2017 Katerva February Newsletter | Ocean Clean Up + Kelly School of Business 

Fellow Katervans,

As so often at the beginning of a new year, time to reminiscence and look back a bit, so intros newsletter we want to .

Remember The Ocean Cleanup, that ingenious winner of the Katerva Grand Prize for 2015 set on ridding our oceans of the plastic waste? From our goody bag of winners’ treats, also known as the Winners Circle, they choose to collaborate with a team of the brightest minds from Kelley School of Business, based in Indiana, US, who were asked to identify models for securing the investment required to realise their vision.

Led by Kelley’s Senior Lecturer J Shannon Threlkeld and briefed and challenged by Katerva’s Bettina von Stamm, the 7 strong team work intensely over a 3-months period before presenting some interesting and unusual (in a positive sense!) results to Joost Dubois, Head of Communications at The Ocean Cleanup.

Here what those involved had to say about the collaboration:

“We had the pleasure to work with a group of MBA students from Kelley Business School. Their assignment was pretty open: identify opportunities and business models to deal with the financial challenge of funding a $300 million project by 2020. The results they came back with were quite amazing. First of all they provided a confirmation of most of the models that we had started to consider ourselves already (always nice to get confirmation!), but in addition they also produced a remarkably well founded list of sometimes surprising potential (business) partners.”

– Joost Dubois, Head of Communications at The Ocean Cleanup

“The collaboration with The Ocean Cleanup provided Kelley students with an opportunity to apply their talents and learnings to a real life experience. Working with real issues meant that they had a greater investment in, and passion for the outcomes. Even though the experience required more time and energy from students than traditional MBA classes, they found the experience to be rewarding both personally and professionally.”

– James Shannon Threlkeld, Kelley School Senior Lecturer

“The opportunity as an IU Kelley Business school MBA student to work as a consultant for the Ocean Cleanup group was fantastic. This opportunity not only afforded me the professional growth and understanding of the business world but it allowed me to work on a project that will have meaningful impact on our world. It was an exciting and challenging project, but well worth the time and effort to create “out of the box solutions” for a worthy cause and have that experience in my repertory.”

– David McMichael, Kelley Team Member

Besides the Kelley School of Business, the Winners Circle has had illustrious organisations such as Edelman, Ipsos, J. Walter ThompsonErnst & Young and the TrustLaw  the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal programme offer their services on a pro-bono basis to either just the overall winner, to all category winners, or even the top 5 in each category.  Needless to say that we are working to assemble an exciting Winners Circle for our 2017 round.


In addition to our Winners Circle we also have amazing collaboration partners with whom we share a passion for our planet in common. One of them is the
Buckminster Fuller Institute which runs an annual challenge for innovators who are addressing the many crises facing humanity and the fundamental systems that support life on Earth; this year’s deadline is the 31st March and you can find the essentials here.

We would also like to give you an update from the Awards of one of our partners, Laka Reacts where the results are out!  The winner out of 127 entries, prepared by 255 participants from more than 40 countries, is Snapping Facade which reacts to the widespread problem of heat and light management for buildings that not only manages but also pleases aesthetically.. 

Read more about the announcement and the new shooting stars of sustainable architecture here.

Basel Ismaiel

Senior Manager of Business Development