Goals and Ambitions

THRIVING is a research lab committed to exploring ways to design high-touch, playful, memorable learning experiences. Our practice backgrounds led us to begin by amplifying the connection between experiential learning and a metacognitive practice — however we know that the urgent call to transform the future of learning will depend on our capacity to collaborate across disciplines. Our expertise in the participatory, multiple-methods approach of design research supports the imperative to bridge the gap between evidence-based research and pedagogical practices.

With a focus on the knowing that happens across and between the core curriculum our meta-learning projects address the mindsets and attributes required to not just pass standardized tests but to personally and professionally thrive. In a world paralyzed by wicked, entrenched problems we dream of life-long learners who question what they need to unlearn, seek to learn from failure, embrace uncertainty, and who know when to pivot and when to persevere. Research from both business and the academy agree that to professionally and personally thrive we need creative capacities and character strengths that are no longer defined by simply what we know but also about how we act in the world.


Near-future scenarios and self-agency: analyzing the project landscape at the beginning of a ’21st Century Challenge.’

THRIVING is about more than cultivating smart thinkers and creative makers — our projects explore and interrogate how we might instill in learners a sense of their own agency. Ultimately we are interested in fostering in citizens the capacity to innovate, to transform and to lead.

The insights from our pilot interventions have led us to identify reflection, motivation and action as the three governing principles of our expeditionary research. This has directed our current interventions to focus on how we might explore an individual’s capacity: to reflect and evaluate their own performance; to respond to the extrinsic and intrinsic forces that test a learner’s engagement and commitment; and foster the acquisition of the skills that empower us to take action.