Foundations for greatness: Get to know our unique, innovative university

@IE University

Built from the ground up, IEU is founded on the core values of global employability, internationalization, a humanistic approach to education, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

IE University is a relatively young institution. What we lack in years, however, we make up for with a daring, innovative attitude that allows us to push the boundaries of higher education. Built from the ground up, IEU is founded on the core values of global employability, internationalization, a humanistic approach to education, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Older, more traditional institutions of higher education tend to have strict, defined visions and goals. At IEU, we have the freedom to reinvent ourselves within our parameters of entrepreneurship, humanistic vision, innovation, and academic rigor. In a world where change is constant, universities must be adaptable and flexible in order to prepare the next generation of global professionals.

In the words of IEU Rector, Salvador Carmona; “It’s a bit like the metaphor in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, where the Red Queen tells Alice that in her country, you need to run as fast as you can just to stay in the same place. We are running as fast as we can in order to remain in the same place in this fast-changing world, or with some luck, maybe even get ahead.”


“Complex times require complex minds,” says Julian Montaño, IE University Coordinator of Academic Innovation. “Ours is a rapidly changing society in which the need for intellectual, personal, and professional training keeps changing; a world in which the abilities required of university students and the experience of life on campus are also in a constant state of flux. So the only way to be a successful institution is by having this ability to constantly adapt.”


IE University is an institution with the capacity and the will to change and adapt its systems, methodologies, and processes to stay at the vanguard of a complex global dynamic context. And this is precisely the foundation upon which our innovative spirit, which defines our identity as an institution of higher learning, is built.

We expose students to a dynamic learning environment where we employ cutting-edge educational tools to stimulate creativity. “Innovation is a mindset that anybody can learn,” according to Lee Newman, Dean of the IE School of Human Sciences and Technology. We train our students to apply innovation across their different fields.

“People confuse creativity and innovation,” Newman explains. “There is some evidence that creativity can be learned, but some people are just naturally much more creative than others. Innovation can in fact be learned, the concept of design thinking is based on exactly that claim. Design thinking is not for creative people, like artists. Design thinking is for people who aren’t so creative, and it’s a structural process you go through to learn how to break barriers, break the status quo, and do new things. That is different from creativity. Innovation can be a structured process that attempts to invent something new.”

At IE University, we will continue to push the boundaries of traditional education. Our focus is to create a new generation of graduates who are passionate about innovation and capable of applying innovative processes in their future endeavors. Whether it’s in international companies, non-profit organizations, or their own start-ups, we trust that our students will drive innovation wherever they go.