William & Mary Global Innovation Challenge (WMGIC) 2017-2021 Report

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2021 Global Innovation Challenge at William & Mary

WMGIC REPORT 2017-2021



WMGIC REPORT 2017-2021

I. FOREWORDS Foreword from the Vice Provost


Letter from the Co-Founders


Letter from the President




Flagship Competition Schedule












IV. OUR GROWTH Innovation-Driven Research


Collaboration with WGC


NATO ACT Cybersecurity Challenge


Beyond William & Mary


V. OUR NETWORK Current Executive Board


Past Executive Boards


Alumni Network


Judges and Mentors


Sponsors and Partners


Participating Universities






Foreword from the Vice Provost There is no shortage of good ideas at a university. As the Vice Provost for Academic and International Affairs (VPAIA) at William & Mary, I have the privilege of hearing brilliant ideas from smart and accomplished individuals every day. It's a large part of why I enjoy my job, especially at an elite university like ours that attracts particularly creative and innovative students and faculty. What I don't hear as often are ideas that are truly sustainable—that is, not just interesting insights into transitory situations, but seeds of new approaches that can grow and evolve with each year and each new class of students. I have been witness to precisely that kind of sustainable growth and evolution with the William & Mary Global Innovation Challenge (WMGIC). In 2016, WMGIC's student co-founders presented their idea—a platform for enabling students to engage in innovative, cross-disciplinary problemsolving of real-world development issues—they might not have foreseen what it would catalyze. As WMGIC's impressive expansion over the past few years has shown, the seeds they sowed give years ago have generated a rich harvest indeed. The WMGIC of 2021 is better than ever, having evolved to become the premier intercollegiate hacka-thon style international and sustainable development case competition in the U.S. As VPAIA, I oversee on behalf of Provost Peggy Agouris the Global Research Institute, Reves Center for International Studies, Institute for Integrative Conservation, and the Whole of Government Center of Excellence. I am proud to say that all of them support WMGIC, through programming, mentorships, research partnerships, and financial or administrative assistance.

WMGIC has also grown from a pilot program by students to a truly whole-of-university student organization, having forged partnerships across schools, departments, and disciplines. These collaborations, combined with the competitions hosted by WMGIC, truly epitomize William & Mary's mission: Through close mentoring and collaboration, we inspire lifelong learning, generate new knowledge, and expand understanding. We cultivate creative thinkers, principled leaders, and compassionate global citizens equipped for lives of meaning and distinction. William & Mary convenes great minds and hearts to meet the most pressing needs of our time.

The issues addressed in WMGIC's case competitions are indeed some of the most pressing needs of our time, from climate change to cybersecurity. The students tackle these issues through cross-disciplinary, global collaboration—in a fun and engaging competition—that brings together the best ideas of their generation. The students who manage WMGIC and those who engage in the competitions are precisely the global citizens we need to meet and solve the most vexing problems of today and tomorrow. Building on the foundation of William & Mary's personalized, hands-on approach to education— including the connections and relationships they have forced through their participation in WMGIC— they will go on to careers of inspiring leadership and meaningful impact. I look forward to continuing to support WMGIC and as it expands its reach within William & Mary, across the nation, and around the globe.

Stephen E. Hanson, Vice Provost for Academic and International Affairs, William & Mary



Letter from the Co-Founders We are so proud to be writing the forward for the first-ever William and Mary Global Innovation Challenge (WMGIC) Report! It has been an honor to witness the growth of WMGIC from afar over the past five years. The two of us met as nervous and eager freshmen in 2013 and quickly bonded over our shared passion for global health and international development. Our friendship only grew over the years as we discovered that we were both frustrated with the recurring narrative of international aid that upheld existing power structures. We wanted an opportunity on campus that would allow us to think out of the box, make mistakes, and re-think the ways that international development and aid is run, all while building a community of students who shared the same mission that we did.

That first year of WMGIC was successful by our standards but not nearly as sophisticated as it would become five years later. It's been incredible to see how WMGIC has grown since the spring of 2017. As one previous executive board member joked, thinking back on pulling WMGIC together for the first time, "we were just offering people free pizza and a good time!" Now, WMGIC's flagship event has hosted students from across 15 colleges and universities, has built a network of over 100 judges and mentors, and offered almost $5,000 in cash prizes. We are so honored to remain a part of the WMGIC community and are excited to see how the event continues to grow and evolve in the years to come.

After three years of searching for such an opportunity, we decided to take it upon ourselves to create it. In the fall of 2016, we pulled together a group of like-minded friends to form the WMGIC I executive board, and with the generous support of the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations (ITPIR, now Global Research Institute), we got to work.

Sarah Martin '17 Samyu Jothishankar '17 Co-Founders, WMGIC



Letter from the President Welcome to the first-ever edition of the WMGIC Report! What started as a student idea by cofounders Sarah Martin and Samyu Jothishankar in the fall of 2016 to foster undergraduate conversation in international development has grown tremendously over the past five years. As a result, WMGIC now operates under the mentality of a startup nonprofit based out of William & Mary. We aim to serve as a platform for fostering applied learning and interdisciplinary collaboration on tackling complex global issues. In addition to our internationally recognized flagship case competition each spring featured by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, our team has taken on multiple new initiatives, including but not limited to piloting a student-led innovation-driven research model, cohosting a cybersecurity challenge with NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, and standing up an internal operations team. Our footprint has reached far beyond the walls of William & Mary, welcoming students from 54 universities and over 25 countries worldwide. Since joining WMGIC my freshman fall as its Development Director and leading it over the past three years, I knew that this organization would play an irreplaceable role in my overall William & Mary experience. And it sure did. We have accomplished quite a lot: from supporting Harshini Malapati in helping WMGIC gain status as a recognized student organization and diversifying our sponsors my freshman year; chartering an innovation team to work on the sea level rise competition and pivoting our main event online in 10 days during my sophomore year;

