Kicking off the 2019 spring semester, Whittier College and Hang Seng Management University of Hong Kong (HSMU) joined forces to present the inaugural Social Innovation Competition.
The competition, jointly sponsored by both institutions, included teams comprised of one student from each college to present a socially innovative project that would assist in the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. These goals focus on solving critical global issues like poverty, inequality, climate, and environmental degradation, among others, and the UN hopes to meet all their objectives by the year 2030.
The cross-national student pairs addressed UN themes including responsible production and consumption, quality education, sustainable cities and communities, and the elimination of poverty.
After collaborating for two months via Skype and social media (working around a 16-hour time difference), HSMU students finally visited the Whittier campus to participate in the final presentation of their projects. During their presentations, the students shared their new ideas for an audience of peers and professionals and also competed for thousands of dollars in cash prizes.
First place winners, Nathan Armas ’20 and Lam Chun Kai (Thomas), focused on quality education and won the grand prize of $2,500. The pair will have the opportunity to launch their proposed project with the help of additional $4,000 in seed funding. Second and third place winners were awarded $1,500 and $1,000, respectively.
Armas is business major with a concentration in marketing and international business and a minor in Spanish at Whittier. Lam is a data science and business intelligence major at HSMU, with a minor in actuarial science. After graduation, they each plan to continue their education and earn their master’s degrees in financial fields.
Whittier College sponsors included the Department of Business Administration and the Office of International Programs.
Written by Ariel Horton '21