...students are becoming FUTURE READY

4 Pillars of
Profound Learning

a holistic approach to transforming education

3 Layers of
Profound Learning

Future Ready model
     of education

4 Future Ready Capacities

the ability to Inquire,
      Improve, Innovate and Invent

it's who I am becoming
that determines my future success

5 Keys of Unlocking the iCubed Life

Profound Learning Research Institute

Our vision for Profound Learning has attracted leading educators, technologists, brain researchers and institutions to partner with our vision of developing cost effective solutions that help propel schools into the 21st century.

We believe,

  • educators are tired and frustrated at having to work in an obsolete system that is causing high levels of stress and dissatisfaction for all involved,
  • the real problem with education is not the people, but with the system itself. The real problem is how we go about transforming an obsolete system to one that is more effective and relevant,
  • real system transformation involves designing, building and implementing new system structures that will shift from a factory model to an individualized model enabling all students and teachers to attain excellence,
  • in today's knowledge and creative age, attaining high academic success is not enough. Students need to be equipped with Future Ready skills, such as innovation and creativity, that can be tracked over time.

Proven Approach

The foundational principles of Profound Learning have been implemented in Quality Learning schools throughout the world. These schools have become models of academic excellence. More importantly the students and teachers in these schools have experienced increased levels of joy, self-reliance, and creativity and innovation, allowing each to develop and pursue their own deeply held vision for a meaningful future.

4 Pillars of Profound Learning

Education is a very complex system and any attempt to solve the problems of education from a singular vantage point will most likely be treating a symptom of the system and result in failure.

PLI's Research Institute's strategy has been to create a comprehensive solution that addresses the complexity of the education system.

These include:

4 Pillars

4 Pillars Upholding Profound Learning

  1. Profound Learning: a 21st century empowerment model of learning that elevates student learning to heights not achievable using traditional command and control industrial age models of education—its signature being innovation and creativity.
  2. Core Competencies: Our approach over the past decade is to establish strategies and processes that close gaps in the core competencies of literacy and numeracy with younger students, thus reducing the need for remediation later on.
  3. Four Pillars of Profound Learning
    1. Professional Development: At the core of our mission is the Profound Learning Professional Development program with training, tools, resources, communities of practice and breakthrough software solutions that will release joy and brilliance of teachers and students.
    2. Learning Orchestration System (LOS): Profound Learning Institute has developed a powerful patented Learning Orchestration System (LOS) that supports the design and orchestration of individualized student learning experiences. The system supports the design of quality-based, inquiry-based, and design-based learning experiences while ensuring compliance with provincial/state and federal curriculum.
    3. Neuroscience: Profound Learning is designed around our understanding of the latest neuroscience. By embedding elements of the Learning Code, as discovered by JW Wilson at the Advanced Learning Institute, our system enables teachers to design learning experiences that engage the meaning network of students.
    4. Student Development: We have designed a powerful, groundbreaking student development system that enables the tracking of the essential Future Ready skills. At PLI we believe that to fully prepare students for the world of massive change it must be done through the intentional design of learning experiences that incorporate Future Ready skills and competencies.

Profound Learning Overview

Student Ownership through Quality Learning

Profound Learning is built on the foundation of Quality Learning, which promotes a high level of students owning and directing their learning. Over the years, thousands of educators in schools around the world have become practitioners of Quality Learning.

PLi recognized that the world has moved beyond quality. In the 1980s, quality was viewed as a competitive advantage; today it is a prerequisite. It is something everyone expects. If you cannot produce quality you do not even qualify to be in the "game". This is why Quality Learning is so important. Our students must be able to produce quality work just to keep up with the rest of the world. It is no longer a competitive advantage.

Time is Flexible and Quality is Rigid

At PLi, teachers design rich learning experiences which are accompanied by a unique itinerary. The itinerary for learning experiences may have multiple steps, activities and tasks. Each task may have a quality benchmark attached that defines the quality of work expected.

The learning experience will also have a recommended timeline or target date for completion of the project at a quality standard. Students can request more time (time is flexible) in order to meet quality benchmarks (quality is rigid) with no assessment penalty. Students failing to meet all quality benchmarks may be requested to rework their project.