reaching students from 15 universities, doubling our judges and mentors, and running the event across the world from Taiwan my junior year; and now as a senior leading a 20 person team with four initiatives, launching our first fundraising campaign, video, and report, and finding a permanent "home" for WMGIC. Now, a special shout out to Reese O'Brien, who courageously took on the daunting task of researching, writing, and project managing the report as a new executive board member, and to Giselle Figueroa and Terra Stearns for the report's design and beautification. WMGIC won't be where it is now without all our dedicated student exec team members, especially with the lovely Hannah Garfinkel and steady Kiran Rachamallu by my side. Thank you, Hannah and Kiran, for tolerating me over the past years! To our countless sponsors and partners, 500+ student participants, and our invaluable network of over 100 judges and mentors, you too have helped shape WMGIC into becoming what it is today. Thank you, and we look forward to continuing working with all of you in the years ahead.

Thomas Liu '22 President, WMGIC





About WMGIC Established in 2017, the Global Innovation Challenge at William & Mary (WMGIC) provides undergraduate students worldwide with a platform for open collaboration and discussion with peers, faculty, and knowledgeable professionals to develop sustainable and scalable solutions to global challenges. The competition strengthens students’ knowledge about the case topic, design thinking, holistic sustainability, innovative processes, and policy entrepreneurship.

Within the last year, WMGIC has incorporated its innovation-driven model into multiple other pursuits, including working alongside the Institute for Integrative Conservation to conduct innovation-driven research on the topic of WMGIC V's case competition - the palm oil industry in the Kalimantan region of Indonesia. Additionally, through partnerships with the Whole of Government Center of Excellence and NATO Allied Command Transformation, WMGIC has organized other competitions centered around issues of national security.

Teams of three to five indicate a preference among the problem-solving streams: governance, social entrepreneurship, technology, and business consulting. Students work with mentors and present policy proposals to industry judges within 24 hours. Top teams are chosen as finalists, give public presentations, and receive cash prizes.

WMGIC is a recognized student organization at William & Mary and featured by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the International Conference on Sustainable Development.

Mission Statement

WMGIC encourages and facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration and applied learning opportunities among students, policymakers, practitioners, and researchers by bringing innovative and sustainable perspectives to solve complex global issues.













Flagship Competition Schedule WMGIC's annual 24-hour case competition centers around issues of international and sustainable development. Following the Career Expo and Opening Ceremony on Friday afternoon, students collaborate with teammates and mentors from Friday evening until Saturday morning, ultimately presenting their solutions to judges Saturday afternoon. Sign-Up

Friday 3:00 pm

Friday 5:30 pm

Friday 6:30 pm

Choose a Stream:

Career Expo:

Case Reading:

1. Government 2. Social Entrepreneurship 3. Technology 4. Business Consulting

Networking opportunities with judges, mentors, and employers

Opening Ceremony:

Students have 50 minutes to read the case and prepare to meet with mentors

Keynote speaker, event and case introduction

Saturday 4:00 pm

Saturday 12:00 pm

Friday 7:20 pmSaturday 11:30 am

Closing Ceremony:

Stream Presentation:

Mentoring & Group Work:

Teams present to a panel of industry judges and participate in a Q&A session

Teams work alongside mentors to develop their presentations

Stream winners present to a panel of final judges to determine the grand prize winner

Past Case Topics:

WMGIC I (March, 2017): Climate Change and Resilience in the Sunderbans

WMGIC II (March, 2018): Enhancing Human Security and Peacebuilding in Darfur

WMGIC III (March, 2019): Kiribati – Angling a Drowning Island

WMGIC IV (March, 2020): Promoting Sustainability and Equity in Guatemala

WMGIC V (March, 2021): Reducing Barriers to Regulation in the Kalimantan Palm Oil Industry

WMGIC x NATO ACT Cybersecurity Challenge (November, 2021): Cybersecurity, Disinformation, and Election Interference



WMGIC I (2017) Inspired by the desire to bring together students of various disciplines to solve problems faced by communities around the world, founders Sarah Martin '17 and Samyu Jothishankar '17 pitched the idea for WMGIC to the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations (ITPIR), now known as the Global Research Institute (GRI), in the fall of 2016. They wanted to create a space in which students could engage in the creation of innovative, sustainable solutions and challenge the traditional methods of international aid. Within a year, they succeeded in this goal and held WMGIC's first case competition, attracting 14 teams from William & Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University. The event was hosted from Friday, March 24 to Saturday, March 25, 2017, in cooperation with IPTIR, AidData, and the Raymond A. Mason School of Business.

WMGIC I opened with remarks by keynote speaker Patricia Austria '13. The competition centered around "Climate Change and Resilience in the Sundarbans." The region, located in southern Bangladesh and India, has been disproportionately affected by climate change, as rising sea levels and frequent tropical cyclones have caused both environmental destruction and widescale population displacements. Students examined this critical junction between climate change and international development by focusing on one specific challenge faced by the Sundarbans - human trafficking, shrimp farming, or tiger attacks. They then worked alongside their teammates and mentors to develop a solution to that challenge within the stream of Governance, Social Entrepreneurship, or Technology. The event closed with remarks from guest speaker Donald F. Larson, founder of the International Institute for Development and Environmental Studies.



