To disrupt the modern world means to be inspired by today’s innovations for a greater future. Disruptive innovation has become a business buzzword, as it aims to encourage young minds to think outside the box. This month of April, Hult International Business School has recently celebrated the Day of Disruption in Boston, Dubai, London, and San Francisco campuses. Ranging from talks on business ideas to hackathons, the Day of Disruption was a great way to engage with students in providing ground-breaking solutions for the world.
Last April 10th, the Day of Disruption at the Dubai Campus was held in classrooms during the evening. Dr. Konstantinos Tsanis, a Middle East and Africa (MENA) Financial Markets Specialist, provided a talk on disruption through the Blockchain industry and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Currently focusing on the growth of the corporate incubator of one of the largest Tech companies in the world, Dr. Tsanis provided insights in the diffusion of new technologies, as well as in finance, through the formation of start-ups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) across MENA. Developing Fintech solutions was something Dr. Tsanis wanted to encourage people in doing.
Aside from the main talk with the guest speaker, there was also a session for Adecco Insight—students in the Dubai campus were give sound advice regarding their job search in the region, including what to expect and what to prepare for, as well as the opportunity to join the program entitled CEO x 1 month. The program intended its students to participate in the event by signing up for the challenge of being trained as a CEO within a month.
Global Ambassador and MBA student Brenda Solari believes that the event has helped her understand how things are changing in the business industry. “Definitely, [the talk about] B-chain and ICOs is disrupting,” she says, “Unfortunately, the talk was limited for just a few.” The concept of disruption, although very young and hardly defined by many business thought leaders, is still being taught through the Hult curriculum that shapes the mindsets of its students to critically think ahead.
In London, April 11th was a full day for the students. Their Day of Disruption was opened with a Silent Disco—an event wherein students were given headsets that played several tracks of music that they can jive along in the Atrium. An amazing breakfast, served with white wine Prosecco, gave the students the energy they needed to continue within the day.
Interesting panel discussions also took place on their Day of Disruption. Alongside the activities, there were also talks from were Riaz Shah (partner at Ernst & Young), Prof. Olfa Meliani, Dr. Jonathan Wilson (Professor and Consultant), Nadimeh Mehra (Director, Legacy Expo 2020 Dubai), Dr. Adrian Furnham (Professor of Psychology at UCL), and Omid Ashtari (President and Head of Business at Citymapper). After the speakers’ session was up, students split into several groups and discussed their newfound ideas, after which they had the chance to present to the rest in the room.
Alik Jebejian believes that disruption often is taking something that is already there, but disrupting the market with changing the process, or the way a consumer interacts with it. “This day was really an eye opener for many of us in the room,” says Jebejian, Global Ambassador and MIB student from the London campus. “We often assimilate disruption with something extraordinary, out of the realm of our imagination.”
As the MIB students are currently in Module C and taking the Future Mindset course, this Day of Disruption was done in perfect timing as a great addition to what they have already been studying.
SAN FRANCISCO CAMPUS
Hult SF’s celebration of Day of Disruption aided the students a better understanding how their ideas, as future business leaders, can redefine the dynamics of the business world.
Held last April 11 at the open space at the 4th floor, the event featured speakers from various industries: Navi Radjou (Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School) on Wise Innovation, Ashwin Navin (CEO of Samba TV) on The Future of TV, Greg La Blanc (Professor, UC Berkley Haas Business School and Founding Faculty of Hult San Francisco) on The Impact of Blockchain to the World, and Adeo Ressi (CEO of Founder Institute) on The Pros and Cons of Disruptive Innovation. From using data analytics in measuring video ownership across screens to providing insights in having a startup launch program, the speakers were very knowledgeable not only in their own fields but also in how innovations are rapidly changing the world.
Being forward-thinking individuals, the people of today’s generation are becoming more and more outspoken about Disruptive Innovation. While there is a strong impression that disruption is always good, Ressi—having helped create nearly $2 billion in shareholder value by founding or running nine businesses—made Hultians realize that not anything new is good and successful. He implied that as strong stakeholders of the business world, we should take a step back and see what works and what doesn’t. His keynote address served as a perfect balance with the earlier speakers as they touched on the potential of disruption in varying industries.
This day gave the students a great refresher to think back and reflect to be better disrupters that the world needs.
