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Leading a generation to change the world

As we grow closer to adulthood, we are told to grasp every opportunity that comes to us. Our elders encourage us to bring a change into the world by taking the necessary steps, ensuring we do not repeat the same mistakes they did. To make a difference, it requires more than one individual to lead the effort, it is not a single wave that results in a sea storm, rather than the combination of several ones. Thus, young adults should be adequately equipped to be able to lead this generation to transform our constantly changing globalised world.

Figure 2. The Hult Prize logo. Photo credits: Hult Prize.

The Hult Prize Foundation was launched by Ahmad Akshar and aims to encourage the young generation to bring social change through education and entrepreneurship. Their focus is on the impact of youth development and empowerment, along with the future of business and action. 

Figure 3.Team work is always effective in developing ideas. Photo credits: unsplash.

The Hult Prize is considered to be the world’s largest annual student competition, and a platform for social change, where students can bring the next big idea that may transform the world. It ultimately is a start-up accelerator where participants are called to provide business ideas and to tackle grave matters that billions face around the world. The winners are awarded with a cash prize of USD to make their proposal into reality. Each university that chooses to participate holds an on-campus competition. The winning team then moves to the regionals, hosted in over fifty different countries, where the team competes with students from other universities across the world. 

Figure 4. Hult Prize 2021 theme. Photo credits: Hult Prize.

This year’s Hult Prize theme was, ‘Food for Good’, where participants were asked through their business proposals in a six-minute pitch to transform food into a vehicle for change. The competition took place on 17 December via Microsoft Teams, due to the pandemic. The three finalists that had been selected were able to present their ideas to a panel consisting three judges. The judges were, Mr. Rory Connon, Campus Programme Coordinator and Senior Lecturer (School of Business), Dr. Sreejith Balasubramanian, Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Research Committee (School of Business), and Mrs. Amruta Kshemkalyani, founder of Sustainability Tribe and #ZeroWasteUAE social initiative who is also a sustainability advisor, speaker and educator. 

After the presentation, the judges were invited to ask the teams different questions on the materialisation, finances, and prospects of their projects.

Figure 5. The judges of the Hult Prize MDX on campus competition. Photo credits: Lydia Vourlidi.

The event was sponsored by Al Iman Uniforms and the UAE Food Bank, which will be providing the winning team, as well as the runners-up, with prizes.

Figure 6. The sponsors of the Hult Prize MDX on campus competition. Photo credits Al Iman Uniforms and UAE Food Bank.

A special thank you to Mr. Rhoderic Romano and the Organising Committee of the Hult Prize Middlesex University Dubai that made this event possible: Amal Anwar, the Campus Director, Sara Waseem, the Assistant Campus Director, Safia Nayeem, the Judges Coordinator, Lydia Vourlidi, the Marketing Coordinator, Hamad Asif, the Graphics and Artworks Manager, and Eldhos Thomas, the Teams Coordinator.

Figure 7. The Organising Committee of the Hult Prize MDX on campus competition. Photo credits: Lydia Vourlidi.

RETROFUTURE, the winning team of the on-campus event, with Natasha H. Fernandes, Treses N. Chakko, Vasanth K. Rajendran, and Craig J. Miranda, provided an alternative perspective on agriculture.

MAST MEDIA, the runners-up team, with Mariah Colaco, Tanushree Bhatia, Muhammad Saad Khan, and Muhamaad Asad Ali suggested a project zero campaign.

Figure 8. The winners and runners-up of the Hult Prize MDX on campus competition. Photo credits: Lydia Vourlidi.

The objective of the competition delves deeper than talking about food. It is about getting to know how one can transform food into a vehicle of change to benefit others in need. 

 An iceberg can only unfold when one looks beyond its surface, much like how the materials and abilities each individual possess can be utilized to bring change. 

It does not only suffice to be the change you want to see in the world but also to lead a generation that is going to change the world by finding others like you, willing to transform your ideas.

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