WMGIC II (2018) In only a year, WMGIC's executive team, led by President Zoë Connor, expanded the case competition to include more students and twice as many professional mentors and judges than the previous year. In addition, WMGIC added a networking expo to the competition's schedule; in the hour leading up to the opening ceremony, students had the unique opportunity to meet distinguished representatives from organizations such as USAID, the World Bank, and the Peace Corps. Participants also engaged in the Design Thinking Workshop, hosted by Tribe Innovation from the Innovation and Design Studio at the Raymond A. School of Business. The keynote speaker for WMGIC II was Dr. Paul Zeitz, co-founder of the SDG Compacts and Sustainable Development Games, who spoke about his experience with the Data Revolution and work on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

After Dr. Zeitz's opening remarks, the competition's casebook was introduced to 19 competing teams of 75 participants from all majors across the college. WMGIC II focused on "Enhancing Human Security and Peacebuilding in Darfur," a semi-autonomous region in western Sudan. Since 2004, Darfur has been the site of a widespread humanitarian crisis as its people face ethnic hostilities, water scarcity, and minimal relocation options due to violent political instability. For this case, potential challenges included gender-based violence, environmental degradation, and youth development. The winning team for WMGIC II was "PNGK" from the Technology stream consisting of Antonio Marra, Colm McDermott, John Napoli, August Wagner. They addressed environmental degradation and irrigation issues in Darfur through the targeted implementation of water generation plants fueled by renewable energy.



WMGIC III (2019) WMGIC officially became a recognized student organization with the College of William and Mary in January of 2019. Through this new partnerships with the Student Assembly, as well as with the support of the Reves Center for International Studies, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies (APIA) Department, and the Miller Entrepreneurship Center, WMGIC was able to attract over 65 students from multiple disciplines and 17 judges and mentors to participate in its third annual case competition. WMGIC III's networking expo expanded to include industry professionals from organizations including the State Department, Chemonics, and the Coast Guard. WMGIC was also thrilled to give out cash prizes for the first time (the three top teams received prizes totaling $1,000). The keynote speaker for WMGIC III was Mr. Jeffrey Grieco, an international consultant who spoke on his experiences as a former senior U.S. government leader and foreign policy expert. WMGIC III's case addressed a multifaceted global challenge: climate change as a source of forced migration and displacement. In "Kiribati - Angling a Drowning Island," students focused on the challenges faced by climate refugees in Kiribati, a small island nation comprised of 32 low-lying coral atolls and one small island in the central Pacific Ocean.


This case emphasized the importance of incorporating sustainability into international development solutions - the rise of "climate refugees" underscores immediate human security challenges arising from climate change. The specific challenges that students addressed through their solutions were chosen in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. These included damage to infrastructure, disease incidence, and food insecurity specific to the Kiribati region. The judges ultimately awarded team "Platypi" with the grand prize, whose proposal called for the Tarawa Aquatic Rehabilitation Program to address environmental restoration. Other notable teams included "Google Fast & Innovate," which proposed the implementation of oyster reef building to address infrastructure loss, and team "SWD," who suggested the use of sustainably made floating farms to address food insecurity. The winning presentations were praised for thoughtfulness and innovation; Ms. Kerry McIntosh of the State Department noted that "All of the presentations I heard were so well put together, creative, and impressive overall!" Read the blog post at: bit.ly/WMGICIIIBlog













Platypi - Governance WINNER

WMGIC IV (2020) Throughout the 2019-2020 school year, the team reached several significant milestones. In the fall of 2019, WMGIC was asked to host a three-part briefing series with the CIA recruitment team. WMGIC also applied to and won its first Green Fee Grant, created internal working groups to fine-tune the case competition format, and instituted an in-house innovation team to take on new partnerships and initiatives. Leading up to WMGIC IV, the team focused on institutionalizing the Career & Networking Expo through partnering with the Cohen Career Center and recruiting more non-William & Mary teams. Although such plans were upset by the COVID-19 pandemic, the executive board demonstrated tremendous resilience and adaptability, ultimately turning the event online in just ten days.

Reception of First Green Fee Grant $2,000 to WMGIC Team Thomas Liu '22, Nathan Liu '22, Macy Punzalan '20, Hannah Garfinkel '22 and advisor David Trichler, Global Research Institute director of programs and outreach The Green Fee advances William & Mary's tripartite goals of teaching, research, and public service. Through the fall 2019 Green Fee, WMGIC successfully rebranded itself as the premier collegiate-level case competition focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

"WMGIC embodies the student Green Fee through the use of grants to further sustainability education, aligning with William & Mary goals and commitments." - Calandra Waters Lake, Director of Sustainability, William & Mary