Profound Learning is not self-paced learning. It is about making time flexible and keeping quality rigid. Teachers create an overall year plan with a series of learning experiences and capacity maps, which allow students to navigate through the curriculum with a high degree of ownership or autonomy. The capacity map is a tracking tool as well as a reflective tool to make explicit the progression of learning and the cognition level at which the learning is taking place. The Profound Learning model focuses on creating learning experiences that ignite the intrinsic motivation of the student not only to learn, but to produce a very high quality of work. Teachers engage with students on a daily basis and will provide direct instruction when necessary, for instance Math is largely taught through direct instruction.

Students Becoming Designers of the Future

In today's world of massive change, competitive advantage is achieved through creativity, design and innovation. This is why PLi has added a strong design component to its Profound Learning framework with a focus on developing the creative and innovative abilities of our students.

Foundation of Quality Learning


What drives people to do what they do has been an area of study by researchers and philosophers for centuries. Recently Daniel Pink wrote a book entitled "Drive", which lays out the fundamental precept that extrinsic reward or punishment is not a primary motivator for human behaviour. Daniel Pink espouses that autonomy, mastery and purpose are the three primary criteria for people to be intrinsically motivated.

Ownership or Autonomy

The Profound Learning Model uses the Quality Learning framework to create autonomy with students and teachers. Quality Learning at its core is all about empowerment. It was Deming's belief that the people best able to improve the system are those that are working closest to the area that needs improvement. In education, students who are the knowledge workers, are best able to improve their own learning.


Intrinsic motivation is primarily achieved when a person experiences success. Nobody wants to keep doing something that results in failure or poor performance. The Profound Learning Model uses rich meaningful learning experiences as a way of engaging students deeply with the curriculum, leading them through a process of higher order thinking and application resulting in mastery.

Purpose and Vision

Students experience a deeper sense of purpose when they engage with authentic and meaningful learning experiences as designers of the future. Design Based Learning experiences are driven by the creative tension generated between what the student envisions for the future and the current reality. Students develop a greater sense of responsibility for the future of their world as they grapple with real world design challenges.

Daniel Pink Video

Profound Learning™ Model

The Profound Learning™ Model has emerged after years of research and development. It is designed to activate and train students as Master Learners in four Future Ready capacities. In Profound Learning™, the role of the instructor is to intentionally create the context in which the four Future Ready capacities can be developed.

The foundation of the Profound Learning model is personalized learning, which is achieved by implementing Quality Learning tools and processes. A powerful learning orchestration system with tracking tools enables students to track their own learning, thus creating a greater sense of ownership and awareness of what needs improving with their own learning.

The goal of Profound Learning is to bring the vast majority of students to a high level of academic mastery by having students engage in meaningful learning experiences, self-assessment against benchmarks, differentiated instruction and formative assessment throughout the learning process.

The signature of Profound Learning is innovation and creativity. The design-based learning context seeks to identify a scenario in the future, the "THERE", that is quite removed from the constraints of the current condition, the "HERE". Students become designers of the future by envisioning the future first, which creates the tension between the "THERE" and the "HERE" that will drive the design process. Since students are designing relevant solutions, the process is driven by their own passion which helps to create a sense of purpose and vision.

PLi has developed detailed frameworks and best practices that guide the teacher in the design and delivery of each of these learning experiences. These experiences are vastly different and require the teacher and students to take on different roles.

Quality Learning Resulting in Ownership

Benefits of Quality Learning

By applying Deming's principles towards improving learning, students, teachers and administrators behave more as members of the same team than adversaries. By focusing on the system as the main cause of the "problems" (they are really symptoms of the system), the focus shifts away from the typical blame game.

Education has been scrutinized, criticized and evaluated by parents, students, teachers, administrators, politicians and the business community, all of whom agree that change must take place. Everyone is "pointing the finger" at each other, looking for change. ...if parents would raise their children better, ...if the media would stop all the negative influences, ...if teachers would show more commitment to their profession,... if business was more concerned with social issues instead of bottom line profits, ... if... It is time to stop the blaming game and start focusing on real system transformation.

