Two teams from the Strategic Foresight and Innovation Master’s program will compete the regional finals of the prestigious Hult Prize Challenge, known as “the Nobel Prize for students.” The annual event is the world’s largest student competition and start-up platform for social good with some 20,000 applicants from around the world.
In partnership with President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, the competition identifies and launches social ventures that aim to solve the planet’s most pressing challenges. The 2015 Hult Prize will focus on providing sustainable, high-quality early education solutions to ten million children under the age of six in urban slums and beyond.
The regional finals take place March 13 and 14 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai. One winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator, where participants will receive mentorship as well as advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set up to launch and scale their new ventures. A final round of competition will be hosted by former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting in September where the $1 million winning team will be selected.
OCAD U’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation teams:
M-Sasa is a mobile phone-based solution using voicemail messages to connect working mothers who earn less than $3 a day with local community members who are able to provide early childhood education. Derived from the Swahili saying for “in the moment”, M-Sasa empowers mothers with unreliable incomes to find child care when they need it and for a fraction of the cost of current education offerings.
- Julie Sommerfreund: Policy specialist at Toronto Public Health with a background in environmental sciences and chemical engineering
- Marta Scythes: Medical illustrator and educator
- Kevin Morris: Strategic planning manager for a global manufacturer of sustainable building materials
- Lorraine Randell: Visual communications designer with experience in education, graphic design, communications and environmental design
- Sean Molloy: Director of Quality, Safety and Enterprise Risk at St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto
M-Sasa placed first at the official “Hult at OCAD U” competition, which the university hosted last fall. The team will go on to compete in the regional finals in Shanghai.
Yogya, the Sanskrit word for “worthy”, is a social enterprise shaped by the fundamental principle that every child is worthy of an education. It empowers young women from urban slums to educate children under age four, a critical stage in a child’s development before entering primary school.
- Ahmed Alazem: Certified Project Management professional
- Christina Muia: Environmental consultant with experience in renewable energy, climate change, sustainable agriculture and source water protection
- Jennifer McDougall: Leadership facilitator and public speaker with international business administration background
- Mithula Naik: Ethnographer and industrial designer with an interest in developing products and services for specific cultural contexts while identifying unmet needs
- Patrick Robinson: Community-focused design thinker with the goal of working with industry and educational leaders for social good
Yogya made it to the regional finals in San Francisco through online submission of their project.
The annual Hult Prize Challenge is the world’s largest student competition and crowd-sourcing platform for social good. The Hult Prize Foundation has been funded by the Hult family since it was founded in 2009 by current CEO, Ahmad Ashkar. To learn more, visit www.hultprize.org.
The Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, CGI members have made more than 2,500 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $87.9 billion.
Top image: Team M-Sasa
Lower image: Team Yogya
Photos by George Wang and Greg Van Alstyne