A student team from Brazil is the 2022 winner of the GE Global Lean Challenge Competition facilitated by Enactus, the largest experiential learning platform for university students worldwide. In addition to Brazil, this year’s challenge extended to three additional countries—China, India, and Ghana—with 50 participants from each country. Only one team from each nation advanced to the final competition.
The GE Global Lean Challenge aims to provide university students with a unique and diverse out-of-classroom, real-world experience. Students learn about Lean Management concepts from GE Lean experts, visit a local GE plant, and pitch sustainable solutions with the knowledge acquired from the experience.
GE Vice President & Chief Audit Executive and Chief Diversity Officer Brandi Thomas gave the keynote address at the virtual GE Global Lean Challenge final competition. She said at the program’s conclusion, “GE is proud to support the Global Lean Challenge again for 2022,” adding that “Lean thinking and practices help our future leaders rise to the challenge of developing solutions for the world’s biggest problems through this immersive and enriching experience.”
Hands-on learning is at the core of the Enactus education model. Janani Akhil, Vice President of Enactus Global Programs lauds the GE Global Lean Challenge partnership saying, “This unique opportunity provides a way for students to learn about Lean concepts and design thinking through real-world challenges and solutions.” She adds, “Because experiential learning is foundational to Enactus, we are grateful to GE for their collaboration, which permits our students to access knowledge and a chance to improve their critical thinking skills.”
During the 2022 GE Global Lean Challenge final competition, which took place virtually on Thursday, 29 September, each top National team delivered a presentation to a judging panel comprised of GE executives who are Lean experts. Team Brazil, consisting of four students from IFES Vitória, USP São Carlos, and Mackenzie Campinas universities, respectively, presented a sisal fiber insulation solution for more efficient induction engine baffles. Dr. Graciela Perez, GE Healthcare Vice President & Chief Digital Program Officer and Executive Lean Leader, noted that the team’s solution addressed not just a problem at hand but issues at a systemic level, the latter of which could be developed into a playbook for others’ use.
Team Ghana from Academic City University was a close Runner Up with its project “Smart Power,” which employs a mobile app to increase power bankability, reduce power waste, and improve revenue collection efficiency. The Students from China demonstrated a lighting conservation solution including lower wattage bulb replacement, identifying current lit areas not requiring illumination, and a partition switch to provide alternate lighting modes for various areas of a Shenyang, China, GE plant. The team from India used Lean principles of going broad and narrow, problem-solving, and customer empathy to holistically reduce carbon emissions at a GE Grid Automation Plant in Chennai, India. The solution includes HVAC insulation, assorted motion sensor lights, and employee incentives for adopting a carbon-reduced lifestyle through recycling, an increased plant-based diet, and remote work.
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Founded in the United States in 1975, Enactus is the largest experiential learning network that prepares the next generation of leaders to advance the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals through social entrepreneurship and innovation. Through its international network of business, academic, and student leaders, the organization provides a platform for students to develop leadership and career readiness skills while working with prestigious organizations worldwide. In 2021, Enactus students in 35 countries positively impacted 11.6 million lives through their social innovation projects and helped launch 1,626 small businesses, advancing the 17 United Nations’ Global Goals.
For more information visit www.enactus.org.
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