Schools using Quality Learning have found the following benefits:

Students Enjoy:

  • a sense of empowerment and ownership
  • improved learning outcomes
  • greater engagement
  • increased responsibility for their learning
  • better relationships with teachers and peers
  • higher levels of cooperation and trust
  • more fun learning at school

Teachers Experience:

  • renewed enthusiasm for teaching
  • reduced stress
  • improvement in student achievement
  • better relationships with students
  • improved teamwork with students, peers and leaders

Principals Report:

  • a more calm, focused and productive environment
  • improved leadership capacity across the school
  • a focus on improvement throughout the school
  • a renewed sense of purpose with stronger goal alignment
  • greater collaboration and cooperation
  • increased parental support


Foundation of Quality Learning

Student Ownership Elementary

Student Ownership Junior High

Student Ownership Senior High

Mastery through Inquiry Based Learning

Education today has the tremendous task of preparing students for a future that does not yet exist and cannot be predicted. With the growth of technologies in today's world, memorization is no longer the key to success. Instead, students need to be equipped with the skills of finding, interpreting and using information in order to prevail. Essentially, our education system needs to teach students how to teach themselves with the result being Mastery of the essential knowledge.

In an inquiry-based project, students are given a real-world problem to solve. The process begins with an onslaught of questions generated by the students. What are the conditions? What is causing the people to be unhappy? Is this happening anywhere else in the world? Where do I go to gather data? Is this data reliable? How do I know? Because there is no 'right' answer, the students set out to explore all of the possible solutions, make a decision as to which solution seems most beneficial based on data and finally, present their solution along with reasoning for their decision. There is a sense of ownership as students work their way through the IBL process. The teacher's role is no longer to provide pre-determined answers, but rather to give direction to the students through feedback, most often in the form of more questions.

The Buck Institute for Education states rigorous and in-depth Inquiry/Project Based Learning as:

  • being organized around an open-ended Driving Question or Challenge
  • creating a "need to know" essential content and skills
  • requiring inquiry to learn and/or create something new
  • requiring critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication
  • allowing some degree of student voice and choice
  • incorporating feedback and revision
  • resulting in a publicly presented product or performance

Inquiry-based learning provides an exploratory environment where students practice the skills that will allow them to become both self-directed and life-long learners. This method focuses on the development of skills and the nurturing of inquiring attitudes, research skills, information processing and problem-solving skills. Students take responsibility for their own learning when they learn to:

  • generate questions leading to inquiry
  • access relevant information
  • accurately interpret the data
  • make decisions for how to use the information
  • report on their learning, and
  • assess their progress in learning throughout the process

The word 'inquiry' itself means a searching for truth, information or knowledge by questioning and implies a need or want to know. This thinking is what drives an IBL project.


Inquiry-based learning can be seen in its early stages as far back as the age of Socrates and his method of leading students to self-knowledge through aggressive questioning, not only to arrive at an answer but to also gain fundamental insight into the issue at hand. At the beginning of the 20th century, John Dewey felt that education must begin with the curiosity of the learner and build child-centered learning based on real world experiences. He believed that education should provide the student not only with content knowledge but the ability to learn how to live.

IBL also has roots in the constructivism theories proposed by Seymour Papert and Jean Piaget, which say that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiences and reflecting on those experiences. As such, metacognition, or an awareness and understanding of one's own thought processes, is embedded in the IBL process.

Today, as our world continues to change at a rapid rate, so must our education system. PLi has adopted the IBL process as one way of preparing students for the future.


Inquiry-based learning provides students the opportunity to:

  • become self-directed learners
  • develop life-long learning skills
  • become critical thinkers and problem solvers
  • integrate skills and knowledge from numerous disciplines
  • become motivated and driven by passion and interest areas
  • become self-reliant
  • become effective team members, learning to use and foster collaboration and interpersonal skills
  • learn questioning skills
  • develop metacognitive skills
  • build research skills

Vision and Design Based Learning

There is no doubt that we are living in an increasingly complex and inter-dependent world in these early years of the 21st century. It is in fact very difficult to keep up with the change and complexity that our environment, organizations, and lives are undergoing. In spite of the myriad models and forecasts about the future, we really have very little idea what it will actually look like, and yet, as Sir Ken Robinson states, we are supposed to be educating our children for it--for a future about which we are completely uncertain.

Design is Creative & Adaptable:

While the future may not be entirely predictable, it can be modeled and indeed designed. In fact, the power of Design is in its unending creativity, thus addressing the demands of complexity, and its ability to iterate adaptable solutions through ever-changing conditions. This is why Design is being used in myriad contexts to solve the many problems of our world. Hence, Design is a critical skill-set for any student to master as he/she journeys through the 21st century.

