31 Jul 2012
Two Harvard Business School Teams Win Chef Ferran Adrià's Global Ideas Challenge Competition

BOSTON—Two teams from Harvard Business School (HBS) have won first prize in the “Ideas for transformation” Global Ideas Challenge Competition, organized by Chef Ferran Adrià and Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica. The competition is intended to shape the new era of elBulli, the renowned restaurant Adrià closed in July 2011 to focus on establishing the elBullifoundation, a place of creativity and innovation that he will launch in 2014. The HBS teams, Team A and Duende, will each receive a prize of 10,000€. A third finalist team from London Business School won second prize. A total of 31 projects were entered in the competition.

Launched in October 2011, the Global Ideas Challenge Competition was open to MBA students from five top business schools around the globe, including HBS, Columbia Business School, ESADE Business School in Spain, London Business School, and the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

The competition challenges students to develop new and innovative ideas to shape the new elBullifoundation, which will not only continue to forward Adrià's gastronomic innovations, but also serve as a workshop for sustainable energy and technology development.

On June 27, the three finalists presented their proposals in Barcelona to a jury comprising Adrià, Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, professors Roberto Álvarez del Blanco (IE Business School), Louis Stern (Kellogg School of Management) and Russel Winer (Stern School of Business), Telefónica managers Belén Amatriain and Richard Poston, and Victor Mallet of the Financial Times.

The judges noted that the three finalist teams “entailed extremely creative and groundbreaking proposals, in addition to being rigorous both conceptually and methodologically.”

Team A, made up of Jonathan Bailey, Margaret Kendall Fitch, and Anand Venkatesan (all HBS 2012), put forward ideas for developing innovative processes for the foundation and work schedules for implementing them. Their plan explores sophisticated technologies and includes an economic-financial feasibility, investment policy, and revenue plan to ensure its long-term success.

Team Duende, consisting of Luke Langford, Liroy Haddad, and Vasile Tofan (all HBS 2012), proposed a lean and flat organizational structure, an original sponsorship plan predicated on new initiatives, and a series of platforms to develop creativity and innovative performance, effectiveness, and internal efficiency measurements.

HBS professor Michael Norton advised both teams.


Kristen Raymaakers