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Mission and Goals

Mission Statement—SelfDesign Graduate Institute

SelfDesign is centered on the understanding that we as human beings have the capacity to author our own lives from a place of resourcefulness, creativity, and possibility. At every step in the life cycle from early childhood to elderhood, we can lead and design our own learning through spirals of discovery, introspection, integration, and expression.

SelfDesign as an understanding of human potential leads to SelfDesign as a learner-directed, enthusiasm-based educational methodology, based on curiosity, wonder, joy, and integrity. SelfDesign promotes authentic self-discovery and respect for the rights of all learners, young and old, to assume responsibility for their own learning paths.

While SelfDesign begins with the individual, it is also centered on the understanding that human beings live within webs of living systems: family; community; ethnic, religious, and national groups; humanity; ecological niche, bioregion, and planet. So both as a philosophical stance and as an educational methodology, SelfDesign focuses on the individual in the context her/his identity within all of these living systems.

The SelfDesign Graduate Institute offers graduate programs that engage its learners in learning about SelfDesign both as a philosophical stance and as an educational methodology while employing the values and methods of SelfDesign. The intent of these programs is to prepare its learners to act effectively in societies throughout the world to facilitate and foster SelfDesign programs and experiences—and many other kinds of learning experiences and programs aligned in values with SelfDesign —for people of all ages in a variety of settings, including mediated-and-networked homeschooling, schools, colleges, communities, and all sorts of adult learning contexts.

The fundamental belief within SelfDesign is that the more that human beings can discover and enact their own life designs and purposes, the more they will be able to contribute to the creation of a peaceful, sustainable global society on this planet.

Goals and Objectives

“SelfDesign is centered on the understanding that we as human beings have the capacity to author our own lives from a place of resourcefulness, creativity, and possibility. At every step in the life cycle from early childhood to elderhood, we can lead and design our own learning through spirals of discovery, introspection, integration, and expression.”

This is the central insight that guides our work at the SelfDesign Graduate Institute.

We invite adults who have an affinity with this insight to join us on a path of learning that will enhance and expand their knowledge, deepen and enliven their wisdom, open their hearts even more, and develop their skills.

The SelfDesign Graduate Institute is a unique learning community, where both the learners and the faculty are committed to the integrity and capacity of each human being to design her/his own learning—and life. We hold those commitments deeply, because we believe that the more that human beings can discover and enact their own life designs and purposes, the more they will be able to contribute to the creation of a peaceful, sustainable global society on this planet.

Thus our goals as a learning organization are:

  • To provide our learners with programs and opportunities for learning and adult development that unfold both their calling and their talents —programs that our learners largely selfdesign; and
  • To encourage our learners to use their M.A. program in SelfDesign as a vehicle for shaping their lives in ways that both promote their own satisfaction, well-being and happiness and offer meaningful service to others.

Given these goals, our objectives include the following:

  • To nurture our learners as they gain greater access both to their inner knowing and their insight about how they want to selfdesign their Master of Arts program and their lives;
  • To provide each learner with an ecology of foundational insights, understandings, and skills through our Core courses, with a focus on SelfDesign, epistemology, ontology, systems concepts, the evolution of consciousness, and learning in community;
  • To engage our learners in rigorous and challenging academic work that supports the learning plans they have selfdesigned and to provide careful mentoring through this process;
  • To engage our learners deeply as whole persons—body, heart, mind, and soul—as they selfdesign and engage in their M.A. program; and
  • To support our learners as they use the knowledge, wisdom, and tools they gain in their M.A. program to make a positive difference in their world.

History of the SelfDesign Graduate Institute

The Institute, founded in 2011, offered its first online class in January 2012. The first August Residency was held in third week of August 2012. The Institute has operated consistently since that time.