The Program

Crisis Challenge prepares you to lead in high-pressure, high-stakes environments. You will be immersed in a simulated business and media crisis where you will test your ability to strategize through extreme turbulence, think on your feet, and demonstrate poise under pressure.

You and your team will play the part of senior executives tasked with responding to the crisis as it unfolds: you’ll receive emails, social media updates, phone calls and more throughout Thursday night. Then, on Friday, you’ll come to Michigan Stadium to present your strategy to your board of directors (made up of esteemed U-M alums), journalists, and the public. Along the way, you’ll receive personalized feedback from business leaders, communication coaches, and faculty experts.

Our undergraduate program is run with the help of Net Impact, a student-run organization.

Get Involved

Registration is wait-list only.

Crisis Challenge is open to all U-M students and is offered twice a year: once for graduate students and once for undergraduate students. To get involved, fill out our form.

“The LCC provided a unique experience to work with individuals across the Michigan grad community. It put you in what could possibly be a real-life scenario with, in most teams, people you just met to solve this problem. The LCC forces you to think outside of the box, outside of yourself, and put yourself in the shoes of an executive. It also forces you to adjust and pivot as time goes on and tests your ability to work as a team with ambiguous information.”

Junior Louis, MBA ’20

Program Type

Action-Based Learning, offered virtually for 2021

Key Dates

2021 Graduate Challenge
January 28, 5:30-10 PM
January 29:
– 50-minute board meeting between 9 AM – 1:30 PM
– Final-round press conference at 3 PM

2021 Undergraduate Challenge
March 25-26, 2021

Time Commitment

Approximately 10 hours over 2 days

Participant Requirements

  • Any U-M Student
  • Ability to attend both days


Three finalist teams will receive a reward that is split between team members.


Teams are randomly assigned.

Skills You’ll Learn

Thinking Strategically
As a crisis unfolds, you will face complex decisions and a range of competing stakeholders. Success will depend on your ability to effectively frame issues, rigorously analyze tradeoffs, and articulate a clear, coherent strategy. Ultimately, you’ll have to cut through complexity and find a clear path forward.

Managing Ambiguity & Uncertainty
Your team will make difficult decisions of consequence for your company, community, and other stakeholders. It will do so in an environment that is complex, dynamic, and ambiguous. You will practice navigating this environment and leveraging incomplete information to make a large percentage of good calls.

Working with Diverse Individuals
You will collaborate with a team of diverse students who speak different disciplinary languages. Despite your differences, you will practice exercising leadership together, embracing debate, managing conflicts, and supporting each other’s learning. This will require a high level of organization and activation of your diverse expertise and capabilities.

Developing Executive Presence
The second day of competition will challenge you to communicate your strategy in a pressurized environment, while preserving your message, composure, and poise. A communication coach will give you tips and feedback, while supporting robust learning from the experience and helping you enhance your presence.




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