It’s official, the 2nd annual Unreasonable Institute in Boulder, Colorado is now underway!
For the 2011 program 25 young socially motivated entrepreneurs have been chosen to enter the 6 week Unreasonable Institute. After an intensive application process the selected Unreasonable Fellows will now have the opportunity to make their business ventures a successful reality by working with mentors and capital partners who have the know-how and connections to help them succeed.
At our Institute, these social entrepreneurs undergo rigorous and practical training including personal & entrepreneurial skill development, intensive collaboration & work-shopping, and active, hands-on guidance from leading thought leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and investors.
Unreasonable Fellows will connect with our Capital Partners, 30 of the world’s top funds and foundations in the impact-investment space. Each fund will send out a lead investor to live with our Unreasonable Fellows during our Summer Institutes. This will ensure our entrepreneurs build meaningful relationships with potential funding sources beyond their immediate funding needs and across the life cycle of their enterprise.
This summer the fellows projects are as unique and diverse as ever, aimed at helping a wide range of social and environmental issues around the world.
For example, Cynthia Koenig whose organization, Wello, has reinvented the wheel. Literally. Their goal was to find a safe, easy and affordable way to help people transport water. Inspired by several other water transportation tools, Wello, has created their own improved waterwheel which prevents contamination, has an extended lifespan estimated at 10 years of daily use and was made with extreme affordability in mind. Their wheel can be purchased for roughly $20-$30 while similar products range around $80-$100. This cheap and dynamic tool has the opportunity to revolutionize the accessibility of water in the 21st century.
In Monrovia, Liberia, a former child soldier, Morris Matadi, founded The Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS). This grassroots organization is dedicated to the prevention of the ongoing war-time tactic of using children as soldiers through a wide variety of outreach measures for both boys and girls. They also network with many organizations who hold securing and maintaining peace in the region their top priority.
Or Maria Rodriguez from Guatamala City where her organization, Worms 4 change, specializes in providing communities with a replicable vermicomposting system and training model to promote health and development. By providing fringe communities with healthy food security solutions they are teaching the man to fish, instead of buying him dinner.
These are just a few samples of the amazing work being done by the fellows at the Unreasonable Institute this summer. As the summer progresses they will be experiencing a jam-packed program with the end goal of making their Unreasonable ideas successful and sustainable in the long term.
There are a lot of ways to stay in the loop about what’s going on at the Unreasonable Institute like their blog which will be updated throughout the program.
A great opportunity to experience it in person is The Unreasonable Institutes global summit on July 22nd. At the summit the mentors, partners and community members will come together to listen to the Fellows explain how their ventures have what it takes to define progress and create an Unreasonable global impact. I’ve known the Unreasonable folks for a while now and they offered to let anyone who connects through this article get a 50% discount to the summit by following this link and typing in the password elephantdiscount!
As well, just like last summer they’ll be documenting the experience. Check out the first episode of last summers institute below.
The Unreasonable model is a new platform for youth influenced global change, a 21st century solution tapping into the global connection that has emerged. Only at a place like the Unreasonable Institute can like-minded innovators from around the planet work together to combat some of the toughest issues of our time. Everyone knows Ghandi’s famous quote “.…be the change you want to see in the world.” Well these young entrepreneurs are the change and thanks to the Institute they are being that change together. Here’s hoping they succeed!