Statement by Jeff Harbach
At Kauffman Fellows, we have a clearly defined set of core values that are inseparably woven into the fabric of our mission as an organization. In light of the recent executive order that temporarily banned entry to the United States from seven countries, the resulting court decisions that will determine if it is enforced, and all of the passionate discussion the executive order has initiated, we would like to state unequivocally what the phrase “core values” means to us as an organization. In this statement, I share our core values most directly evoked by these recent developments.
Kauffman Fellows stands for diversity and inclusion. While we are based in Silicon Valley, we are a global organization of extraordinary leaders who are wonderfully diverse in many ways, including place of birth, ethnicity, race, religion, age, and gender. We believe in and celebrate this diversity because more thoughtful and successful outcomes are achieved as a result. Inherent in our celebration of diversity is a level of respect for those different from ourselves. The opportunity for each of us, then, is to use our authentic voices in a way that shares knowledge with listeners while leaving space for the voices of those with a different perspective or point of view. To truly celebrate diversity, we must be willing to listen respectfully to different opinions and beliefs.
As Kauffman Fellows, we value intellectual curiosity and the rigorous pursuit of innovations that will improve the lives of everyone on this planet. We seek to inspire leaders who inspire innovative and entrepreneurial communities across the globe. Core to that work is our commitment to building and supporting an inclusive community where every Fellow, Mentor, faculty, and team member is respected, heard, and supported.The work of our Fellows knows no borders. From the Middle East to Africa; Europe to Asia and the South Pacific; from North to South America; and especially from the US Heartland to the coasts; hundreds of Kauffman Fellows are on the ground now helping to build the entrepreneurial culture of innovation that we know changes lives and builds prosperity for all.
Kauffman Fellows is dedicated to fostering a global community that empowers entrepreneurs who want to learn, discover, and make a positive impact on the world. This global community should inspire hope, not make decisions based on fear. Excluding individuals from participating based on the fear of safety concerns is not what we need from our leaders. We need leaders with the patience to stay their hand, the courage and conviction to act when necessary, and the humility and integrity to know which of these paths to choose. So today, we stand alongside hundreds of other technology leaders, investors, civic organizations, and global citizens in opposition to this executive order. There is a better way, and individuals that possess strong and immovable core values will lead us there.