On Saturday, Brandeis participated in the first year of Hult Prize@, a more local division of the larger Hult Prize competition. This year’s topic focuses on refugee resettlement.

As a not-for-profit organization, the Hult Prize Foundation seeks to encourage young social entrepreneurs to address the world’s problems. According to the Hult Prize’s website, the program’s goal this year is to “focus on restoring the rights and dignity of people and societies who may be, or are forced into motion due to social injustices, politics, economic pressures, climate change and war.”

This board applauds Brandeis for its participation in the Hult Prize, which gives students the opportunity to gain resources to be competitive at the subsequent regional competition.

This year’s topic, refugee resettlement, is especially relevant and critical at this time. According to a study by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, an estimated 470,000 have been killed in the five-year conflict. Another 11 million have either been internally displaced or have become refugees, according to Mercy Corps. The ongoing crisis continues to threaten lives every day, all while widespread xenophobia makes resolving the refugee crisis and the ongoing plight of Syrian civilians more difficult. Any programs encouraging help for those affected should be praised, but the Hult Prize is especially admirable for its attempt to solve a worthy issue through more creative methods. By encouraging its students to participate in a refugee resettlement project, Brandeis is joining a larger dialogue those in the international community engage in, and by doing so through the Hult Prize, students have the opportunity to enact important social change in original ways.

Combining the ideals of social justice with the spirit of entrepreneurship, the Hult Prize encourages undergraduate and graduate students to commit to not just providing aid but rather creating innovative solutions for one of the toughest problems faced by the modern world.

Brandeis already has entrepreneurial opportunities for community members such as LeanLaunch Pad and the SPARK Program, and the Hult Prize is a welcome addition.