The Hansen Summer Institute on Leadership and International Cooperation, funded by the generous support of the Fred J. Hansen Foundation, has a number of long-term goals. Those goals reflect the vision of Fred J. Hansen, an immigrant entrepreneur who believed in applying sound business practices to improving society, and in encouraging cross-cultural platforms that involve young people from conflict-torn regions working with their American peers to share and apply best practices to reduce poverty and create hope. Mr. Hansen also believed it important for students from overseas to learn about the American social and economic system and adopt appropriate lessons for their own countries. Generational change lies at the heart of this program, creating cohorts of younger like-minded leaders as both a support-network and hub for international cooperation. Through a competitive selection process, we choose those who have demonstrated community service and done well academically to refine their peace-making skills in cross-cultural communication, mediation, conflict resolution, and social entrepreneurship. We now see our Hansen Fellows from Morocco to Rwanda to Uganda to Nepal applying their skills learned at the Hansen Summer Institute to improve their communities in a sustainable manner with social entrepreneurship programs vetted in San Diego and now operating with Hansen Foundation seed money. We look forward to planting more seeds of change through international cooperation in the years to come.
Ronald J. Bee, Managing Director, Hansen Summer Institute on Leadership and International Cooperation