Dancing to the beat of the tango, three business students from IAE Universidad Austral in Buenos Aires won the hearts and minds of 60 of the world’s top ICT executives and thinkers gathered at NEST, the Networked Society Forum, in Miami today. The students were presented with checks for USD 7,000 apiece after winning the final stage of a four-month contest involving 31 of the world’s top business schools on five continents.

Faced with soaring energy costs, the Argentina team challenged the ICT sector to "keep their capital city dancing" and avoid power outages by launching a connected community metering system to smooth out peaks in demand. Their goal was ambitious: to reduce costs by 15 percent and save USD 15 billion by 2020 – an idea with just the right balance of social and economic benefits for all.

Still, it was a close contest and the other contenders offered smart ideas for tackling meaningful urban issues. These ranged from re-integrating the homeless in Tallinn to simplifying life in mega cities like Mumbai, India. The results and prizes were as follows:

  • Winners: Team Argentina (USD 7,000 apiece) – IAE Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Second place: Team India (USD 5,000 apiece) – Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, India
  • Third place: Team USA (USD 3,000 apiece) – University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
  • Fourth place: Team Estonia (USD 1,000 apiece) – Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia.

The competition is just one part of a larger effort by Ericsson to underscore the growing value of technology strategy at business schools.