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, by 2022. The challenge will also work to restore the rights and dignity of those currently living in informal or illegal settlements. Meet the team of students who will be representing EARTH and presenting in the international competition.
To tackle this challenge, a team of four students, Raquel Guimares (2019, Brazil), Marisol Morocho (2019, Ecuador), Silvia Velasco (2019, Ecuador) and Alison Cardona (2019, Guatemala), created “Seeds of Change”, a platform that connects refugees with companies or organizations that require specific labor and with volunteers who want to help them.
In short, they need the platform to be open and running in most countries, to contain a database that will facilitate the process of identifying the refugees, as well as the backing of government and the private sector that will guarantee the safekeeping of the information in the cloud.
The young women will participate in the regional competition to be held in San Francisco, CA, in March 2017; their preparation will include perfecting the project specifics and preparing to defend their idea. In the preliminary competition held at EARTH, five teams competed to become the university representatives and move on to the regional stage.
For Silvia, winning this stage was very importante because “it means knowing that we can contribute to society in a significant way by helping others, setting aside any differences in capabilities, religion, gender, or socio-economic position. We feel extremely enthusiastic and committed to this opportunity.”
Why help refugees?
The Hult Prize Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to launching the world’s next wave of social entrepreneurs. It encourages the world’s brightest business minds to compete in teams to solve the planet’s biggest challenges with innovative ideas for sustainable start-up enterprises. Annual Hult Prize winners can make their ideas reality with the help of USD1 million in seed funding. Visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.