Solving the world’s pressing problems will require innovation and forward thinking by the leaders of tomorrow. A global prize is offering students from the world’s leading universities the chance to do just that, and get some cool exposure in the bargain.
The Hult Prize is a massive global platform for Students across more than 650 universities around the world, promoting social innovation and entrepreneurship. Founded in 2009 , it was named one of the “Top 5 Ideas Changing the World” in 2012 by former American President Bill Clinton and TIME Magazine. Noble Laureate Mohammad Yunus calls it “the student’s Noble Prize”.
This year teams from 50 top Indian Universities participated at the Hult Prize India National Finals at Gurugram on January 15.
10 selected teams will represent India at the Global Regional Finals on March 3 at London, Boston, San Francisco, Dubai, and Shanghai.
Each year, in August, President Clinton announces a problem statement on one of the pressing global issues, to challenge students to come up with disruptive solutions. Student teams from around the world work on it to develop unique ideas. The best ideas from each University compete at the National level. The selected teams compete at the Global level, culminating at an intensive accelerator at Boston, followed by the Grand Finals hosted by Clinton at New York. The winner gets a million dollar seed fund, visibility, branding, and investor attention to start-up their social enterprise. All participating teams earn valuable insight, knowledge, experience, and a positive world view.
The Hult Prize promotes social enterprise rather than charity, so that doing good is sustainable and scalable. The idea is to introduce, at a very young age, the thought of doing businesses in a way that they benefit the under-served and under-privileged sections of society with dignity.
Conversely, it is the art of doing good in a way that doing good is financially self-sustaining, generates revenue, attracts and retains talent, and goes to scale.
The millennial generation are the generation of achievers who are in their finest when helping others, while enhancing themselves. The “larger good” and the “bottom lines” become mutually complementary rather than “mutually excluding”. They make “Purpose” with “Profit” their objective. The Hult Prize introduces the idea of entrepreneurship to social objectives at a very early stage. Student participation from around the world has been very enthusiastic, year after year. Hence, the Hult Prize is now a student-driven movement in over 650 Universities, in over 100 countries.
In India, the participation has grown from 12 campuses in January 2016 to over 50 in January 2017. Several last-minute entries had to be turned down. Directors at Aravindam Foundation, the designated Indian Hult Prize representative, are confident of reaching 150 campuses for January 2018. University campus director enrolments will open in June this year. The information will be on the Hult Prize India Facebook page and the Hult Prize India website. Selected student campus directors earn the opportunity to design, plan, and execute their campus edition of Hult Prize. They also join a network of passionate do-gooders, and receive a certificate signed by President Bill Clinton.
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