International Student Case Competition

Compete in Undergraduate or Graduate Divisions

The ILA International Student Case Competition provides undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to compete and showcase their knowledge about leadership through the analysis of a contemporary socio-political-economic problem on the global or national level.

Competition Goals

The International Student Case Competition, organized annually by the ILA Leadership Education Member Community, provides participating teams opportunities to:

  1. Develop a real-world case and learn about the systemic leadership complexities associated with a selected social problem.
  2. Comprehensively and collectively develop and articulate a deep understanding and proposed leadership solution to a problem you believe poses a significant societal challenge.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of leadership as it relates to contemporary social problems.
  4. Work together as a team to articulate a grasp of how leadership theories and practice can be applied to impact a local, national, and/or international social problem.
  5. Engage in dialogue and receive feedback from attendees at the Global Conference to strengthen one’s analytical and presentation skills.
  6. Compete in an international competition with other students.

Competition Overview

Due to the urgency and interconnectedness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the SDGs are the focus of the ISCC. This provides an opportunity for teams to engage in research and propose solutions for contemporary issues on a global scale.

Each student team will identify a significant contemporary social problem they would like to address within the SDG assigned to their Division. For the 2024 competition, the following SDGs will be the focus:

14 Life Below Water
Graduate Division SDG# 14 Life Below Water
15 Life on Land
Undergraduate Division SDG# 15 Life On Land

The team will conduct research to gain an understanding of how to frame the problem and its complex, systemic causes (i.e., economic, political, social, cultural, and individual factors). The team then analyzes and develops recommendations that they believe would mitigate or solve the problem, with attention to a leadership theory or theories and actions that can be applied. The case study and plan of action should be realistic and practical — and the suggested actions should not create other unintended problems that could be worse than the original problem.

The International Case Competition (ISCC) consists of three rounds:

  1. Round One – Executive Summary
  2. Round Two – Virtual Poster Presentation
  3. Final Round – Finalists Presentation

Each round is further described in the International Student Case Competition Information Packet. Each round is judged separately, and the Final Round is comprised only of the three top teams in each division determined by the combined totals of their first- and second-round scores. Unique judges will be assigned to each round and the winner will be determined solely by a team’s performance in the Final Round.

In addition to submitting an Executive Summary before the conference, teams will attend the ILA Global Conference in Chicago where all teams will participate in a judged Poster Session on Thursday during the Welcome Networking Reception. The top 3 teams in each division will be part of the Finalists Presentations on Saturday. Winners will be announced at the closing plenary on Sunday.

The first-place team in each division will receive a prize of $1,000 USD, plus individual team members each will receive a complimentary 1-year ILA student membership.

Teams are encouraged to integrate the conference theme into their case. If advanced to the final round, teams should weave learnings from their conference experiences into Final Presentations.

Competition Steps and Important Dates

Download Competition Document and form your team today!

Sign Up Team for the International Student Case Competition by 17 October, 6:00pm CDT (UTC-5).

Register for ILA’s Annual Global Conference by 20 October, 6:00pm CDT (UTC-5).

Submit executive summary via Email to: by 31 October, 6:00pm CDT (UTC-5). 

Host your ISCC poster at #ILA2024Global in Chicago, 7 November, 5:30-6:30pm CST.

Notification emails sent to each team’s contact person by 11:00pm CST on 7 November regarding which teams are Finalists.

Finalist presentations in each division at #ILA2024Global in Chicago 9 November, 5:15 – 6:15pm CST.

Finalists recognized and winners announced at the Closing Plenary, 10 November, 12:15-1:15pm CST!