SFU triumphs in 2023 BC MBA Games: Celebrates first place in academics and hosts first ever all-Indigenous team

Jan 17, 2024

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Beedie BC MBA Games teams

SFU’s Beedie School of Business was the proud host of the 2023 BC MBA Games December 1-3, riding on the momentum of their victory in the 2022 competition. This year’s event saw participation from teams representing University Canada West and Vancouver Island University. Events included academic, sports and spirit categories, all centred on the theme of ‘Decolonizing Business’. This approach challenges systems and practices rooted in historical colonial systems that devastated the economic and social well-being of Indigenous communities.

Academic competitors participated in a PechaKucha challenge, live and take-home case competitions while the sport category consisted of dodgeball and e-sport events. Teams were also assessed on spirit events that included team introduction videos, a team dance, fundraising and campaign challenges in partnership with WISH Drop-In Centre, and more.

Indigenous Business Leader Executive MBA (IBL EMBA) student Andrea Baedak, who is Métis, shared her perspective on the importance of the theme, emphasizing that, “By engaging students, businesses and communities in dialogue and debate on decolonizing business, participating universities are actively addressing key global challenges. Our teams highlighted Indigenous economic principles that thrived prior to contact because they prioritized intergenerational well-being, culture and enduring relationships as indicators of success.”

“The BC MBA Games was more than just a competition; it was about engaging with the critical theme of ‘Decolonizing Business’ as a team, brainstorming innovative solutions, forging lasting connections – a valuable opportunity to learn and grow together in a way that will contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive global economy,” said full-time MBA student, Patrick Cameron.”

SFU Beedie demonstrated a commitment to inclusivity and rectifying historical wrongs by addressing a systemic issue in the BC MBA Games. Despite being in its eleventh cohort, the IBL EMBA program had never been invited to participate in the annual event, an issue that was brought to SFU leadership this year when the IBL EMBA students were again overlooked due to an administrative error.

Beedie’s organizing committee asked to postpone the games, a request supported by the BC MBA Games founder and other participating schools. Although this rescheduling resulted in Thompson Rivers University and UBC being unable to participate in the competition due to exam conflicts, both schools expressed their support for the postponement to allow for inclusion of the IBL team.

The event commenced with an Apology Ceremony held at the Musqueam Cultural Centre and included a blanketing of all the participants. This gesture is a meaningful tradition in many Indigenous cultures, where the act of draping a blanket over someone’s shoulders is symbolic of enveloping them in warmth, care and protection. It can represent the wrapping of a community’s arms around the individual to acknowledge their significance, accomplishments or journey.

“We are proud to have established the first Indigenous MBA program in the world at SFU Beedie. With that comes a greater responsibility on how to be in relationship with Indigenous students,” said SFU Beedie’s Dean Ujwal Kayande. “We are immensely proud to have hosted the first-ever all-Indigenous MBA team in BC, and possibly the world, at SFU Beedie. The IBL team made a significant contribution to our first-place victory in the academic category and is a testament to their excellence.

“The 2023 MBA Games have been a valuable learning experience for everyone involved. We’ve also broadened our perspectives and enriched our own understanding of decolonizing business. We all need to learn from and to reflect on our efforts in this respect. The profound impact of nurturing a network of future business leaders imbued with a holistic and conscientious worldview cannot be overstated.”

With guidance from IBL EMBA program team, Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers and alumni coaches, the SFU Beedie School of Business excelled, securing first place in Academics. University Canada West demonstrated the best overall performance across all categories and emerged as the overall champion of the 2023 BC MBA Games, earning the honour of hosting the games in 2024.

SFU Beedie 2023 BC MBA Games Results

Teck Take Home Case: Winner
First: SFU IBL EMBA team: Jenny Money, Tracy Ridler, Lucille Shackelly, Paula Ward
Second: SFU Mixed MBA team: Shashank Arora, Ashu Dassan, Bharathan Raghupathy, Akanksha Verma

Affinity North Live Case: Winner
First: SFU Mixed MBA team: Sharina Bansal, Patrick Cameron, Chris Gong, Julia Nicholson
Second: SFU IBL EMBA team: Andrea Baedak, Amanda Miller, Dawn Waugh, Pamela Whitehawk

WISH Fundraising Challenge: Second place
SFU Beedie raised more than $8,000 for charity partner WISH Drop-In Centre Society.

WISH Campaign Challenge: First place
SFU IBL EMBA team: Jewell Gilles, Michelle Okere, Katie Skelton

Overall Team Spirit: Second place

For more information on reconciliation at SFU:

Walk This Path With Us
What’s Next: The SFU Strategy