A sense of urgency is building about the malaise that hangs over society like a dark cloud of air pollution. A dismal struggle awaits any citizen of the world whose culture and social environment becomes increasingly dangerous, decaying, and hopeless. Cultural pollution is no less threatening than air pollution. Both deny healthy survival and ultimately threaten one’s very existence.
The Intercultural Open University Foundation (IOU Foundation) came into existence as a charitable educational foundation to become part of the solution. IOU Foundation was not conceived and developed by cautious men and women, but rather by courageous social change educators who were willing to donate their time and energy to begin a pioneering venture in establishing a foundation for the training of social change agents. The Foundation, since its conception in 1981, has never won a popularity contest in the eyes of the traditional educational establishment, but it has developed and trained social change agents who have had enough of the status quo, who care for others, and who dare to be actively involved in positive alternatives to futility. IOU Foundation’s only mission is to scientifically train and prepare social change agents to help improve the health of communities world wide.
The IOU Foundation seeks to reach potential learners who feel that mere concern is not enough. Learners who feel strongly that commitment to basic humanitarian principles warrant their professional involvement and significant personal involvement in seeking to effect fundamental changes on a global scale. Learners are taught to be able to analyze social structures, evaluate organizational pressures, and define political strategies.
The volunteer Board of Governors, President, Faculty, Resource Scholars, and Staff have accumulated years of experience in the context of alternative/social change designed education. There is an overall dedication to the pioneering work of the humanistic psychologists (Maslow, May, Fromme, Shostrum, and Rogers) who laid the groundwork for self-mastery. Because of their work, it is now possible to basically develop an understanding of one’s own personal history, present, and probable future. All that is required is courage, perseverance, integrity, and effort. Support to learners is widely available from our President, Sandra Hurlong, PhD, our faculty led by Muneo Yoshikawa, PhD, Ray Miller, Jr., PhD, Marvin Surkin, PhD, Rudolph J. Pasler, PhD, and a continued distinguished list of core faculty, external scholars, research scholars, and staff, all participating as kindred self-researchers. The IOU Foundation PhD degrees are accredited through the dual degree partnership with Universidad Azteca and Universidad Central de Nicaragua.
The peculiar nature of the IOU Foundation’s mission, its unique concern with helping its learners help themselves make a better world, should arbitrate inevitable differences of opinion about the nature of such a foundation, even when these trained change agents leave us breathless for their clarity and desire to be involved in creating new social orders.