B.C. students export their knowledge

Photo courtesy of Global Crisis Simulation

Photo courtesy of Global Crisis Simulation

Have you ever thought that world crises could be more easily solved if business, government and nonprofit sectors worked more closely together? That’s the idea that was developed during the Global Crisis Simulation, founded in 2013 by a group of students from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

They saw a need for a truly innovative business and policy conference that would solve the challenges that society faces in international business, corporate governance, technology, science and security.

Think local and global

Hassan Bhatti, the secretary general of the Global Crisis Simulation grew up in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. His studies led him to the United States before Canada and Vancouver.

“In my country, every young person was following the main disciplines like laws, medicine…. So when I arrived in Canada, I did the same. I was good in mathematics so I decided to study engineering,” he says.

After getting involved in groups, conferences and meeting new people, Bhatti realized that there is a huge lack of appreciation in their experience. When you connect different backgrounds and cultures, you find new perspective to solve a problem.

“Most conferences I have been to are all about one topic like political science or business, but I saw how important it is to work with diverse people from different sectors,” says Bhatti. “I realized that there is so much you can do and I thought it would be better if people from different disciplines could participate.”

That’s how, in late 2013, he got the idea with his friend of creating a new simulation as a platform where people could gather and share ideas. And begin to think local and global at the same time.

Once the idea of the first Global Crisis Simulation was here, the students needed a place to organize the projects.

“I wanted to go international with different countries and different cultures. Even if Vancouver is a mosaic, it’s a bit biased, because you fit into the city. An Indian person here won’t react and think exactly the same way as an Indian person in India,” Bhatti says.

Coming from Pakistan, making India and Canada work together was really important to him because of the political issues between these countries.

“India has an exceptionally talented pool of youngsters, it is the best market for new ideas,” he says.

It also offered an opportunity to show what they can achieve together. UBC was also very supportive and had relationships with different campuses, Bhatti says.

Creating tomorrow leaders

Hassan Bhatti is studying Physics and Economics at UBC. | Photo courtesy of Global Crisis Simulation

Hassan Bhatti is studying Physics and Economics at UBC. | Photo courtesy of Global Crisis Simulation

Last February 11–15, the interdisciplinary student conference took place at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, India with eight of the students from UBC.

“They were chosen because of their different fields of experience, such as political science, technology or religion,” he says.

138 delegates and 62 volunteers attended the project as well as 130 students from India, Canada, Bangladesh and elsewhere.

During the 3 day conference, committees simulated problems in the public, private and non-profit sectors, giving delegates an opportunity to analyze issues from a multi-sector perspective.

“We began with workshops about leadership and how to manage problems and apply it in the interactive scene,” says Bhatti.

For example, the conference looked at the scenerio of a multinational company which has a big factory employing lots of workers, but has to shut down because it uses and pollutes too much water in the area and makes farmers angry. The idea was to ask the students to play each part such as leaders, engineers, environmental scientists, factory workers, governments and local indigenous groups and find the best solution in urban and social planning to sustain the business interests.

After the success of this first edition, a second Global Crisis Simulation is already in Bhatti’s mind.