One week closer to the SIFE World Cup and the anticipation is building faster than ever before. We have been busy advertising our organization at Clubs Days and preparing for our Fall Kickoff event, but the thought that it’s less than three weeks until arriving in Washington D.C. is unbelievable. The team here at SIFE Simon Fraser knows that it will be an incredible opportunity, as the most high-profile event that the organization puts on, and we are ready to expand our reach to the international stage.
But what is the SIFE World Cup and why is it important? It is an annual event that brings together SIFE teams from over 40 countries worldwide, providing an avenue through which the National Champions from each participating country can present on the impact they have had over the past year. Each team prepares a 24 minute presentation that informs judges of the results the team has achieved through their community outreach programs, with each presentation rehearsed endlessly, often to perfection. These presentations are followed with a short Q&A, which delves beyond the presentation to focus on potential areas of improvement, community partnerships, annual reports, finances, and any areas that were not covered by the SIFE team.
Two teams move on from each of the eight opening round leagues, with the top team from each semi-final grouping moving onto the finals for the opportunity to be named the SIFE World Champion. In its history, Canada has received the honour of SIFE World Champion only once, a title belonging to the 2008 SIFE team from Memorial University of Newfoundland. This year, SIFE Memorial won the National Exposition and represents Canada for the sixth time in seven years. SIFE Simon Fraser is participating in one of the largest country delegations to the World Cup, as one of 30 Canadian SIFE teams heading to Washington D.C. to support SIFE Memorial and represent the country we love.
But there are many other reasons that we are heading to the SIFE World Cup. The SIFE World Cup is a great networking opportunity as well. Not only will there be other SIFE teams from every country that participates in the organization, there will be a lot of global sponsors in attendance. Prominent business figures will be in attendance as judges as well. It is a prime opportunity to begin establishing partnerships and connections to help expand your SIFE team’s reach, and that is an opportunity that the team from SFU intends to pursue. It is also a great opportunity to spread the word about our programs and to create further awareness for the work our team does. Not only that, it’s a fantastic chance to show the world a few of the amazing things that come out of the Beedie School of Business, increasing SFU’s presence on the international stage. Many prominent figures support SIFE around the world, making this a great time to shine. Below is a video of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sending SIFE teams words of support and welcoming them to Washington D.C. for the 2012 SIFE World Cup.
To highlight what SIFE teams do, last week SIFE Simon Fraser programs Banner Bags and SFU Entrepreneur of the Year were introduced. This week’s blog will focus on two other programs, Hunger Actions and PIN. Since its launch in April 2011, Hunger Actions has empowered low-income and at-risk families to lead a healthy lifestyle while maximizing the economic value of every dollar they spend. The program holds workshops to teach financial literacy skills through nutritional meal planning and dietary consulting, basic budgeting and healthy cooking. This year, the program is expanding to encompass fitness as well, allowing participants to see how they can reach optimal levels of health and establish better eating, fitness and spending habits for themselves and their families.
Progressing the Impact of Nonprofits (PIN) is a new program that aims to improve and accelerate the impact of nonprofit organizations by utilizing an often overlooked resource: students. By allowing students to apply their knowledge and skills to address these organizations’ needs, they are able to gain extremely relevant work experience in high-level positions. The ultimate goal is to improve the social, environmental and economic impact of participating nonprofits through whatever means necessary. By combining textbook knowledge and fresh perspectives with flexible, senior-level work positions, students have the possibility of creating a huge impact without having to climb a corporate ladder or even graduating.
There are still over two weeks until the SIFE World Cup begins, but there is a lot still to come in the lead-up to the event. Next week’s blog will detail past World Cup events and champions, which provides an excellent look into the high level of achievement that teams around the world reach, as well as a look at SIFE Simon Fraser’s final two programs, Count on Me and SIFE-X.