Published: June 9, 2008

Student leaders from around the world are on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus through July 6 to participate in an institute focused on creating global social change.

Known as the Global Leadership Institute, the student-created program is designed to bring together future global leaders and teach them the principles of social entrepreneurship, according to CU-Boulder student Daniel Epstein, who co-founded and is co-directing the institute. CU-Boulder student Michael Forte is co-director of the institute and Chelsea Komlo is assistant director.

Eighteen students from Sierra Leone, Russia, Pakistan, Colombia, China, Bulgaria, Mexico, Iran, Germany, Palestine, Kenya and CU-Boulder are attending the institute that began on June 6.

"Social entrepreneurship is a hybrid between a for-profit business and a nonprofit business," Epstein said. "It's a nonprofit that generates its own income so it does not have to rely on outside funding."

Being self-sufficient is the critical piece of social entrepreneurship they want to teach the visiting student leaders, because once they get back to their countries most of them aren't going to have access to outside funding, according to Epstein.

"We need to teach them and train them how to develop these social businesses or nonprofit models that are self-sufficient and replicable," he said. "They may need seed money to start the organization, but once it's started they need to be self-sufficient so they can keep creating this change."

While at CU-Boulder the students will take two classes titled "Global Issues in Leadership" and "21st Century Leadership," take field trips and participate in workshops and community service projects.

Epstein said he hopes the visiting students learn about what it takes to be a leader and that they make great connections while in Boulder.

"Our goal is to create a collaborative community among future leaders around the world," Epstein said. "We believe that this is the first step in solving the global issues we are seeing today."

For more information about the Global Leadership Institute visit the Web site at

A podcast featuring Epstein discussing the Global Leadership Institute can be heard by visiting