Winners of Internal Case Competition move forward to the nationals

From T-B, L-R: Yash Tasouji, Priscilla Fisher, Rachel Ling, Belda Winata and Adam Bowbrick.

Written by: Lindsay Sands

The School of Public Policy’s 11th annual Internal Case Competition took place on Friday, January 28. Four teams were given three hours to deliberate and present a case developed by BC Environmental Assessment Agency (EAO) to a panel of judges. The case, one of the most challenging in the Internal Case Competition’s history—required teams to research and prepare their best policy options on how the EAO can support operationalization of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 strategy, while adhering to the considerations and limitations set out by the Environmental Assessment Act. In recent years, federal government departments in Ottawa and Vancouver provided the case, and this is the first time the School partnered with a BC government ministry on case development.

The winning team, Priscilla Fisher, Belda Winata, Rachel Ling, Gabrielle Feldmann and added team member Adam Bowbrick, will compete at the IPAC CAPPA National Case Competition taking place virtually on February 26. Hosted by Carleton University, Public Policy students from universities across Canada will be given 10 days to deliberate and present their recommended policy option to a panel of judges from various sectors within the public policy field. Mohsen Javdani, associate professor, SFU School of Public Policy will be providing support and coaching to this year’s team as the make their way to the nationals.

The winning team writes, “Our team learned so much from the internal case competition, and we are honoured and excited to represent SFU at nationals. The internal case was a new policy area for all of us, which gave us the opportunity to each contribute our unique skills and perspectives to the case. We are so happy to welcome Adam into the team and Yash as an alternate team member. We can't wait to learn the subject of the national case this year!”

A special thank you to judges:

Tara Narwani, director, Policy and Legislation Environmental Assessment Office
Lindsay Luke, director, Policy and Legislation Environmental Assessment Office
Ruby Sarkar, senior policy analyst, Policy and Legislation Environmental Assessment Office, SFU MPP alumnus
Jessica Knowler, senior policy analyst, Clean Growth Branch, Climate Action Secretariat
Nancy Olewiler
, professor, SFU School of Public Policy   

Ultimately, the case competition is a learning opportunity and second-year MPP students Maegan McKay and Sarah van Baarsen contributed to this by providing post- presentation feedback during debrief sessions with each team.

“When developing the case for this year’s competition, our intent was to present a scenario that would support a strong learning experience for the students while contributing to a topical policy issue the EAO is currently facing—how to mitigate/reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with B.C. resource industry operations. The case had a high level of complexity but it was clear that the students faced the policy problem head on and did not shy away from presenting bold ideas for how to tackle the issue. As judges, and those who are currently working on the policy problem, we were impressed by their analytical abilities and creative solutions on a subject matter even experts are challenged by,” wrote the EAO panel members. 

Case Competition season is always a highlight of the Spring semester and we’ll all be cheering for Team SFU when they hit the national stage on February 26th.