Read the news story at: bit.ly/WMGICIVGreenFee

"WMGIC was a wonderful opportunity to think creatively and work collaboratively with classmates from across the College and experienced mentors from around the world." - Mary Pelson '21 (WMGIC IV Winner)













got sent home from abroad but at least we can do this! -Governance


WMGIC moves online, showcases resiliency and adaptability by Hannah Garfinkel ’22, & Thomas Liu ’22 | April 17, 2020 After nine months of planning, the fourth annual Global Innovation Challenge at William & Mary (WMGIC) had more than 100 student participants and 20 external professionals ready to tackle a case competition following W&M's spring break. However, with COVID-19, the threat of cancellation loomed over the competition. The student team was faced with a decision — reschedule for the fall or embrace innovation. The 10-member student executive board, in consultation with their external judges and mentors, determined it would move forward, with the format reworked to proceed entirely over online communications platforms. This year, 19 student teams from both W&M and the University of Virginia competed entirely remotely. Teams were interdisciplinary, with students from many different majors and all schools within the university. "I think our team's business background helped in identifying a go-to-market strategy and really identifying where our solution fits within the scope of the market," said Kareem Al-Attar '21, whose team won second prize. "Being able to identify risks and barriers to entry and find a path to profitability were essential in developing our idea. Our team definitely enjoyed the emphasis on international development, which isn't touched on a lot in other competitions we have competed in." This year's case focused on challenges in Guatemala, including public health concerns, economic disparities, and peacebuilding after the fraught conflict of the 1960-96 civil war.

"I was very impressed with the quality of presentations that the students delivered — especially because of the limited time and the little knowledge that they had about Guatemala," said Jorge de Leon Miranda, a Guatemala native and WMGIC IV mentor who currently works at the Inter-American Development Bank. "They were able to develop high quality ideas that not only met the judging criteria, but delivered high quality, doable and sustainable projects for the Guatemalan context with limited mentoring and research." Grand prize winner Madeleine Walker '21 reported that she "loved participating in WMGIC because not only did it provide a needed distraction, but also allowed me to apply what I learned during my GRI summer fellow experience in Guatemala last summer. … It feels so special to realize how much I actually did learn while I was there, and be able to apply it to WMGIC. Winning first place also allows me to give back to the NGO (CHOICE Humanitarian Guatemala) that welcomed and taught me so much for 10 weeks." The winning teams are able to take their ideas outside of William & Mary to compete in other competitions and test their feasibility in realworld problem solving. Walker said the quick adaptation to a remote format exemplified William & Mary's commitment to adaptive learning and a focus on problem solving in learning and teaching. WMGIC encourages innovative thinking and global citizenship, and the resiliency in the face of COVID-19 exemplifies the adaptability of the volunteering professionals, student participants and executive board, Walker added.

Read the full news story at: bit.ly/WMGICIVArticle



WMGIC V (2021) The fifth annual WMGIC competition grew significantly in scope - WMGIC V became a truly "global" competition as it welcomed 30 student teams from 15 top universities, including William & Mary, Harvard, UPenn, Georgetown, and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University. Overall, the number of student participants grew to over 120 while the number of participating mentors and judges doubled from 20 to 40.

WMGIC introduced a final judging panel of senior-level policymakers and practitioners to select the winning teams for the first time. This panel included USAID’s former Chief Innovation Officer Alexis Bonnell of Google and Craig W. Broderick ’81, Corporate Director and former Chief Risk Officer at Goldman Sachs, along with others from defense, impact investing, global health, NGOs, and more.

WMGIC V saw participants and guests from France, Indonesia, Singapore, Russia, the United Kingdom, and throughout the United States.

The keynote speaker was Michal Zrust, the founder and Chief Sustainability Officer of Lestari Capital, as well as a representative on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

An additional fourth stream, the Business Consulting Stream, was also piloted at WMGIC V. Cash prizes grew, with eight winning teams receiving prizes totaling $4,750.

WMGIC connected these professionals with students by partnering with the Cohen Career Center to host a 30-table Career and Networking Expo before the competition.





113 1,286

30 30



15 15


10 $4750 1,286 1,286

BAFKIN International Associates - Business Consulting




WMGIC V (2021) - Continued The case selection for WMGIC V continued to emphasize the importance of incorporating sustainability into international development solutions. "Reducing Barriers to Regulation in the Kalimantan Palm Oil Industry" challenged students to solve the environmental, economic, and social problems associated with the largely unregulated palm oil industry in Kalimantan, a region in Indonesia. "Working remotely on WMGIC V was a really fulfilling experience," Ariana Gueranmayeh, a finalist from the University of Virginia, said. "We enjoyed the opportunity being fully remote gave the WMGIC exec to bring in a diverse group of mentors from all over the world because their perspectives positively aided us." After hearing pitches from the top-ranking teams, the final judges named "BAFKIN International Associates," a team consisting of William & Mary and University of St Andrews students -

Nathan Liu '22, Alice Li '22, Kshamata Neupane '22, Fatima Pate '23, and Bennett Hawley '23 from the Business Consulting stream as the Grand Prize Winner of WMGIC V. Their solution sought to leverage the investment and consumer base of Whole Foods & Amazon in order to maximize global impact through a palm oil certification scheme, verticallyintegrated supply chain, and land buy-back program. This year, the executive team expanded the organization's scope beyond 24 hours by developing a new research initiative with William & Mary's Institute for Integrative Conservation (IIC). The blended competition-research model will build upon the winning teams' creative solutions to translate innovative ideas into new, unconventional solutions to pressing global challenges. Visit the showcase page at: wmgic.org/wmgic-v Read the news story at: bit.ly/WMGICVArticle





