As part of the Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, a team from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School has been announced the winner of the annual Hult Global Case Challenge, receiving a US$1 million prize to aid the charity Water.org.
Organized by Hult International Business School, the Hult Global Case Challenge stands apart from many other business case competitions in that, instead of engaging students in everyday business scenarios, competitors from around the world are tasked with providing solutions to some of the world’s most critical problems. This year, over 150 teams from the world’s top business schools were asked to provide business orientated solutions to providing clean water access to people in developing countries.
On receiving the prize, presented to them by former US president Bill Clinton, Fabio Scappaticci, MBA candidate 2011 and captain of the Judge Business School team explained that their winning proposal was based around mobile phone operators, who would be asked to provide their customers with loyalty schemes in order to aid the access of clean water to communities.
“Our solution leveraged an existing behavior among people – their mobile phone use – and coupled it with the existing WaterCredit platform to create a sustainable structure to provide clean water and sanitation to those at the bottom of the economic pyramid,” Scappaticci said. “We’re extremely excited to have been a part of this great initiative and look forward to working with Water.org to move our idea forward.”
Actor Matt Damon, who co-founded Water.org alongside executive director Gary White explains the importance of the winning concept;
“It’s pretty clear that philanthropy alone will never be able to reach the nearly one billion people without clean water. Solutions that leverage resources from the ground up are absolutely critical and the Hult Global Case Challenge is a great platform to capture the energy and enthusiasm of business school students to create lasting solutions to the water crisis.”
Now in its second year, 2010 winners of the challenge Tepper School of Business, at Carnegie Mellon proposed a new business plan to the One Laptop Per Child organization, who aim to empower the world’s poorest children by providing them with laptop computers for their educational needs.