Held last April 10th in the Boston campus, the Day of Disruption presented several opportunities for students to immerse themselves in the disruptive world of innovation. Activities such as Silent Disco, Draw-a-thon, Hack-the-Mind Puzzles, Food Trucks, and Virtual Reality Demo were held during the day. There were also talks from Bobbie Carlton (Founder of Carlton PR and Marketing) on Innovation and Product Business Launching, David Crosbie (CTO and UPenn Professor) on Funding Businesses with Cryptocurrencies, and John Sviokla (Principal at PwC) on Thriving with New Capital as a Spotlight on Bionic.
Under Prof. Mike Grandinetti’s supervision, the Hack-for-Humanity Hackathon has forged great collaboration between students and mentors alike. Explains Prof. Grandinetti in his welcoming speech, “To hack is to create a quick solution to a problem.” The other word, he mentions, is marathon, which he defines as a fast-paced demo. The Hack-for-Humanity Hackathon was categorized into four challenge tracks, each corresponding to a certain NGO. Using hackathons for business-oriented solutions and believing that success relies on great collaboration, Prof. Grandinetti, along with 30 mentors composed of his previous students from the different campuses, helped the participants move forward with their ideas while making them realize possible challenges that may arise.
Rethink Relief winners Nitin Sethi, Renata Grande, Saul Robinson, Duje Suric, Gaurab Subba, Kenzo Vezina—all from the MBA program—know this all too well: with their two-fold strategy in providing design workshops and consultations to various institutions and to focus on providing skills to refugees in creating products to be sold in the urban markets, they hope to help Rethink Relief in empowering its constituents. Knowing that their chosen NGO bridges together initial humanitarian disaster response and the resettlement and recovery that follow, the team advised Rethink Relief to work on fundraising solutions to make their strategy possible.
Students Diane Tran (MIB), Tzu Ning Chan (MIB), Charity Maddox (MIB), Precious Nwachukwu (MIB), and Michelle Maestre (MFin) won for RecycleHealth, an NGO that takes old fitbits and trackers and provide them to individuals who need to increase their exercise to decrease their health problems. “[We] created a roadmap that aligned to the vision of the organization to bring feasible solutions. . . . [and] an implementation plan that would help RecycleHealth’s organizational structure and improve sustainable funding,” says Nwachukwu of the winning team, “The strategy was to listen to each team member, mentor, and co-founder, dig deep into the root of the organization and establish short and long-term solutions that align with the vision and mission of RecycleHealth.”
Winners of Rosie’s Place—Angelica Ferrao (MIB), Franziska Schlemmer (MIB), Sanjit Advani (MIB), Ayelet Norkin (MBA), and Titilola Shawana (MBA)—offered solutions that are targeted towards a broader group of women—”and not just the women with those specific need,” adds Schlemmer. The first ever homeless shelter for women in the US, Rosie’s Place faces the stigma attached to people who are afraid to reach out in servicing the poor and homeless women. With first-aid kits to be distributed to students through their schools, the winning team hopes to provide awareness to people—mothers and children alike—about the advocacy of Rosie’s Place.
Green Hope Schools winners Anna Lundberg (MIM), Anne-Cathérine Verellen (MIM), Bernardo Pennacchio (MIB), Elise Teves (MIM), Melissa Behrens (MIM), and Vidhi Vekariya (MIM) were also serious with the ideas they came up with. “Our focus was primarily to maximize the use of the resources that Green Hope has in order to develop a self-sustainable growth strategy,” said Pennacchio, knowing that their NGO hopes to have big school with experienced teachers and kids of all ages. “The new business model for the short-, medium- and long-term includes the social and organizational embedding of the pre-primary school into its local area in Tanzania as well as the expansion of trained staff and the curriculum for the children.” The team made extensive use of multiple business frameworks taught previously in class paired with a design thinking approach to align the team vision with Green Hope’s current initiatives and mission.
The winning teams from each NGO will win free tickets and accommodation to the world’s first Conscious Tech Summit to be held in Egypt from May 9-12. “Conscious Tech is any kind of tech that tries to save the world,” explains Prof. Grandinetti. He adds that this is what the developing markets need. With two days’ worth of talks and discussions with angel investors, the summit will also have a Hackathon with a set of seasoned panel judges in business.
See the photos featured here on the Hult News.
Added cool stuff: one of the Boston Global Ambassadors featured the Boston Public Library in her article. Guess who’s in the photo haha.