Innovation-Driven Research by Kiran Rachamallu | Research Managing Director WMGIC's remarkable growth is not solely based on numbers. The new initiative to integrate student research into WMGIC's mission will generate impacts that benefit students and the field of international development as a whole. Using the annual case competition as a starting point, executive board members will spend a year building upon the winning teams' proposals to further research solutions to global challenges that can ultimately be implemented in the real world. Progress on the innovation-driven research model first took place after the spring competition in 2021, which focused on the palm oil industry in Kalimantan, Indonesia. The executive team decided on the research question, "How can we engage Kalimantan smallholders in more sustainable farming practices?" With the mentorship of William & Mary's Institute for Integrative Conservation (IIC) Director Rob Rose and Program Manager Erica Garroutte, the team was able to contribute to new directions within the field of sustainable rural development and community engagement. Garroutte expressed her enthusiasm by saying, "the Institute for Integrative Conservation is thrilled to help the WMGIC team to work alongside external development and conservation partners to conduct applied research needed to translate innovative student-generated ideas into real-world solutions to pressing environmental challenges." The IIC wasn't the only partner who was pivotal in helping shape WMGIC's new approach. The Global Research Institute, which has been WMGIC's primary sponsor since its establishment in 2016, was the first to suggest that WMGIC expand its model into applicable research. Through their student innovation funding program, the WMGIC team was able to kickstart the research process.

In addition, the initiative wouldn't have been possible without funding from the Committee on Sustainability Green Fee award, which contributed to student research funding. Throughout their research process, the team looked into how smallholder oil palm farmers in Indonesia can be sustainable, particularly if income from carbon markets can serve as an alternative livelihood. Current initiatives target large-scale companies like Nestle and Cargill, but this ignores smallholders that undertake 50% of oil palm production. The team first undertook a literature review to learn about carbon markets and their feasibility, current programs that engage smallholders, and the importance of oil palm in the Indonesian economy. Along the way, the team received technical assistance on the theoretical basis for carbon markets from Professor Rob Hicks and GRI affiliate and WMGIC I keynote speaker Don Larson, who has previously worked on development projects related to carbon markets. From there, the team conducted expert interviews with Indonesians in the field. These included Lestari Capital, which runs the Rimba Collective, an initiative by buyers and processors of oil palm to support the restoration of the rainforests, and the Indonesian nonprofit IDH Trade. These interviews allowed the research team to get a sense of the current barriers on the ground and how we can design solutions to overcome them. Currently, the team is synthesizing all parts of the analysis and writing a policy memo detailing their findings. We hope WMGIC can continue future iterations of the innovation-driven research model that take ideas proposed by students and has them implemented in the real world, expanding WMGIC's reach beyond the 24 hours competition.



Collaboration with WGC WMGIC is grateful for its unique partnership with the Whole of Government Center of Excellence (WGC), which aims to "train a new generation of future leaders who have hands-on, practical experience working across the different organizational cultures."

The event was led by Innovation Director Nathan Liu and was supported by Prof. Elizabeth Andrews from William & Mary Law School’s Virginia Coastal Policy Center, the Raymond A. Mason School of Business, and Prof. Dan Maliniak from the Government Department.

Additionally, the WGC's goal of bringing together leaders from all levels for "symposia, discussions, and projects to promote creative, collaborative research and solutions to emerging issues" is synergistic with WMGIC's mission.

Although this event was ultimately canceled due to COVID-19, the partnership between WMGIC and the WGC has continued to grow through additional collaborations.

The partnership began in the fall of 2019 when WMGIC reached out to Dr. Kathryn Floyd, Director of the WGC, to propose an additional competition for April 2020 alongside the WGC Annual National Security Conference. Centered around concepts of national security, "The Security Innovation Challenge: Sea Level Rise in Coastal Virginia" was designed as a fourhour-long interdisciplinary competition aimed at confronting sea-level rise, which is a critical challenge intersected by environmental, security, and social justice issues.

Learn more about the event at: bit.ly/WMGICSeaLevelRise

"The partnership between WGC and WMGIC represents the perfect nexus of undergraduate-led innovation and the crafting of national security policy. These students are leveraging their creativity and intelligence to tackle real-world challenges and learning valuable skills from experts and professionals at the same time. Together, WMGIC and WGC provide undergraduates with a safe environment to boldly push the boundaries of policymaking in defense, diplomacy, and development." KATHRYN H. FLOYD '05, DIRECTOR, WHOLE OF GOVERNMENT CENTER OF EXCELLENCE, WILLIAM & MARY



WMGIC x NATO ACT Cybersecurity Challenge The collaboration between WMGIC and the WGC has continued to flourish over the past two years. In the Spring of 2021, Dr. Floyd connected WMGIC with the NATO Innovation Hub and then with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Allied Command Transformation (NATO ACT), NATO’s Warfare Development Command. Through this partnership with WGC and NATO ACT, WMGIC developed a six-hour Cybersecurity Challenge with the scenario-based case on current global threats and challenges focused on election interference and disinformation. Over 275 students from 53 universities worldwide applied to compete in the case competition. As a result, the WMGIC team had to expand the event’s capacity from hosting 40 to 56 teams spanning over seven streams (Alpha to Golf). Together, the student participants, judges, and mentors represented 16 countries across the NATO Alliance, spanning over nine time zones. Dr. Alberto Domingo, NATO ACT Cyberspace Technical Director, said that "partnering with William & Mary - especially on this event with WMGIC and the Whole of Government Center of Excellence - promises to enhance our network and creative capabilities."

