Along with my business partner Elena Ramírez Marín, we have recently been lucky enough to take part as members on the panel of the International Hult Prize, by invitation of Universidad Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona, specifically from UPF ESociety.
They are known as the “Nobel Prize for Students” and were created in 2009 by Ahmed Ashkar and Bertil Hult, in close relation with the Bill Clinton Foundation and the United Nations. The objective of this annual competition is to bring together the ideas of university students and MBA (Master of Business Administration) students from across the world to resolve a vitally important social issue. These issues are usually related to safety, food, and access to education, water, and electricity.
It gives those professionals in the finance sector, in this case students from around the world, the chance to develop their potential through creative work to see and observe the world from a different perspective, focusing on solidarity, cooperation, and helping others. Change only happens thanks to unity, and in this case the unity of creative and innovative ideas. The winning team receives a million dollars in capital to help with the start-up their social business project.
It has been a really rewarding experience being able to see the level of talent on show, firsthand. We must take advantage of this talent to improve as a society and to strengthen as a country for the future generations.
As panel members for the projects presented by the students from UPF, we had to decide on the best one. It was by no means an easy task due to the professionalism of the presentations, the innovative ideas put forward, and the assertiveness with which the ideas were supported.
Prizes like this are essential nowadays as it is hugely important that today’s society addresses its social and environmental issues. The objective is to build a fairer and more balanced society, that fights against inequality and which contributes to a more sustainable and inclusive world.
The projects that we analysed and appraised showed us just that. The professionals of today and tomorrow in these sectors can also help to create economic and social projects to help improve the lives of everybody. Economists, Auditors, Consultants, Tax Advisors, Employment Advisors….and endless other professions are all able and willing to contribute their part, especially in these complicated times we are going through. There is no doubt that we are here to help and to enhance people, companies, and society as a whole.
Good luck to the winners! And congratulations to all of the participants, you have a great future ahead of you.