About the Author: Stephen is a dedicated and result-oriented student leader with great aspirations of transforming the world. Currently serving as Campus Director for Maseno University in Kenya, he was committed to living up to his role with passion and enthusiasm.
Like Dr. King said, I had a dream – a dream to stand out in boldness and represent the ideas of my people; knowing all too well that I could run while walking or fly while running. Opportunities present themselves in our path but it only takes the bravest to firstly recognize them and then embrace them. This was my moment, the opportunity was present with Hult Prize and I just had to take the chance and embrace it by becoming a Campus Director to my university.
My fellow students had the ideas, the really big ideas, that had the ability to transform the world, but one thing was lacking. Not even a single one of them had the platform to showcase their progress – Hult Prize could of not have come at a better time. This student program in the form of a competition for budding social entrepreneurs was just the right remedy to cure this problem, keeping in mind that it was our first OnCampus event we could now leap to compete with other change-makers across the globe in the same arena.
It is said that great leaders have the solution to problems written on their foreheads, similarly the teams of great thinkers and fast to action individuals from my university were fast to come up with great ideas. Some, unique and unheard of, yet very real and practical, others great and insightfully well thought of and researched. All this commotion kept reminding me of role models in the likes of Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, whose great inventions and actions made a huge impact in the world – all starting with an idea. What was even more fascinating about the change-makers I was leading was that for them it was not just about winning the competition or the grand prize, but about the millions of lives they wanted to positively impact with their project.
Occasionally, I would ask myself what kind of leadership were these amazing people be expecting from me? I couldn’t get caught up in it and I had to deliver through on my promise: judges, organizing committee, participating teams and volunteers had to be recruited for the success of this skyrocketing event. I am a firm believer in inclusivity rather than labelling, so I gave everyone the chance to freely play the roles they could perform best and I did not need to pose as the boss, but rather worked alongside everyone to achieve the intended goals. While overseeing all these events and activities was not easy, the spirit of servant leadership reigned in my method of leadership.
When our best laid plans or ideas lay beyond our reach, when huge world challenges seem unsolvable and when millions of lives seem to continue languishing in poverty, Hult Prize reminds us all of one thing: it can be done. It can be done when we all focus our ideas and energy on one thing and become change-makers. In conclusion, I would like all of us to ask ourselves this question; what difference has the Hult Prize experience brought to your scope? As for me, it goes beyond mere expression of words. But if I were to put it into simple words to describe it all, then it would be that it has spoken to the best parts of me and created a better human being.