As part of the partnership, solutions that teams develop will be shared with NATO ACT and the broader policy community for further consideration, realizing WMGIC’s mission of bridging student innovation with the real world. The case competition featured remarks from The Honorable Kathleen T. Jabs, Acting Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, Commonwealth of Virginia, and a keynote address by Col. Bernd Hansen, NATO ACT Cyberspace Branch Head. This event was made possible by WGC and the Cybersecurity Youth Apprenticeship Initiative. The Studio for Teaching and Learning Innovation and the Reves Center were also key partners in this endeavor. "WMGIC offers a unique experience not only to show your grasp of Cybersecurity Policy but also work alongside students from other NATO member states. I've never heard of anything like it." - Kyle Yamamoto, California Maritime Academy Visit the event website at: bit.ly/WMGICNATOACT Read the Press Release at: bit.ly/WMGICNATOACTRelease



Students worldwide compete in cybersecurity case competition by Kate Hoving | November 17, 2021 On October 14, when WMGIC announced its partnership with the WGC and NATO ACT to hold the first WMGIC x NATO ACT Cybersecurity Challenge on disinformation and election interference in the cyber realm, there were hopes that they would elicit a good response from student teams. But it was a new venture for all partners involved, and they tried to keep expectations realistic. After all, the partners brought proven— albeit different—strengths to the venture. The reason for the inclusion of NATO ACT and the broadened focus for WMGIC came from WGC's Kay Floyd. "I've admired the WMGIC leadership ever since we interacted during a Whole of Government course,” says Floyd. “With NATO ACT, we were looking for a way to have senior level policy makers interact with fresh—indeed undergraduate—ideas related to combating disinformation. It was a natural fit to pair WMGIC's model with this a different global problem, cybersecurity."

For the WMGIC team, the competition was both a learning experience and a success. "First of all, we learned not to underestimate ourselves. This event was not only double the size of any event that we have run in the past, but it also demonstrates WMGIC's impact runs far beyond the walls of William & Mary, signifying our global reach," says Thomas Liu of WMGIC. "Second, the partnership with NATO ACT helps us realize our mission to connect students' innovative solutions with the 'real world,' moving forward, we hope to leverage the WMGIC network to secure such partnerships for our flagship spring event." Floyd also was impressed with both the ideas generated and WMGIC's execution of the event. "The WMGIC students were every bit as professional as the tabletop planners or wargamers in DC. With very little resources, they pulled together a massive international challenge with students as far away as Turkey. I'd work with, and indeed for, them any day."

The call went out for participants: It was open to undergraduate students in universities nationwide and internationally from NATO Member Nations.

NATO ACT's Dr. Alberto Domingo, one of the Foxtrot judges, was also encouraged by the results and potential. In his closing statement, he remarked: "Today case study is of most importance for NATO ACT. We did not ask you to reflect on science fiction, but rather on topics that are of importance for NATO and its allies. This event today highlights the multiple benefits of this kind of engagement."

Teams represented truly were global, ranging from Ashland University to Antalya Bilim University (Turkey); Cal Maritime to Cardiff University (UK); Hamilton College to Humboldt Universität Berlin (Germany); Stanford University to Sciences Po (France) and so many more.

"I've been impressed by the quality of the action plans and recommendations that you have come up with. A number of ideas that were presented today were very innovative and are definitely actionable and worth pursuing… So don't be surprised if you hear from us in the near future."

The three partners were on board, but whether this new competition would attract a significant number of students, universities and mentors was not clear.

Read the full article at: bit.ly/WMGICNATOACTArticle



Beyond William & Mary WMGIC also appreciates the strong connections it has formed with partners beyond William & Mary. Since 2019, WMGIC has been an official member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network - Youth (SDSN-Youth), an UNrecognized organization that seeks to advance sustainable development initiatives. Through the SDSN, WMGIC was selected to present at the International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD), a UN General Assembly (UNGA) side event, in 2020 and 2021. In 2021, WMGIC presented on "Student Innovation x Applied Research" and took the stage with students and faculty from the University of Oxford, University of Calgary, Pennsylvania State University, and Ashoka U. WMGIC also demonstrates how innovative student solutions can play a critical role in advancing the SDGs in university spaces.

WMGIC Signs MOU with SID-W

As the "global town square," SID-Washington brings diverse constituencies together to debate critical ideas, innovations, policies, and practices, advancing equitable development. Our unique partnership with SID-W further connects WMGIC with international development professionals and organizations and enhances the innovative voices of students in the development community.

"SID-W’s partnership with WMGIC aligns with our vision to expand to all regions of the United States. WMGIC is a great example of bringing together students, faculty, and international development professionals to identify innovative solutions to some of the most challenging issues facing the sector today and for students to explore the profession." - Julie Montgomery, Vice President of Membership & Partnerships, SID-W

The WMGIC model now serves as a reference for other higher education institutions looking to incorporate the SDGs into their mission. WMGIC was recently selected and featured by the SDSN as an official case study of the Accelerating Education For the SDGs in Universities guide. In addition to SDSN-Youth, the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNANCA) featured WMGIC as an advocate for sustainable change as part of their "Youth at the Forefront of Change" coffee chats series. WMGIC has also been invited to speak to UN Secretary-General António Guterres and invited to attend the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition's "Transforming Global Development" reception, among other high-level events, elevating WMGIC and William & Mary's profile on the global stage.

