In the wake of the fierce debate surrounding the potential establishment of an Islamic center a few blocks from Ground Zero, as well as the recent threat by a pastor of a small fringe evangelical church to hold a public Koran burning, there has been much talk about building bridges and interfaith dialogue. We believe in such initiatives, but we also strongly believe there are other ways of normalizing relations between groups that sometimes clash.
At Columbia Business School, we have found that building educational programs for diverse entrepreneurs around their common social and economic goals can provide a powerful setting for dialogue. Social entrepreneurship, which has grown from a niche phenomenon to an economic and political force, is proving to be a powerful force for bridging cultural divides.
Jedidi, Kamel, and Bruce Kogut. "How Social Entrepreneurs Heal the World's Wounds." Forbes, October 6, 2010.
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