The Stanley Foundation
Seeking a secure peace with freedom and justice, built on global citizenship and effective global governance.

"Scenes captured as brief moments of life unfolding reveal how I view humanity. We may have different skin color, eat different food, speak different languages, or worship different Gods, but we are far more alike than we are different."
(Photo and quote by Dean Jacobs)
Dean Jacobs
Dean Jacobs
Global Citizenship
Lessons Learned From World Travel
Common humanity unites people more than the issues that divide

The Stanley Foundation often provides presenters for youth activities. Finding speakers who can share their knowledge and experience with young people in an inspiring way is not an easy exercise. However, there are those who are simply excellent at delivering a powerful message in a passionate, yet accessible, way. Dean Jacobs is a world traveler who has presented at both the Iowa Student Global Leadership Conference and International Day.

On an island in the middle of the Nile River near Khartoum, Sudan, I watched an elderly man dressed in a long white robe and scull cap walk along a dirt road hand in hand with a young girl. Touched by the intimacy expressed between the two, I photographed a moment of love between father and daughter.

Four weeks later on a side street in a village near Amsterdam, Holland, I witnessed a similar scene. A grandfather dressed in a gray jacket and trousers was walking down a cobblestone street hand in hand with his young granddaughter.

These two scenes captured as brief moments of life unfolding reveal how I view humanity. We may have different skin color, eat different food, speak different languages, or worship different Gods, but we are far more alike than we are different.

If you want to find what’s wrong in the world, you can find it. All you have to do is turn on the evening news. But if you want to find what’s right in the world, you can find that too—you might just have to look a little harder.

It never made a news headline during the many times I was invited into people’s homes so they could meet someone from the United States for the very first time. Or all the times someone took me by the hand to make sure I found the right bus or hotel or place to eat.

Because of what we hear and read from our mainstream media, it is easy to forget about the goodness of humanity and the magnificence of the natural beauty of places in the world.

Four years of exploring in over 50 countries has taught me a different lesson. The goodness of humans and the beauty of nature far outweigh the darkness.

I traveled to appreciate the Seven Wonders of the World, and I returned home with important observations about humanity. Kindness, dignity, and respect, for example, are universally practiced everywhere.

As I continue my journeys, I am committed to sharing my experiences so students can be exposed to issues of culture, history, and the natural wonders of the world.

For many reasons, not everyone is capable of world exploration. For me, it is a privilege and presents the opportunity to be of service.

All of my experiences with new and different cultures have been rich with opportunities to grow, learn, and expand my horizons. Each encounter with a father and daughter or a grandfather and granddaughter offers a chance to look into the larger picture of humanity and the world.

My presentations focus on the goodness of humanity and the awe of nature. I offer students the opportunity to see these qualities in others and themselves, leaving them hungry and receptive to learn more.

I present new perspectives of our world. Because of the authenticity of my experiences, students are encouraged to not be reluctant to voice their own dreams to some day travel to different parts of the world.

I hope the knowledge students take away from my presentations leaves them with many choices and decisions on how to make their world a better place to live.

All this gives me hope for a bright and better future.

— Dean Jacobs
Share: Email Facebook Twitter
2017 International Women Authors Event 2017 International Women Authors Event
Pulitzer Prize finalist Laila Lalami, author of “The Moor’s Account,” will be the featured speaker at the 2017 International Women Authors event on November 9 in Rock Island, Illinois.

Courier Courier
As summer winds down, take a look at the new issue of Courier from the Stanley Foundation. The Summer 2017 issue delves into topics including the transition away from coal in Germany, the increased role of cities in global governance, and the crisis in Venezuela. Also in this issue, read about the increased capabilities of 3D printing, and oversight over emerging technologies. Summer 2017 PDF (1,151K) Subscribe for FREE.

Stanley Foundation Annual Conferences Stanley Foundation Annual Conferences
The Stanley Foundation holds two annual conferences, UN Issues and the Strategy for Peace Conference. These bring together experts from the public and private sectors to meet in a distraction-free setting and candidly exchange ideas on pressing foreign policy challenges.

Divided into roundtable talks, the cutting-edge discussions are intended to inspire group consensus and shared recommendations to push forward the debate on the foundation’s key policy areas.

A Climate for Conflict: Stories from Somalia A Climate for Conflict: Stories from Somalia
The Ground Truth Project, New America, and the Stanley Foundation are hosting a Screening of “A Climate for Conflict” and discussion with the creators followed by a panel discussion on Climate Security and Societal Resilience on May 30, 2017.

Somalia today is at a crossroads between a deepening crisis and a path to stability. Photographer and filmmaker Nichole Sobecki and writer Laura Heaton spent 18 months documenting personal stories of Somalia, creating a film, photography, and reporting that vividly illustrate the human consequences and security risks of a changing climate. Read more.

Follow the conversation online with #AClimateforConflict.

Stanley Foundation at 60
On December 12, 1956, the Stanley Foundation was certified as a nonprofit corporation in the state of Iowa, bringing to life an organization dedicated to creating a world in which there is a secure peace with freedom and justice. Sixty years later, the organization continues to pursue and advance that vision as a thriving nonpartisan operating foundation. Moreover, it remains an organization with a professional staff and the involvement of family members who have an ongoing role in shaping its strategy and core values. More.

Receive Materials Receive Materials
The Stanley Foundation publishes policy briefs, analytical articles, and reports on a number of international issues. To reduce our carbon footprint and cut waste, we almost exclusively, use electronic distribution for our publications. Sign up to receive our resources via e-mail.

the latest the latest
Our bimonthly newsletter is filled with resources to keep you up to date with our work at the Stanley Foundation. Each edition includes news about recent publications and stories as well as features our people and partners.

You will also find many extras, from upcoming events to multimedia resources. Sign up for the latest to stay engaged on key global issues.

Watch and Learn Watch and Learn
Stanley Foundation events, talks, video reports, and segments from our Now Showing event-in-a-box series can now be viewed on YouTube. To receive regular updates on our video posts, please subscribe today.