The Oxford University Animal Ethics Society (OUAES) recently competed in the International Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC) and won in two out of the three competitions, coming second in the third.
The IBECC was founded by Professor Tom White and involves international teams analysing a business problem and proposing a practical ethical solution. This year’s team – Susana Higueras Carrillo (Linacre College), Hayden Carroll (St Edmund Hall), Lysander Mawby (St Edmund Hall), Teresa Habib Meriggi (St Anne’s College), and Emma Schneck (Linacre College) – proposed an ethical solution to the production of collagen in the form of yeast-based collagen.
The collagen market is worth 9.1 billion USD a year. Its primary uses are in the beauty and medical industries. The collagen is extracted from the bodies of bovine, poultry and marine animals. A yeast-based alternative has the potential to reduce animal suffering, while providing a cleaner, more medically targeted form of collagen.
Students from eighteen universities competed from countries, including the US, Canada, Iran, and Russia. There was especially fierce competition in the graduate division.
The competition is designed to marry innovative business thinking with ethical problem-solving is an intensive two-day experience. The OUAES team won in the full 25 Minute presentation, the 90 second presentation, and were second in the 10 Minute presentation. A paper based on their presentation will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Animal Ethics.
Deputy Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, Dr Clair Linzey (who coached the team) warmly congratulated the students on their tremendous achievement. “This is the most successful team the OUAES has ever sent to IBECC. It is a stunning result and admirably well-deserved.”
She continued: “There is increasing ethical sensitivity to animal exploitation, and it is so good to see students leading the way in devising practical ethical alternatives to using animal products.”
THE OXFORD CENTRE FOR ANIMAL ETHICS
The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics is an independent centre pioneering ethical perspectives on animals through academic research, teaching, and publication. The Centre comprises more than 100 academic Fellows worldwide.