2021 Hult Prize Challenge – Transforming Food Into a Vehicle for Change
Application Deadline: December 18, 2020
Food defines the human experience. Family dinners, religious feasts, quick snacks are eaten during breaks at work, and our many other relationships with food combine to shape our bodies, our minds, our communities, and the world we call home. Food is the ultimate equalizer.
Yet increasingly over recent decades, food systems have become machines of extraction that reduce our well-being, weaken communities, and impoverish the world around us. Once celebrated as pillars of society, community and the economy, today’s grocery stores and kiranas alike paint a dismal picture. Store aisles are filled with arsenals of cheap, addictive products that attack the soul through the hollowness of manufactured consumption. Even street vendors peddle what has become a legalized weapon of mass destruction. Parents wage a daily battle to nourish and nurture their children, while supply chains funnel massive profits to corporations and billionaires.
In 2021, the Hult Prize returns to the roots of the human experience - food. They are challenging you to transform food from a necessity for survival into a vehicle of change and prosperity for humanity. In order to do this, you will have to understand how our existing food systems work, and why they are failing humanity on a global scale.
The good news is that you will have many examples from which you can draw inspirations—a veritable army of pioneers who are rethinking food for a better world. Your work will be drawn from these inspirations to build viable companies that will fundamentally change how we all think about food and food systems in the next decade and beyond.
In 2021 the Hult Prize is asking teams around the world to build viable food enterprises that will impact the lives of 10M people in the next decade while strengthening communities, increasing incomes, feeding the hungry and creating jobs.
Before you begin, you need to put aside your prior preconceptions of the failures in our food system. This is not primarily a challenge about global food security for example. This is also not a challenge about the exploitation of agricultural workers. It is not, in any other way, about abstract people “out there” that you're trying to help. You need to go deeper. This is a challenge about food and the human experience. This challenge is about your own life, your own body, your own family and the possibility of turning a looming crisis into opportunity.
Each year the Hult Prize provides one million dollars in seed capital to the winning impact enterprise of its flagship program. The prize money is seeded into the newly created company, which will be run by the student team who came up with the idea.
The winning student team and their new start-up. Each year the Hult Prize provides one million dollars in seed capital to the winning impact enterprise of its flagship program. The prize money is seeded into the newly created company, which will be run by the student team who came up with the idea.
Registration fees for this year’s Hult Prize have all been waived. Teams will be responsible for covering their travel costs.
Students from any college or university in the world are invited to form teams of 3-4.
You are considered a student if, at the time of application submission, you have not yet graduated. Alumni and faculty are not allowed to be official team members.
Only teams may compete, individuals who cannot form a team but are interested in competing should join the Facebook community to find other individuals who are looking to form teams.