Ural Federal University: Students Designed Projects for IKEA

28 international teams of students from Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Slovakia, Palestine, Latin America, Vietnam, and the Republic of Congo spent three weeks developing projects on the instructions of IKEA. The participants thought through all the components for the real implementation of their ideas in the company’s business processes: the mechanism for creating a new circular cycle, technical features, timeline for implementation, financial and economic feasibility study, conducted a stakeholder assessment, and thought through marketing strategies to raise awareness and promote sustainable thinking among customers, employees, and residents in the region.

“We collaborate and work together to create not only with our IKEA colleagues, but also with suppliers, partners and customers to add value, creating a better life. Students in UrFU International Economics and Business program are another great opportunity for us to learn, review, question our practices, and improve together. They have one of the best education, they are willing and, most importantly, able to develop interesting ideas,” said Kaan Salli, Director of IKEA Ekaterinburg.

The students worked out circular projects related to the recycling of plastic, household gloves, paper, glass, and textiles, thought about what new products could be produced and introduced into the range, assessed the prospect of installing fandomats, and even simulated the launch of special Eco-Apps.

Each project was thoroughly evaluated in several stages according to different criteria. The IKEA Ekaterinburg store team, which evaluated students’ projects on a circular cycle, consisted of 45 employees from different departments. Based on the results of the voting and the final presentation, the projects were selected to be implemented in IKEA’s business processes.

The winner was a team of students of the fourth year of the International Economics and Business program: Valentin Voitenkov, Igor Chekhomov, Nikolai Belchikov, Mikhail Mamykin, Roman Akhmineev and Lilit Danielyan.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in an event like this. Given current trends and the relevance of the topic of sustainability, we emphasize the importance of such events. We are glad to get acquainted with the culture of one of the largest international companies in our industry. An interesting case study allowed us to apply our knowledge and skills in launching business projects,” the winners noted.

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