Read our SDSN Case Study at: bit.ly/WMGICCaseStudy





Executive Board (2021-2022) Core Leadership Team Thomas Liu '22 President Hannah Garfinkel '22, MPP '23 Operations Managing Director Kiran Rachamallu '23 Research Managing Director Nathaly Perez '22 NATO ACT Competition Co-Director; Events Director Sophie Workinger '24 Development Director Reese O'Brien '24 Events Director

WMGIC Proper Team Nathaly Perez '22 & Reese O'Brien '24 Events Directors Sarena Oberoi '23 & Michelle Zhou '24 External Relations Directors Mel Onwusika '23 Recruitment Manager

Operations Team Hannah Garfinkel '22, MPP '23 Operations Managing Director Giselle Figueroa '23 Communications Director Sophie Workinger '24 Development Director Terra Stearns '25 Operations Manager

NATO ACT Team Thomas Liu '22 & Nathaly Perez '22 Competition Co-Director Nick Berklan '22 Creative & External Relations Director Chabeli Yumang '25 Events Manager Elsa Mattson MSBA '22 External Relations Manager Mel Onwusika '23 & Katelyn Raffenbeul '23 Recruitment Managers

Research Team Kiran Rachamallu '23 Research Managing Director Maryam Jama '22, Kayla Parkins '24, Michelle Zhou '24 & Ben Nichols '25 Research Fellows



Past Executive Boards ​WMGIC I (2016-2017) Co-Founders & Executive Directors: Sarah Martin '17 & Samyu Jothishankar '17 Creative Director: Kate Connors '17 Development Director: Faith Savaiano '17 External Relations Director: Catie Crowley '17 & Thomas Fergus '16, MSBA '17 Event Director: Zoe Connor '18 Marketing Director: Emily Ruhm '17, MPP '18 Business Director: Thomas Dungan '17, MAcc '18

WMGIC II (2017-2018)​ Executive Director: Zoë Connor '18 Creative Director: Aaron Spitler '19 Development Director: Ellie Bentley '18 External Relations Director: Cori Lucas '18 Event Director: Carolyn Calder '18 & Harshini Malapati '19 Marketing Director: Emily Holtzman '18

WMGIC III (2018-2019)​ Executive Director: Harshini Malapati '19 Creative Director: Macy Punzalan '20 Development Director: Thomas Liu '22 External Relations Director: Shivani Gupta '19 Event Director: Lydia Funk '19 Recruitment Director: Remy Fritz '22



Past Executive Boards WMGIC IV (2019-2020) Executive Director: Thomas Liu '22 Innovation Director: Nathan Liu '22 Assistant Innovation Directors: Kiran Rachamallu '23 & Grace Riley '22 Creative Directors: Macy Punzalan '20, Benjamin Hotchner '21 & Kieffer Gilman-Strickland '21 Development Director: Hannah Garfinkel '22 External Relations Director: Ryan Posthumus '22 & Yu-Chieh Cheng '23 Event Director: Remy Fritz '22 Recruitment Director: Mike Frost '22 Business Director: Emily Lo '23

WMGIC V (2020-2021) Executive Director: Thomas Liu '22 Deputy Executive Director & Development Director: Hannah Garfinkel '22 Deputy Executive Director & External Relations Director: Kiran Rachamallu '23 Creative Directors: Benjamin Hotchner '21 & Kieffer Gilman-Strickland '21 Event Director: August Wagner '21 Recruitment Directors: Mike Frost '22 & Grace Riley '22 Marketing Director: Giselle Figueroa '23 Career & Networking Expo Coordinator: Yuchieh Cheng '23 Research Team: Kiran Rachamallu '23, Hannah Garfinkel '22, Kieffer Gilman-Strickland '21, Thomas Liu '22, August Wagner '21, Michelle Zhou '24



Alumni Network WMGIC executive board members have gone on to intern, work, and study at a number of the most prestigious universities, companies, NGOs, and organizations globally. The WMGIC alumni network continues to expand.

WMGIC Alumni Testimonial "WMGIC's adaptability since it's start speaks to what I learned as External Relations Director and what I believe W&M students will continue learning. The amazing network of professors, judges, mentors & faculty working behind the scenes make WMGIC incredibly unique."

- Shivani Gupta '19, WMGIC III External Relations Director



Judges and Mentors WMGIC I Judges: Albert Cevallos • Donald Larson • Meredith Perry Mentors: David Aday • Susan Gilbert • Craig Jolley • Donald Thibeau '16

WMGIC II Judges: Lisa Baldwin​• Dieter Fischer • Brad Lucas • Michael Luchs • Meredith Perry • Jacqueline Rodriguez • Robert Rose Mentors: George Bentley • Piers Bocock • Camila Buchanan • Jaya Chimnani​'94 • Susan Gilbert • Kelsey Weissgold '11

WMGIC III Judges: Tyler Frazier​• Jeffrey Grieco • Kerry McIntosh • Iyabo Obasanjo • Robert Rose • Michelle Schopp • Elizabeth Serlemitsos • Jacqueline Westley '07 Mentors: Brianna Cattelino '16 • Heather Lane Chauny • Chia-Ying (Wendy) Lin • Naseemah Mohamed • Molly Ryan '18 • Sam Wooley '18 • Paul Zeitz

WMGIC IV Judges: ​Eric Boyle '93 • ​Allison Bradshaw '07 • ​ Jaya Chimnani '94 • Denzel Hankinson '94 • Rodney Knight • ​Jonathan Maupin • Kerry McIntosh • Meredith Perry • Sarah Wyatt '06 Mentors: ​Jessica Brown '13 • Nicole Brzozowski '12 • Yulia Buynova '19 • Aili Chatfield-Taylor '17 • Heather Lane Chauny • Jorge de Leon Miranda • Lidia Kovacevic '17 • ​Sergio Martinez • ​Matthew Merritt • Rebecca Nelson • Dillan Patel '16

