle a pressing environmental issue–extinction of endangered species through poaching. Students from UTS Business School, part of the University of Technology, Sydney, arrived in Philadelphia on Nov. 13 to kick off the first of a three-part intercontinental MBA case study to reduce the demand for animal products.
On Nov. 17, Dennis Paris, Assistant Professor of Practice, Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Fox, along with Becca Zinn, Assistant Professor of Practice, Marketing and Supply Chain Management and Marketing Director of Fox MC, Arion Rochman, Principal/Creative Director at Opus Brand Strategies, and Adam Schreiber, COO at Schreiber & Paris, led an interactive discussion for Fox and UTS business students about ways to reduce, rather than drive global demand of animal parts
“The goal of our session with UTS was to offer our market research, planning and tactical expertise to help with the development of a strategy framework that would ultimately lead to an international market reduction plan of animal parts,” Dennis Paris said. “After an energetic discussion, we concluded with next steps and a framework to better understand the beliefs and values of two target markets: those possessing or wearing for status, and those who consume for ritualistic or medical purposes.”
The UTS students are focusing exclusively on the “demand” side of the problem and understanding the drivers of consumer behaviors in this illicit market in order to develop a strategy for market destruction or reduction. In the second phase of the project, Fox MBA students will leverage the research from UTS to develop a marketing strategy to reduce demand for products from poached animals as part of the Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) capstone course. Lastly, MBA candidates from University of Cape Town will incorporate the first two pieces of the project to develop a financing model and social venture bond to fund the strategic plan.
“We’re not going to change the culture [of poaching] overnight. We first have to understand why people are using the product,” said Arion Rochman. “Then we can develop powerful, impactful messages that slowly plant seeds to demystify the idea and encourage a change in the way people think. These resources won’t be here forever” she said.
Other notable events in which the Fox and UTS students participated this week as part of the project included:
- Design thinking session at LiquidHub
- Visit to Philadelphia Zoo to learn about conservation
- Visit to Adventure Aquarium to discuss shark and marine conservation
- Meeting at Independence Blue Cross for Innovation session
- Meeting at BDP International to discuss compliance
- Visit to City of Philadelphia Innovation Lab
Through its consulting services, Fox MC has worked with firms of varying sizes and functions on strategies to protect economic tourism and natural resources. The three-university initiative is Fox MC’s latest effort to address this issue. To learn more about this and other services Fox MC offers, contact us here.