Students from the Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI) graduate program and the Digital Futures (DFI) program are on their way to the next level of the million-dollar Hult Prize competition on March 3, 2017.
The Hult Prize Foundation is a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities. The goal of the annual competition is to create and launch the most compelling social business ideas—start-up enterprises that tackle issues faced by billions of people. Winners receive $1 million U.S. in seed capital, as well as mentorship and advice from the international business community.
The 2017 Hult Prize "President's Challenge" is "Refugees - Reawakening Human Potential" and will focus on restoring the rights and dignity of people and societies who may be, or are forced into motion due to social injustices, politics, economic pressures, climate change and war. We will also work to restore the rights and dignity of those currently living in informal / illegal settlements. Our aim is to reach 10M by 2022 and believe young people and their collective wisdom is the only way forward. This challenge was selected by President Bill Clinton and announced at the 2016 Hult Prize Finals and Awards program New York.
The OCAD University teams:
Competing in Boston: Team Hive
Collective Farming in Refugee Camps
Team Hive’s DIY Modular Indoor Farming Kit hopes to capture the talent and knowledge of the people in refugee camps. The kit is a self-contained low-tech module that will give people the opportunity to grow their own produce and redistribute to the local economy. The kits are designed with the concept of biomimicry - looking to nature to see how bees have created a community. Team Hive hopes to inspire the same sense of a collective community with the kits. Each module will be able to connect to another which will allow a larger system to be built over time, thus increasing the production capabilities within refugee camps.
- Tania De Gasperis (SFI)
- Daniel Ura (SFI)
- Sugeevan Shanmuganathan (DFI - undergraduate)
- Manik Gunatilleke (DFI - graduate)
Competing in London: Team Sage
Turning camps into classrooms without the need for internet connections or physical spaces.
As a universal right, education gives people the baseline skills to thrive, but for many children living in refugee camps, access to education is not guaranteed.
What if refugees could receive education without interruption? What if it was low cost, used existing infrastructure, and even created employment opportunities?
Using the smartphone that nearly every refugee already has, Sage turns refugee camps into classrooms without the need for internet connections or physical spaces. A mobile education solution, Sage uses mesh networks to connect students with tutors, and provides the necessary curriculum for them to continue their education while living in uncertainty.
- Courtney Cooper (SFI)
- Vince Galante (SFI)
- Ziyan Hossain (SFI)
- Lisa Hart (SFI)
Competing in Shanghai: Team Forsati
A mobile platform for economic resilience within refugee camps
What if a refugee could capitalize on the time they spend waiting in a refugee camp? What if the “wait” was not an obstacle, but an asset, to economic mobility? Forsati, which translates to “My Opportunity” in Arabic, is a simple but powerful mobile platform that helps refugees find safe work opportunities within a camp. Whether they have resources to rent, baking to sell, childcare to offer or trade skills to employ, Forsati can help connect them with the right buyer. Meanwhile, an authenticated work history log tracks completed jobs and compiles them into an accessible, usable résumé for life after the camp.
- Alastair Woods (SFI)
- Jessica Thornton (SFI)
- Lindsay Clarke (SFI)