Big congratulations to the team at Hult International Business School and IXLCenter behind their amazing Global Case Challenge. Bill Clinton cited it as the “last example of why he’s optimistic” in his fifth big idea from this week’s Time Magazine article: Justice.
We are privileged to have covered the 3rd Annual Challenge this spring, (our Global Correspondent, Patrick Meyer was there with a video cam in hand,) and to know first hand the passionate commitment of Hitendra Patel and the folks at Hult and the IXL-Center behind it. The idea is simple. The implications are anything but. Each year the school joins with NGO’s and lays out big challenges to teams of students who compete to win seed funding for their NGO partner who deals with problems like clean water and food scarcity. Not bad for a graduate school that is so new very few people have heard of them. Until now.
At this week’s Clinton Global Initiative, which was streamed live, according to reporting by Forbes’ Caleb Melby, “founder Ahmad Ashkar is turning the event on its head, after being urged to do so by some of the challenge’s most visible proponents, former President Bill Clinton and micro-lending Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus. The case challenge will no longer work with already-existing NGOs. Teams will now compete to create wholly new organizations, oriented around a topic area selected by Clinton himself (this year’s challenge will be focused, somehow, around “food”), to be announced Tuesday — the last day of the annual CGI conference. Six regional winners will venture to Boston next summer, where, for two months, they will work in an intensive two month incubator. Those six teams will present at next year’s CGI annual meeting, and the Hult family will now award just one team the $1 million prize, although Ashkar hopes that the CGI platform will get other investors involved as well. He is calling the move “NGO 2.0.” And he hopes to create a new generation of profit-motive-driven social entrepreneurial start-ups.”
When we asked Hitendra Patel how this acknowledgement felt he told us:
“Ahmad Ashkar, Steve Hodges and I are proud in that we have achieved so much in such a short time. We remain true to making the world a better place. We will continue to make it bigger every year and better than previous years. Our IXL Center heritage in innovation from Motorola, Arthur D Little and the Monitor Group and our thought leadership in helping Fortune 500 corporations make innovation real, has guided us in desigining the Hult Prize, the case challenge and now adding an Social Impact Accelerator to the mix. We will continue to have stretch targets because they excite and challenge MBA students and also attract the best partners. De-risking and scaling the business ideas of social entreprenuers through partners is the next step in this journey. Join us in helping make the world a better place.”
The Innovation Excellence community congratulates and celebrates with the Hult Global Case Challenge for helping to create a global stage that shows there are solutions to big problems – starting with a diverse team of young students who are not afraid to have very big ideas.
Julie Anixter is Chief Innovation Officer at Maga Design and the executive editor and co-founder of Innovation Excellence. The co-author of three books, she’s working on a fourth on courage and innovation. She worked with Tom Peters for five years on bringing big ideas to big audiences. Now she works with the US Military, Healthcare, Manufacturing and other high test innovation cultures that make a difference.