Bio: Pedro Medina, named one of the 20 most valuable businessmen in Colombia by the business magazine Dinero, is the founder and president of the Yo Creo en Colombia Foundation, a grassroots initiative that empowers Colombians in Colombia and abroad to understand the achievements, potential, and resources of Colombia and to leverage those in order to build a fair, competitive, and inclusive nation. Since its inception, the Foundation has touched 208,000 Colombians in 43 cities and seven countries. As a fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University in 2002 and 2003, he researched methodologies to build social capital and confidence and reciprocity among Colombians. He has worked at Mobil Polymers International; Propilco, a licensee of Union Carbide and Shell; and Sofasa, the Toyota and Renault assembly plant in Colombia. Mr. Medina also brought the McDonald’s brand into Colombia and led the company as its general manager for seven years, becoming the top employer of college students in the country.
Mr. Medina has been a professor of business strategy at Los Andes University for eight years. He belongs to two educational boards and to the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). A columnist in several newspapers and magazines, Medina is currently writing a book on nation and community empowerment. He holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia, an M.B.A. from University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and a bachelor’s in Hamburgerology from Hamburger University in Chicago.
Expertise: The Economic and Social Impact of Entrepreneurship Education
Fellowship Focus: The importance of entrepreneurship for the creation of both individual and regional wealth has recently generated considerable interest among scholars and policymakers. Educational programs aimed at instructing youth and adults about the entrepreneurial process and mindset have sprung up around the world. And yet, in most regions, the tangible results of such programs have ranged from mixed to disappointing.
Through this Batten Fellowship, Mr. Medina, his faculty hosts, and Darden doctoral student Susan Harmeling seek a clearer understanding of the connection between individuals and entrepreneurial opportunities in emerging economies and how entrepreneurship education can facilitate that connection. In particular, through research and learning from the experiences of best-practice organizations in emerging economies, they will seek to answer the questions, “What elements of entrepreneurship education create and deliver significant economic and social benefit?” and, “How are these elements best structured when designing region-specific curricula at the university level?” Ultimately, they hope to develop educational content and a curriculum that can be customized for various socioeconomic contexts. One of the outcomes of the fellowship will be a paper on the philosophy that informs the curriculum.
During his fellowship, Mr. Medina will serve as an adviser for the 2004 conference on innovation sponsored by Darden’s Latin American Student Association. He will also contribute to the Batten Briefings and develop case materials based on his experiences in Colombia.