Science and Business student Lisa Tran was part of the interdisciplinary team that won the University of Waterloo division of the 2017 Hult Prize Challenge "Reawakening Human Potential".
Each year, a critical social problem is selected by President Bill Clinton and student teams from around the world are challenged to create an innovative social enterprise that addresses the problem.
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.
The challenge question for the 2017 Hult Prize is:
Can we build sustainable, scalable, social enterprises that restore the rights and dignity of 10 million refugees by 2022?
The winning team receives $1 million in seed capital and mentorship from the international business community.
The interdisciplinary team included graduate and undergraduate students from the Faculties of Applied Health Studies, Arts and Science. Keith Choy (Master of Accounting), Jade Choy (Accounting & Financial Management), Scott Forsyth (AHS) and Lisa Tran (Science & Business).
Team Epoch drew upon their diverse disciplinary knowledge and past experiences to develop an innovative solution that aims to restore the rights and dignity of refugees by fostering community relationships through a social economy.
Team Epoch was selected to represent Waterloo at the Regional Final in March.
The Hult Prize @ UWaterloo drew participation from more than a hundred students, both undergraduate and graduate, from all six faculties. More than 35 teams participated in a semifinal round, and the top ten presented at the finals.
Students pitched solutions which tackled a diverse range of issues facing refugees, including malnutrition, sustainable waste collection in refugee camps, unemployment, and lack of community integration after resettlement.
Judges Allyson Hewitt (MaRS), Albert Lobe (Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support), and Aleks Poldma (Hydrated World), were impressed by the energy and creativity expressed by all teams.
Good luck to Team Epoch as they move forward and represent the University of Waterloo at the Hult Prize Regional Finals in March.