Design is Multi-disciplinary:

The power of Design also lies in its multi-disciplinary nature; its ability to synthesize areas of human knowledge into a practical, functional, and beautiful solution. Hence, Design is a way for students to integrate the diverse and seemingly unrelated subjects of learning into creative and practical solutions to problems.

Design is Inclusive:

Design involves the inclusivity of many different skills, talents, experiences, and areas of expertise. In fact, the stronger the diversity of vantage points, the stronger the design. Hence, Design takes the diversity of each student and creates contexts for it to be applied to the problem at hand, which enhances self-worth and edifies individual creativity and cultivation.

Design is Learning by Doing:

The Design-Based Learning Model educates, trains, and nurtures each student to be designers of the future by applying the creative process and lessons in the process and tools of design to the problems of our world. Assessment is primarily process oriented. While there is indeed a theoretical component to the DBL Program, it is very much based on a 'learning by doing' approach, in which students are assessed based on their participation in the creative process.


Students will theoretically and practically learn and experience the various roles within the design process, from visionaries and synthesizers, to engineers and builders. Through these roles, they will also gain a better understanding of their own strengths and points of vantage within the creative process.

Human Knowledge:

The DBL Model is intellectually rigorous and promotes a breadth of learning and application of ideas and information. Students will be engaged in areas of study across the continuum of human knowledge, which will enhance their ability to 'see' in creative and stimulating ways and apply that learning to the building of educated solutions. They will learn about the history and theories of design, as well as engage in focused learning about other areas of human thought. By working in this way, they will begin to see connections in their studies that were prior left unseen. They will begin to manifest a greater level of mastery of their subject-matter by envisaging creative contexts in which it can be applied.


There are tools and principles used universally by designers. Whether they be tools such as systems mapping and graphic modeling or knowledge management and documentation, students will be learning skills that can be transferred into numerous professional contexts. Students will be given hands-on contexts to learn and appropriate tools and principles of design, and provided with ways for them to be applied in a creative and pedagogical environment.

Creative Process:

The creative process is dynamic and iterative, and can not be distilled into a linear process. That being said, creativity is a process and a discipline that can be developed and matured and is not limited to the arts. Innovation and creativity is the hallmark of today's global creative economy and needs to be applied into all aspects of business and in life.

The design-based learning context, seeks to identify a scenario in the future, the "THERE", that is quite removed from the constraints of the current condition; the "HERE". Students become designers of the future by envisioning the future first, which creates tension between the "THERE" and the "HERE" that will drive the design process.


Future by Design Video

"Sir Ken led the British government's 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements."

This text will be replaced

Robinson and Education

This text will be replaced

Robinson: Education kills creativity

Will our students be FUTURE READY?

How important is this question? Naturally, no one would say that this query is unimportant. However, our world today makes the answer to our students' readiness highly relevant.

Presently, our world is experiencing massive change in virtually every sector. This change is being driven by human ingenuity and invention. Our competitiveness, within the global marketplace, is being challenged by thriving economies in Asia and elsewhere. But, as educators, we must ask the question, "What are we doing to prepare students for the "World of Massive Change"? In order to remain relevant, schools in today's world must equip students with skills that go beyond the basics of academic excellence and into the development and nourishment of the whole person.

Dr. Canton, a renowned futurist and CEO of The Institute for Global Futures, as well as a Fortune 1000 advisor, gives ten trends that are shaping the creative economy. Trend number eight concerns education. Canton believes that the educational system today is broken and is not preparing students to be FUTURE READY.

The current model of education was designed to service an age that has passed us by - the Industrial Age. The focus of the Industrial Age school system was conformity, compliance and meeting standards. On the other hand, the present Creative Age is being fueled by innovation and creativity – highly sought after characteristics, yet hard to find and even harder to develop.

The FUTURE READINESS of our students is not a future hope, but a CURRENT REALITY.

The Future of Learning

JW Wilson on being Future Ready

2 Dimensions of Who I'm Becoming

At PLi, preparing students to be Future Ready involves the development of the whole person and not just a student's academic abilities. "Who a student is becoming" has both an inner dimension as well as an outer dimension.

Inner Dimension

The inner dimension of a student's life is all about their IDENTITY; who a student is on the inside. The deepest sense of a person's identity is all about their character, values, beliefs, principles, talents, gifts and personality.

