This morning, the three final teams chosen out of nearly 80 submissions gave their presentations with hopes of winning the 15,000 euro prize. The I WILL embassy, consisting of about a dozen of RSM staff members judged the presentations and voted on the winners.

First, a team consisting of six people and lead by Yannick Socolov and Dominique van Pelt presented their project “We Will Build a Home and a Future For 300 Orphans” to the panel. Part of STAR and part of a bigger local project, the initiative looked to build sustainable and earthquake-proof houses for orphans in a village in Nepal. 15 RSM students will be going this summer to Nepal to help build those houses, and the team wanted to spend the money on directly making an impact in the small community.

Free lessons by RSM students

Then, a team of three girls – Nina Claessens and Merel Kemperman presenting, and Nina Tromp absent because she is currently on exchange in Buenos Aires, introduced their idea of setting up an “RSM World College”. Basically, it would be an online platform where RSM students could spread their business knowledge to underprivileged youth in poor countries. The girls planned to set up computer centers with internet access so that the people could use the free lessons given by the students in order to improve the quality of their lives as well as prospects of getting a job.

Donating via text messaging

And last but not least, Carlo Cronauer and Paola Gutierrez, MBA alumni of RSM, presented their project “I Will Help People Help People”. This project, already in the workings, strives to eliminate the middle man in donations. Thus, anyone would be able to donate a small amount of money to a person in need through a text message. The team would manage that no fraud would occur and monitor where the money is spent. As Adri Meijdam, the director of the IBA programme, put it, this project matched all the criteria of the I WILL Award, yet his only concern is that since the scope of this project is so broad, it will be hard for RSM to stay in the picture.



After the presentations, the panel deliberated which project matched the criteria the best. As Marna Bakker, a Business Administration coordinator, expressed, all three initiatives are good, but it depends on how you look at them. Of course, when a large sum of money is at stake, the criteria become really important – to be “visionary, futuristic, and unpredictable”. The votes were counted, and the winners announced – it was Carlo and Paola who took home the prize.

Winners take it all

“It feels great to have this huge check in my hands! We need a little bit more money to make it work, but some people from the panel already said that they are willing to chip in”, said Carlo. The duo said they were hoping to win, but that they wouldn’t have been disappointed if they didn’t, because another great idea would get a chance to become reality. They are already looking to collaborate with the other two teams, and as Paola put it, there aren’t losers in this competition.


To conclude, Astrid Huisman, the coordinator of the I WILL Award, said that it was good to see the contest finally come to a nice end and that it might become an annual thing. “It is great to see all these passionate and enthusiastic people in RSM”. MD