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ICAT Alumni Share Wisdom with UN General Assembly

vvAs members of the 2017 Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Technology (ICAT) program cohort, Veronique Hut ‘17, Riley Clermont ’17 and Abby Grand ’19 built a platform that helps women from around the world make an income by sharing their wisdom with others. Now the trio have taken the lessons they’ve learned as young entrepreneurs to a place that is no stranger to international perspectives — the United Nations.    

The former ICAT students were recently invited to give a presentation to the General Assembly as part of United Nation’s Week. On September 19, each of them spoke about their experience as students in the ICAT program and how impact entrepreneurship programs in universities can help support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

sAccording to impact investment expert, CofC Impact Entrepreneur in Residence and ICAT advisor, Stuart Williams, in order to innovate wide-scale solutions for humanity and the planet it is essential to launch programs that engage younger generations. Hut, Clermont and Grand are just one of many examples in which ICAT students and alumni are making a profit while making a difference in the world, says Williams — who co-presented with the young innovators at the UN.  

“We’re interested in teaching college students how to think, not what to think,” says Williams.  “ICAT fundamentally prepares students to not only identify and embrace the UN Sustainable Development goals, but equips them with the knowledge to tackle them head on.”

But Williams isn’t the only one singing the program’s praises. Alan Shao, dean of the School of Business agrees, adding, “ICAT equips students with real-world skills and applied-learning experiences that will be invaluable to them in the workplace and as citizens of the world.” Shao was one of ICAT’s earliest champions and considers the program a landmark institution at the School.

unWilliams and Shaos’ shared goal for the UN presentation: inspire world leaders and their representatives to create programs that mimic the model of ICAT. Now that’s impact!

ICAT is located in the heart of the School of Business. The program provides business, computer science and liberal arts students at the College with opportunities and resources to create, manage and execute their own impact-focused startups. More than just an incubator, ICAT is an official six-credit business and applied technology course that challenges students to use their varying areas of expertise and shared passions to help solve some of today’s most pressing issues.

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