Judges, Criteria, Process

2023 Energy Innovation in LMICs Global Case Writing Competition

Finalist Judges

Deeana Ahmed

Deeana Ahmed leads Strategy and Government Relations at ONE. Through ONE’s energy storage technology, Dr. Ahmed aims to help build a foundation for the widespread adoption and accessibility to alternative energy sources. In addition to assessing market needs and how to scale renewable energy, Dr. Ahmed helped ONE secure funding from major investors, including BMW i Ventures and Breakthrough Energy Ventures. She has spearheaded ONE’s search for its first North American battery factory and has facilitated partnerships with a variety of businesses and nonprofits across the country.

Dr. Ahmed holds a PhD in neuroscience and nutrition from Columbia University, an MSc and MPH in policy from Tufts University, and a BS from the University of Michigan. She is a published researcher and policy analyst who has conducted large policy evaluations for the NYC Department of Education, managed grants for a Silicon Valley nonprofit, and owns and operates a start-up education technology
firm. She is an alumnus of the University of Michigan Solar Car Team, where she led the development of the nationally and globally ranked solar car, InfiniUM’s battery pack.

Kate Gasparro

As the Director of Land Development and Sustainability at Bedrock Detroit, Kate is responsible for planning and implementing the company’s sustainability and district infrastructure strategies, lowering the carbon footprint of the built environment in Detroit and Cleveland. This work continues her career of building communities that connect people with their built environments.

Kate earned a BS in Civil Engineering from Clemson University. She then went on to earn an MA in International Policy and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. Before joining the team at Bedrock, Kate led the infrastructure development for mixed-use neighborhoods in Northern California. Through her ongoing research, Kate has also established Building Better Cities, where she continues to write on challenges that cities face every day.

Ann O’Hara

Ann O’Hara is President and leads the $1.6b fiber, paper and plastics packaging business of Huhtamaki in North America. This business serves the retail, foodservice and consumer goods markets from 17 sites with 4,000 employees.

Ann has a wealth of experience in both the packaging industry and beyond, having worked for many years with leading international CPG companies in seven countries. She has an impressive record of leading both businesses and people.  She is also the Managing Director of Four Provinces Investments LLC, an angel investing business focused on technology, services and manufacturing. Prior to these experiences, she held business and functional leadership roles at Intertek Group in the UK; Amcor Ltd. in Australia and the U.S.; General Electric in the U.S. and Sweden; McKinsey & Company in the U.S. and Germany, and Procter & Gamble in the U.S., Argentina and China.

Ann earned a MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSE in Chemical Engineering from University of Pennsylvania. She is a Trustee of the The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT and is married with two daughters.

Dan Vermeer

Dan Vermeer, PhD, is Associate Professor of the Practice at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and is also Executive Director, Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment (EDGE) at Duke University.

Dan has spent three decades working on the world’s “grand challenges”, including water scarcity, climate change, and ocean sustainability through diverse roles in academia and business. Through teaching, research, and coalition-building, Dan seeks creative ways to make business a force for good in the world. His areas of expertise include sustainable development, business innovation, climate change, water management, and food systems.  His latest research focuses on energy transition, sustainable ocean use, and climate change in business education.

Prior to Duke, Dan led Coca-Cola’s water sustainability initiative, where he initiated over 150 public-private partnerships on water access, watershed protection, and agriculture in fifty countries. As a recognized leader in sustainability, Dan has worked with leading companies and organizations including Google, Walmart, GE, Tesla, World Wildlife Fund, and the UN Global Compact.


Judging Criteria

  • Topic/Content
    • The protagonist and case dilemma is clearly focused on an energy innovation in a low- to middle-income country.
    • Content focuses on the efforts of a profit-seeking business.
  • Teaching/Learning Value
    • Engages students into an active learning mode.
    • Provides students opportunities to analyze/solve relevant business issues related to energy innovation in a low- and middle-income country.
    • Contains elements allowing students to exercise higher-order, complex thinking. Requires more than just comprehension and memory.
  • Intro/Overview
    • Sparks interest & curiosity of the reader, drawing them into the narrative.
    • Clearly introduces the protagonist & organization/company.
    • Clearly identifies the dilemma, its time frame, & its tension/urgency.
  • Protagonist/Organization
    • Protagonist & organization clearly identified in the case introduction.
    • There are appropriate details about the protagonist, including their role in the organization, career history, etc.
    • There are appropriate details about the organization or company such as mission, revenue, history, P&L statements, culture, geo locations, competitors, etc.
    • Adequate context is provided for both the protagonist and organization, relative to the concept of the case.
  • Dilemma
    • Dilemma & time frame clearly identified in the case introduction, along with its urgency.
    • Dilemma can realistically be solved by the protagonist.
    • Dilemma has applicability beyond the immediate situation described in the case.
    • Case specifies at least two questions that students need to address to solve the dilemma.
    • Dilemma challenges students to analyze the situation & develop multiple, integrative solutions.
  • Writing/Citations & Endnotes
    • Documents are free from structural, grammatical, spelling, & typographical errors.
    • Complete citations & endnotes are included for any quoted material such as facts, figures, & other data.
  • Teaching Note
    • Includes clear, measurable teaching objectives.
    • Pedagogy identifies case audience, business disciplines, & prerequisite knowledge or courses.
    • Assignment questions can be answered based on information provided in the case.
    • Includes comprehensive answers to assignment questions, along with appropriate analysis.
    • Includes explanations/sources for conceptual frameworks &/or business models students should use in their case analysis.
    • Includes a teaching plan that suggests how to allocate time in-class for the case discussion.

Review and Judging Process

  • The first round review will be double-blind, i.e., the reviewers will not know the identity of the submitting author(s), and vice versa.
  • Finalist judging will be reverse single-blind, i.e., finalist judges will not know the identity of the submitting author(s), but authors will know the identity of the finalist judges, as they are featured above.