Note: Additional running cases are provided on the companion website, including the Manage Your Health, Inc. case from the seventh edition of this text. Template files are also available on the companion website. This running case starts here and continues through Chapter 13. Tasks based on this case are explained in the following Tasks section; throughout the book, these tasks will build on work done in previous chapters and scenarios.
Economic inequality is a huge issue. A recent study found that the world’s 80 wealthiest individuals own as much as the entire world’s poorest 3.5 billion people. The richest 1 percent of the world’s population control half of the world’s total wealth.15 Many individuals, corporations, charities, and government agencies have projects and programs in place to attempt to tackle this and other important global issues such as sustainability, but there are many opportunities to do more.
A grassroots group of college students has decided to work together to do their part in making the world a better place. The students are from many different countries, and several of them met at global conferences, through study abroad experiences, or on various Internet groups. Strategic goals of this group include developing skills for both college students and for needy populations, sharing information on existing products and services that promote economic growth and sustainability, and promoting entrepreneurship. Leaders of this group were reviewing some ideas for projects (all with a significant IT component) that they could do to support their strategic goals:
- Global Treps: Many people are familiar with the television show called Shark Tank where entrepreneurs (sometimes called “treps”) present their business ideas to a group of investors or sharks. Several colleges, high schools, and even elementary schools throughout the world hold unique versions of a shark tank like event. You believe that creating a non-profit organization with one central mobile-friendly website/application to assist groups in organizing these types of events would spark even more entrepreneurs throughout the world. You would plan to hold several shark tank like events during the term of the project and create a site and applications to help continue developing more global treps. This site/application would include the following capabilities:
· Provide guidelines and templates for running a shark tank type of event
· Accept donations from potential investors targeted toward specific schools or organizations wishing to host an event (similar to the popular DonorsChoose.org site where people can fund teacher’s requests)
· Accept ideas for needed new products or services
· Provide the ability for organizations to create their own custom site to solicit local participants and sharks, accept applications, and promote the winners as well as losers
· Research ideas for a mechanism where a certain percentage of all donations and profits earned by contestants are donated back to the Global Treps organization
· Provide an online version of the events by showing videos of contestants and live reactions of the sharks while also getting live inputs and donations from viewers
- Change the Laws Campaign: Launch a global campaign to change laws to reduce further income inequality and promote social responsibility. This project would also involve creating a mobile-friendly website/application that would include information about current and pro-posed laws, allow discussions of potential ideas to change laws, organize people to contact appropriate lawmakers, etc.
Wealthy Unite: Develop a system to enable the richest people in the world to provide their input on how they can make the world a better place. Provide information on what several people are currently doing (i.e., Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, famous celebrities, etc.) to pro-mote philanthropy. Allow others to donate to suggested causes and recommend other ways to reduce economic inequality.
Global Smart Shoppers: Develop a mobile app and website that recommends products and services produced by organizations that promote social responsibility. Customize the app so it works in any country in the user’s desired language. Work with large companies that do not currently sell products or services in certain countries to expand to regions in need. Allow small companies to easily add their products and services to the shopping network.
Summarize the proposed number 3 (Highlighted in red) of the projects using a simple table format suitable for presentation to top management. Include the name project, identify how supports business strategies, assess the potential financial benefits and other benefits of the project, and provide your initial assessment of the value of the project.