December 2, 2011

elephant presents: Unreasonable Stories. Summer 2011. ~ Daniel Epstein

elephantjournal.com is honored to support the Unreasonable Institute as media partner.

In the months leading up to this summer’s Unreasonable Institute 2012 (our founder Waylon Lewis is one of the mentors), once every two weeks, we’ll share the story of one of the savvy social-good entrepreneurs who—with the support of their community—came from around the world to attend last summer’s Unreasonable Institute.

If you enjoy these stories of inspiration and elbow grease, please share with your community, or leave a comment for the entrepreneur. Consider it a way of tying yourself in a little with some important, fun, good karma.

Below is a message via one of the Unreasonable Institute’s founders, Daniel Epstein. Daniel’s fast become one of our favorite allies in the field of benevolent troublemaking in which we specialize. ~ Waylon Lewis, ed.


The Unreasonable Institute exists to put the greatest social and environmental issues of the 21st century into a museum by leveraging the ingenuity of young entrepreneurs globally.

Annually, we work with 25 exceptionally talented innovators and entrepreneurs selected from a pool of applicants from around the world.

The innovators who’ve attended past Unreasonable Institutes have wielded enterprise as a scalable solution to challenges ranging from poverty alleviation for small holder rural farmers in Nigeria, to the prevention of Honor Killing in Pakistan, to mobile financing in Kenya and ultra-affordable DNA diagnostic technologies in rural Argentina.

This past summer we welcomed 26 entrepreneurs from 17 countries, to Boulder, Colorado (which we proudly call home) for a six week intensive Institute. Our goal, as it is with each annual Institute, was to accelerate the growth of their companies and inevitably help each of them meet the real needs of at least one million individuals.

The common thread between all of our entrepreneurs is that their stories and their work are uncommon, incredibly important, and of course, a bit unreasonable.

Here are their stories.


Daniel Epstein fundamentally believes that entrepreneurship is the answer to nearly all the issues we face today and has dedicated his life accordingly. By the time he received his BA in philosophy he had already started three ventures. Daniel is the co-founder of two Boulder-based companies: Tuition Specialists, focused on making education more affordable and Unreasonable Adventures, dedicated to conservation & development through eco-tourism. Furthermore, in the summer of 2008, he co-founded & directed a 5-week institute that brought 17 young, aspiring social entrepreneurs from 14 countries together in Boulder to focus on understanding the global context of the issues we face and to study the skill sets needed to address them. It was out of this program that the Unreasonable Institute burgeoned.

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