The focused attention on identity formation is informed by Erik Erikson's psychosocial development theory, John Bowlby's Attachment Theory and brain science. Summarily, Erikson's theory traces the development of one's identity through a series of tasks, that when successfully completed, result in a healthy personality and meaningful engagement with others. The atmosphere of acceptance and empowerment is key to the development of healthy attachment bonds and sense of security, which then impacts academic performance. More so, according to recent advances in neuroscience, the experience of empathic and attuned connection facilitate neural integration necessary for personality development, character formation, principled-centered living, and adoption of pro-social values.

As students progress into the higher grades, they are introduced the the 5 Keys of Unlocking the Vision Led Life. We begin to build the capacity of students to be visionary, designers and creators of their own future within the context of a secure and enriched school environment.

Outer Dimension

The tending and nourishment of the inner ground of identity inevitably leads to the flourishing of the outer and more visible embodiment of Future Ready skills or capacities. Embedded in the teaching and learning of these Future Ready capacities are principles critically derived from Piaget's cognitive developmental theory, Vygotsky's social development theory, and Wilson's brain science of learning. Creating the conditions for students to grow cognitively that are developmentally appropriate, gaining knowledge through collaboration with teachers and peers, and attending to students' brain health is paramount. This integrated approach to teaching and learning expands students' capacity to inquire, improve, innovate, and invent that will prepare them to meet the challenges of the future with a posture of curiosity, creativity, and confidence.

The outer dimension of who a student is becoming is all about what they are capable of doing; their Future Ready skills. In our elementary school the focus is on developing the student as a Master Learner to become a principle-centred:

  • Leader
  • Independent Worker
  • Collaborative Worker
  • Quality Producer
  • Life Long Learner
  • Critical and Creative Thinker

As students progress into the older grades they will more intentionally begin developing their four Future Ready Capacities: to inquire, improve, innovate and invent.

4FR Capacities

Who I'm Becoming Slideshow

Innovation and Creativity

PLi has been developing its Profound Learning model with the signature of innovation and creativity since 1997. Over the years, a framework for creating design-based learning experiences has emerged that integrates the creative process with the 5 Keys of a Vision Led Life.

Creative Process Model

The creative process is dynamic and iterative, and can not be distilled into a linear process. That being said, creativity is a process and a discipline that can be developed and matured and is not limited to the arts. Innovation and creativity is the hallmark of today's global creative economy and needs to be applied into all aspects of business and in life.

  • Key 1 – Vision
    Vision formation is the beginning of the creative process, which is often a result of dissatisfaction or a sensing that something better needs to be created. A vision is a picture of an end state you want to achieve, yet seldom do you know how to get there. A compelling vision of the future often gets sabotaged early in the envisioning process simply because of all the limiting mindsets that come to play. As a designer of the future you must learn to apply the "Open Principle" that enables you to see beyond the limits of what seems to be possible.

    • Current Condition (Here)
      The current condition analysis is based more on data, facts and sometimes feelings. Your goal is to determine why the current system behaves the way it does by studying cause and effect relationships using a number of quality and system tools. You will go beyond the obvious to study the mental models behind the system structures that drive the current system behaviours.

    • Vision Revisited (There)
      Following a thorough vetting of your current condition, you will want to revisit and modify your Vision. Vision is always morphing as you gain greater clarity around your current conditions as well as the needs of the future. Throughout the design process you keep revisiting your vision which continues to become more clear.

  • Key 2 – Drive
    Here you size up the situation and decide to "do something" about it. This phase involves clarifying what you have gained from the preceding explorations. Primarily this is the phase of personal ownership and commitment where you make it your personal quest to solve this problem. The deeper the Vision connects with your meaning network (Learning Code) and your Big WHY, the more likely you are to engage in design using your cluster of drivers (Key 2 above).

  • Key 3 – Sight
    This is the "Aha!" stage in which a synthesis occurs between all that has gone before. The confusion starts to make sense. Having created the "probletunity" through clarifying your current condition and your preferred future, the solution usually becomes obvious. If no obvious solution has emerged, you need to continue to envision many possible solutions and systematically explore their potential. By using the third key of SIGHT, you are able to see hidden assumptions and mental models that have created your current condition and the thinking that is being applied to your Vision.

  • Key 4 – Design (Engineering)
    In this phase, you put ideas into practice. Once Insight is achieved, one has the information, plan, or design that allows for detailed questions to be asked. You can put the numbers to your solution; How many...? How much...? How many...? What should...? In this phase, you apply the skills, techniques, discipline, and language of the designer/engineer and professional to your design.

