Cross-cultural teams propose solutions to addressing climate change

March 14, 2024
China Bridge Challenge

Pictured is the first-place team (from left): Shuai An (CFANS/CSE), Sophia Shi (Carlson School of Management), Bianca Turman (College of Liberal Arts and Carlson School of Management), and Zhuo Chen (College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences)

Three teams including CFANS students presented in a case competition this semester, addressing the theme of “Strategies for an Evolving U.S.-China Relationship: Resiliency in the Face of Climate Change.” CFANS was the partnering college for this year's China Bridge Challenge. A natural fit for this year's theme, CFANS students use science every day to create a world that will feed our growing population, sustain the natural resources upon which we depend, and find answers to the world’s grand challenges. 

The challenge is an annual case competition hosted by the University of Minnesota China Center. Student teams explored the intricate complexities encountered by the U.S. and China through a myriad of challenges to propose innovative collaborations. 

Zhou Chen, a nutrition major in CFANS whose team took first place, said, “Working in depth with other individuals on a project like this was very rewarding. Even though many of the team members share the same ethnicity, the different fields of study and cultural background inspired me to pick up good communication skills and ways to empower and hold everyone accountable.”

“I am highly impressed by the quality of the contestants and the professionalism demonstrated by all the team members,” said Roger Ruan, professor in Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering who judged final presentations. “They have excelled in grasping the complexities of the issues at hand and devising innovative solutions. This program undoubtedly plays a crucial role in inspiring young individuals to contribute towards building bridges between the U.S. and China.”  

“Their proposals showed thoughtfulness in bridging the divides across cultures and countries and finding ways to grow together as a global community. Each project addressed a specific goal that the students identified as a key problem and each offered creative and unique solutions. This event made me hopeful for the future of young people working together to address the world’s challenges,” said judge Sushma Reddy, associate professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology and ornithology curator for the Bell Museum.

Read more about this year’s competition.