WMGIC V Final Judges: Alexis Bonnell • Craig Broderick '81 • Bobby Jefferson • Dow Martin • Nick Martin • Trish Martinelli • Mackenzie Colgan Reinoso​ Judges: Earl Carr '01 • Dan Millison • Laura Harwig '06 • Jamie Bay Nishi '04 • Meredith Perry • Katherine Raphaelson • Ana Rold • Rob Rose • Laura Sauls '07 • Michelle Schopp • Ranjan Shrestha • Anne Simmons-Benton • Jacqueline Westley '07 • Sarah Wyatt '06 Mentors: Jessica Brown '13 • Yulia Buynova '19 • Aili Chatfield-Taylor '17 • Rohan Desai '18 • Tim Duff '14 • Michelle Fang '20 • Wesley Garner '19 • Erica Garroutte • Riley Greenwood • Gabrielle Hibbert '17 • Alexander LeVoci • Jeremiah Magpile • Robert Marty '13, MS/MPP '17 • Dillan Patel '16 • Liz Rosen '20 • Philip Rothrock • Jamila White

WMGIC x NATO ACT Cybersecurity Challenge Judges: Joey Cusimano • Lisa Dickson • Alberto Domingo • Davide Giovannelli • Iria Giuffrida • Włodzimierz Gogołek • Matt Horton '97 • Aron Hubbard • Pedro Jerónimo • Irini Katsirea • Birgy Lorenz • Trish Martinelli • John Scott • Elis Vllasi Mentors: Alex Anvari • Peter Apps • Mateusz Buczek • Devon Cockrell • Kira Graves • Joshua Huminski • Antoine Landry • Elizabeth Losh • Keith Masback • Robert McMath • Ana Rold • Chris Shenefiel • Roger Yee • Lincoln Zaleski '20



Sponsors and Partners The founding of WMGIC was made possible by a seed investment through William & Mary’s Global Research Institute. Our 30+ sponsors and partners range from centers and departments on campus to foundations, media organizations, and multilateral institutions. We are truly grateful for the support and commitment of our sponsors and partners.

William & Mary Environmental Science and Policy, Michael Holtzman, & More

"The Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement has supported WMGIC since its inception in multiple ways, from providing a list of employers to collaborating on the Career & Networking Expo. Our partnership with WMGIC presents students with a worthwhile experiential learning opportunity and a career pathway for success." - Kathleen Powell, Chief Career Officer, William & Mary



Participating Universities United States


William & Mary American University Ashland University Baruch College Baylor University Bryn Mawr College Cal Maritime Columbia University Florida International University George Mason University Georgetown University Hamilton College Harvard University Hofstra University Hood College Indiana University Bloomington James Madison University Johns Hopkins University Kenyon College Muskingum University Old Dominion University Pepperdine University Stanford University Stony Brook University Swarthmore College Trinity Washington University Tufts University University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Pennsylvania University of Texas at Austin University of Texas at San Antonio University of Virginia

Queen's University Simon Fraser University University of Calgary University of Western Ontario

France Sciences Po

Germany Humboldt Universität Berlin Technische Universität Berlin

Netherlands Leiden University

Poland University of Warsaw

Singapore Nanyang Technological University

Turkey Antalya Bilim University Dokuz Eylül University Middle East Technical University

United Kingdom Cardiff University Keele University King's College London London School of Economics Nottingham Trent University University of Cambridge University of Edinburgh University of Oxford University of St Andrews



Testimonials "WMGIC highlights the value of fast thinking, nimble problem solving, and crazy dreaming."

- Nathan Liu '22 WMGIC IV Innovation Director; V Winner "As a participant, WMGIC allowed me to see challenges, risks, and opportunities that projects face in the international development sphere through a multidisciplinary perspective. Now being back as a mentor, I am giving back to William & Mary by creating a similarly comfortable environment for experimental learning and helping students as they navigate the contest's challenges!"

- Yulia Buynova '19 WMGIC II & III Participant; IV & V Mentor

"WMGIC is a place to see bright minds tackle wicked problems with creativity, empathy, and wit. I consistently leave WMGIC inspired by the talent, hard work, and passion of the participants."

- Meredith Perry (USAID) WMGIC I, II, IV, & V Judge

"As a development professional who works at the intersection of innovation and social impact financing for some of our world’s biggest development challenges, I am continually blown away by the level of professionalism, informed and thoughtful problemsolving, and the creative and implementable solutions that the students at WMGIC come up with and present each year."

- Heather Lane Chauny WMGIC III, IV & V Mentor


"WMGIC provides a wonderful opportunity for students to address complex real-life issues. Solving issues such as those posed through the case requires creative, multi-disciplined thinking. Further, the diverse panel of judges was reflective of the multiple constituencies whose views and concerns would need to be addressed. I think WMGIC was a great learning exercise, as well as being fun for the participants!" CRAIG W. BRODERICK '81, FORMER CHIEF RISK OFFICER, GOLDMAN SACHS (WMGIC V FINAL JUDGE)


Contact Us Global Innovation Challenge Org #72 P.O. Box 8793 Williamsburg, VA 23187

www.wmgic.org wmgic@wm.edu @wmgic @wmgic @wmgic @wmgic Support WMGIC (Index 5074) https://bit.ly/SupportWMGIC


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