After an exciting start to our trip, day two kicked things into high gear for the Enactus World Cup. Monday brought about the first full day of competition, with all 38 countries competing for the chance to move onto the semi-finals. Each team passionately presented on the programs that they ran for the 2011/2012 year. There were some especially interesting match-ups that drew a lot of attention; our very own Canadian team, from Memorial University of Newfoundland, competed in League 6 against Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Swaziland.
The day began with three teams presenting their programs in the standard 24 minute presentation format, with a five minute Q&A period. One of the busiest presentations of the day was Canada’s. The room was packed solid with both Canadian supporters and international teams, curious to see the strong programs that Memorial had carried out for the past year. After a short break for lunch, the remaining teams in each division presented their programs before being forced to wait for a few hours to hear whether or not they were moving on.
Before the opening round awards ceremony began, everyone was treated to an awesome opportunity. A special session took place where there was an executive panel discussion about the role of corporate social responsibility in today’s world. The panel was moderated by John Veihmeyer, KPMG’s CEO and Chairman for the Americas region. Speaking on the panel were J.P. Bilbrey, President and CEO for The Hershey Company; Louisa Wong, founder and Executive Chairman of Bó Lè Associates; and Mike Duke, Chairman and CEO for Walmart. These top executives gave their insights into CSR and the programs that their companies carry out around the world. There was also an opportunity for students to ask questions to the panel, which were probing and definitely generated good discussion.
This executive panel discussion was followed by the opening round of competition’s awards ceremony. Some amazing introduction videos helped pump up the crowd, while Enactus Worldwide chairman and CEO Alvin Rohrs delivered another emotional and heartfelt speech. It was clear that the judges had no easy decisions, even in this opening round. The two teams moving on from each league were as follows:
League 1 – United States & South Africa
League 2 – Ghana & Germany
League 3 – United Kingdom & Korea
League 4 – Zimbabwe & Morocco
League 5 – Guatemala & the Philippines
League 6 – Canada & Swaziland
League 7 – Egypt & Australia
League 8 – India & Senegal
The draw was then conducted to choose the leagues for the semi-finals. Memorial ended up choosing to present last in League A for the semis, leaving the team’s they were to compete against up to fate. Ultimately, it was the United States, Morocco and Ghana that chose to compete against Canada, creating a league that was bound to be competitive. Faced with even tougher competition for the semi-finals, Memorial was given the night to get set for their next presentation on the morning of Day Three.
After the day’s events came to an end, our team went for dinner at Elephant and Castle. As the World Cup served as the last competition that long-time member Brian Yan Muk would likely be attending, we dedicated the night to him and shared a lot of great memories that each person has shared with Brian over the years. Joining us for dinner that evening were Darren and Cristina, two students attending the World Cup from the University of Alberta. Even after only two days, these two already felt like long-time members of our organization and it was great to forge strong new friendships with the two of them.
With the final day of the Enactus World Cup ahead, the end of our journey grew closer as the excitement grew stronger. The event was amazing up until this point, we could only imagine what was in store for us on Day Three.