Not only has Praful Mathur’s entre­pre­neurial spirit helped him flourish at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, but it also recently pro­vided him with an oppor­tu­nity to attend a dynamic inter­na­tional con­fer­ence that brought together world leaders, visionary minds and ambi­tious students.

Mathur, a senior com­puter sci­ence major, was selected as one of a handful of U.S. stu­dents to attend the inau­gural World Fore­sight Forum last month at The Hague in the Nether­lands, a summit on the greatest global chal­lenges of the 21st cen­tury. The aim was to develop sus­tain­able solu­tions that address those chal­lenges from a variety of per­spec­tives, including pol­i­tics, busi­ness and academia.

Mathur described the event as a trans­for­ma­tive moment for him, as he met and inter­acted with promi­nent inter­na­tional fig­ures and other accom­plished, forward-​​thinking stu­dents. He said the mes­sage he took away from the con­fer­ence was to explore projects and causes that he is pas­sionate about. The expe­ri­ence ener­gized him to con­tinue pur­suing his per­sonal goal to end world poverty.

This was the most pow­erful expe­ri­ence I’ve had in a long time,” Mathur said.

Throughout the three-​​day summit in mid-​​April, atten­dees par­tic­i­pated in a range of dis­cus­sions and sem­i­nars on issues such as energy, hunger, raw mate­rials, cli­mate change, tech­nology, ter­rorism and the global finan­cial crisis. Mathur was chosen to help mod­erate a panel dis­cus­sion on Islamic fun­da­men­talism and how Europe is dealing with the issue.

Of the roughly 200 stu­dents par­tic­i­pating, Mathur said he was one of only a handful from the United States.

The oppor­tu­nity arose through con­tacts Mathur made ear­lier at a con­fer­ence in New York City spon­sored by the Kairos Society, an inter­na­tional net­work of stu­dent and world leaders aiming to solve global chal­lenges through entre­pre­neur­ship and innovation.

North­eastern really encour­ages stu­dents to take advan­tage of these kinds of global oppor­tu­ni­ties,” said Mathur, who is a member of the Entre­pre­neurs Club on campus. He also has served as a coach for the Inter-​​Disciplinary Entre­pre­neur­ship Accel­er­ator, a student-​​founded and student-​​run orga­ni­za­tion that helps stu­dents propel their entre­pre­neurial ideas into real, suc­cessful businesses.