Beyond Yourself: Helping Refugees

This year’s Hult Prize challenge is to restore the rights & dignity of refugees.  For the UC Berkeley campus round, ten teams were selected to pitch their services and solutions.

These students represented the very best of Cal and included the following:

-7 Masters programs
-4 PhD programs
-all 3 MBA programs (FTMBA, EWMBA, EMBA)
-3 Undergrad programs

Teams and supporters convened in early December for a night of learning, sharing and doing something tangible to improve the lives of refugees.  A major theme across all teams was that of surfacing refugee voices and communities in designing and implementing solutions.

Four prizes were announced, including a special prize created on the fly by the judges to recognize the outstanding contributions of DepART (Daphna Bearson, Victoria Torres), an online marketplace for refugee art created by two undergrads.

Judges were:

-Akash Bakshi, Assistant Director of Marketing, UCB Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Research Alliances (IPIRA)

-Cameron Cross, serial social impact entrepreneur & Founder of uBegin

-Dr. Sophi Martin, Innovation Director at The Blum Center for Developing Economies

Top 3 teams:

  • 3rd prize: ResponsiBuild, creating Maker Spaces in refugee camps to provide opportunities to Fix & Build, Make & Sell, Teach & Learn.Team members: Mark Annevelink, Eze Moralejo & Patrick Thelen (MA, Industrial Engineering & Operations Research) and Vanessa Chehlawi (MA, Development Practice)
  • 2nd prize: ViaEx water filtration system using naturally abundant waste materials (chitin) to provide safe and clean drinking water.Team members: Vivian Qu, Rui Wang, Felix Fisher (MA, Material Engineering)
  • 1st prize & automatic entry into Hult Prize regional round: HomeFluent, a platform for providing refugees 24/7 interactive access to various types of information and resources/partners with leading tech companies (like Duolingo, Kiva, Mint) to create an ecosystem of tailored services supporting self-sufficiency.Team members: Chijioke Emenike, Elana Leoni, Jake Kislevitz & Dinesh Kumar (Berkeley Haas EMBA ’17)