The Escotet Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to develop, support and disseminate social innovation and virtual programs, services and resources in intercultural and international development education and its interrelationship with human and social sciences.
CONTRIBUTING TO SOCIAL INNOVATION AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
Human beings are born in solitude. However in the brief moments after their birth they feel desolate and are unable to survive by their self. Unlike other animal species, a human being requires an extended childhood filled with nurturing and protection to thrive. The human being, by instinct and wisdom, understands the vulnerability of his solitude and transforms it into solidarity. He or she discovers fraternity as a result of his or her own existence. The human being understands that to live is another name for existing in connection with others.
Gradually, each person learns that, in order to live in a community, he or she needs to accept certain behavioral norms and social models. Neither of them are one-dimensional, but plural, complex, diverse, multidimensional. Culture, as the creative expression of each person, is the gathering along the ages of different learnings and unlearnings that are integrated into humankind’s historical journey: values, traditions, beliefs, myths, ideologies, customs, science, attitudes. A human being becomes a cultural being in the heart of his social and communal parcel. He or she tends to behave and evolve on the grounds of social ethics. Those grounds -concern for others, tolerance of differences, respect of freedom, determine a person’s daily tasks in connection with the culture. But there is no convincing social ethics, if society itself does not allow permanent self analysis and self criticism which aids each person to perfect him or herself in a changing world. A world in which external stimuli and new creations are constantly assailing all of us.
Out of a person’s ability to choose will come his or her stagnation, backing down or progress. By means of constant cultivation and cooperation, an individual will be able to better him or herself and come closer to the goals and aspirations of present time and the times to come. Keppler speculated, as the Greeks before him, about the harmony of the Universe. A person of today’s civilization keep on deliberating about the chaos, harmony and the equilibrium they long for: social justice, freedom and peace. If these goals are to be achieved, culture and education must take precedence over selfishness and arrogance in contemporary people’s life. Through culture and education a human beings can elevate their self, their fellows and the civilization they have created, towards the hopeful future they envision, yet are unable to grasp. The future we are longing for could become a reality by means of collective effort, inter-ethnic and fraternal, which is able to go beyond the artfulness of words to stimulate the creativity and the political will of the nations.
Consequently, the Escotet Foundation believes that human beings should learn tolerance, ethical behavior, aesthetic sensitivity and moderation of superfluous elements. We believe education should be related to an intercultural and interdependent world, a world in which society teaches its people to foster sharing attitudes, to compete with oneself and not with others, and to develop compassion and solidarity for the suffering of mankind. A world free of prejudices, where learning to care, learning to be, learning to grasp the whole and act on the parts, and learning to carry on learning should be society’s main objectives. Such variables are our main concerns for this Foundation. We must infuse these cognitive and affective dimensions into the core of education. Whether the future will be more humane than our past can be determine only by our present and future efforts. These are some of our founder’s dreams with which he envisioned an organization that can cooperate in achieving these goals, in contributing to social innovation and ethical behavior, and towards the development of the “learning person” in constructive partnership.
The Escotet Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Miguel Angel Escotet in 1994 in Miami, Florida, in order to fill a gap in the then emerging World Wide Web of an online information resource about intercultural and international development education. Back then, the Foundation created one of the first comprehensive bilingual databases of online resources for the field to serve scholars, students and different professionals related to this area of study.
The Foundation has had a steady presence since its beginnings in the United States, Spain, Argentina and France. Since 1996 it has established strategic partnerships with UNESCO and United Nations University to develop the UNESCO/UNU Chair on History and Future of the University, in cooperation with the University of Palermo.
The Escotet Foundation has provided online strategic educational support to University of Palermo, Florida International University, University of Deusto, Universidad de los Andes, IDEAS Institute, the Basque Women’s Institute (EMAKUNDE), and the Comparative and International Education Society, among other non-profits.