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Sophia University Hult Prize OnCampus Program 2022 


大学の中と外で、いまおきているあれこれを紹介する「上智のいまを発見」。今回は、課外活動団体Hult Prize Sophia Universityが、2022年に開催した「The Hult Prize OnCampus program」について記事を寄稿してくれました。

Find Sophia Now introduces a variety of things that happen on and off campus.
In this issue, the extracurricular activity organization Hult Prize Sophia University contributed an article about “The Hult Prize OnCampus program” held in 2022.

Beginning in October 2022, the Hult Prize OnCampus program at Sophia University merged through a group of thirteen members part of the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia Program for Sustainable Futures, and the Faculty of Global Studies. The Organizing Committee, led by director Mai Schrock-Manabe (Faculty of Liberal Arts, 4th year) and deputy director Hiroki Nishikawa (Faculty of Liberal Arts, 3rd year) divided into several teams–marketing, expert relations, student outreach, and project management.   

The Hult Prize Foundation Competition is a global competition where university students develop their own social venture that tackles a different social theme each year. The competition consists of several rounds, starting with the OnCampus round. Winners then move on to the regional round, the quarterfinal round, the semifinal round, and finally, the global finals. The global winner receives a one million US dollar prize to pursue their venture.  

At first, the Sophia campus directors went to search for students who wanted to support this movement. The Hult Prize 2023 challenge ‘Redesigning Fashion’ aims to combat issues of the fashion industry. The fashion industry is widely known to be unsustainable at each step of the value chain. The Hult Prize competition is unique in the way that it allows those who have little knowledge of the fashion industry and/or business to explore ideas and challenge themselves. The OnCampus student outreach team first worked to recruit students who had a basic curiosity or interest in SDGs. The marketing team utilized various platforms, like Instagram, to promote the competition and encourage students to join. The expert relations team took charge of recruiting professionals in the sustainable fashion industry or in business that could help improve the contestants’ start-up plans, and ultimately be members of the judging panel of the OnCampus round at Sophia. Finally, the project management group worked to organize and facilitate different events, including workshops and speaker sessions, and finally the final pitch day.  

From October through December, the project management team planned out several events: an orientation day, two workshops where groups were able to receive the help of the OnCampus directors and the judges, a demo pitch day, and the final pitch day. Participants were able to receive insight into the Hult Prize competition itself, the supply and value chain within the fashion industry, and a personal account of the experience of a past Sophia University contestant winner. 

Afterwards, two workshops with guest speakers worked to help birth and grow the contestant groups’ ventures through speaker sessions, interactive activities, and Q&A sessions. Throughout these activities, teams were given the opportunity to intermingle with each other and grow their ideas through feedback and inspiration. 

Finally, the demo day was planned for the contestants to run through their final pitches, and receive their final sources of feedback. Leading to the final pitch day, all groups gathered at Sophia University, in front of an impressive judge panel: Robin Lewis, Akiko Nemoto, Tomohiro Loeer, Fiona Matsumoto, and Mina Tsuchida, all of whom are well-versed in the professional field of innovation, business, and/or the fashion or environmental awareness industry. Throughout the pitch day, thirteen groups presented their unique social ventures that they had curated throughout the program. The first place was awarded to team ‘Looply’, consisting of members Lyna Descamps (Paris Panthéon Assas University, 3rd year), Ewan Kishida (Faculty of Liberal Arts, 3rd year), and Jessica Kopiec (Faculty of Liberal Arts, 2nd year). Their idea directly tackles issues of the fashion industry by up-cycling clothing into textile insulations in Ghana. This innovative idea honorably congregated the judge’s interest, ultimately awarding them as first place—securing their spot in the upcoming Asia-Pacific regional competitions. All contestant groups showcased competitive pitches focusing on different aspects of the fashion industry in their own, creative way. Through the combined efforts of the Organizing Committee, participating teams, guest judges and experts, the Hult Prize OnCampus Program was successfully held at Sophia University. As Hult Prize continues at Sophia University in the coming years, Sophians can anticipate opportunities to be drivers of social change and empower peers to do the same. 



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Editor’s note

Their activities are commendable for their high awareness of social responsibility and their efforts to increase the number of fellow workers who share their concern for the issue. The winner will go on to the Asia-Pacific regional competitions. We look forward to seeing their further successful performance in next competition.

In the Find Sophia Now, we feature the activities of students, useful tips for student life, columns by our professors, introductions of our seniors, and other topics inside and outside the university. We are also looking for information about people and topics that you would like us to cover. Please send us your suggestion to findsophia-co(at) Any format is acceptable, including articles, videos, photos, and ideas so feel free to provide us your ideas. (We cannot respond to all submissions and we will only contact you if we decide to select your idea.)

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