  • Key 5 – Build
    This is the phase of production, marketing, and entrepreneurship. This is typically where the profit is to be made with an idea. When the building phase is done well, the solution totally "fits" the problem and the designer. "Fitting" means that an idea comes into a pattern, that it works, that it is eloquent, comprehensive, and economical.

  • Use (Feedback and Re-Design)
    This is often the forgotten part of the creative process. It is when the consumer uses the end product of the entire process that we can truly evaluate our success. Inevitably, when this phase is not ignored, the process brings new insight – and sometimes the lament, "we could have done it better!" But of course! It is precisely due to the successful completion of the cycle that you discover all the elements that can be your springboard to the next cycle of "probletunity".


This text will be replaced

Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity

idSchool: Innovation& Creativity

Neuroscience & Creativity

Four Future Ready Capacities (iCubed Model)

Since the creation of the iCubed Model by Tom Rudmik in 1999, teachers at Master's Academy and College in Calgary, Alberta Canada, have been implementing strategies that develop the creative and innovate capabilities of students. The following are the four iCubed Future Ready Capacities:

  • I0- Inquire
  • I1 - Improve
  • I2- Innovate
  • I3 - Invent

Teachers intentionally design learning experiences that incorporate roles and skills from one or more of the four Future Ready capacities.

4FR Capacities

Four Future Ready Capacities

Becoming Future Ready

Developing students' inner identity and outer Future Ready skills is as important as their academic preparation. The Seven Habits of the Master Learner are integrated into the elementary experience starting in Kindergarten. Developing the four Future Ready Capacities to Inquire, Improve, Innovate and Invent and their corresponding roles and skills are integrated as the student reaches the higher grades in elementary and in junior and senior high. To accomplish this holistic education, PLi has incorporated neuroscientific and psycho-social insights into how students develop and learn as whole persons.

7 Habits of the Master Learner

At the core of PLi's Mission are the Seven Habits of the Master Learner. These habits are intentionally integrated into everything we do. They include:

  1. Person of Character
    The values that we uphold and live by are at the core of our character - the very heart of who we are. These values include honesty, integrity, faithfulness, trustworthiness, consistency, and kindness. Character development is both taught and caught. At PLi, character development is foundational to our mission of developing Master Learners, by integrating Christian principles into everyday life. All of the other core characteristics of being FUTURE READY must be built on a solid foundation of character. For without this foundation, the "building will not stand".

  2. Quality Producer
    In the Industrial Age, quality was viewed as the competitive advantage. However, in the World of Massive Change, quality is the expected norm. Because of this, PLi teaches students to consistently meet and go beyond quality standards—in other words, to be a quality producer. Academic excellence is the starting point, not the end objective. Realistically, we live in a consumer-driven world, which drives many of our lifestyle choices and has created a sense of entitlement with many of our youth. Typically, in education, students have been consumers of their learning. On the other hand, producers are creators and risk-takers. To become FUTURE READY students must learn how to be producers and not just consumers of the learning they receive in school.

  3. Life-Long Learner
    In the last 15-20 years, the world has shifted from a philosophy of continuous improvement to continuous innovation. Continuous innovation can only be sustained and fueled by continuous learning. Students must acquire a love of learning, which is fundamental to their future success. Intrinsic motivation towards learning is created when students take ownership of their learning, and therefore achieve success in the process. At PLi, we have shifted our focus from consuming learning to producing our learning as a knowledge-worker. Establishing the right mindset is immensely important, yet one of the more difficult things to measure.

  4. Collaborative Worker
    "The aspect of innovation most exciting to me, and the one most critical to this industry, is the broad collaboration required to make an idea a reality." – Rashid Skaf, CEO, AMX Corporation. Collaboration at a global level has become an indispensable strategy. Over the years, through research and various partnerships, we have gained a deep understanding of collaborative and design processes resulting in the amplification of the brilliance of the group or organization. PLi has developed a powerful iCubed Transformation Process, with its 5 Keys, designed to unlock the visionary spirit of people to imagine and create a new future.

  5. Independent Worker
    Massive shifts have taken place in how people work. Years ago, the workplace was centralized around a building, either the factory or the office. Today, the workplace is much more distributed, with many people now operating out of their virtual offices at home. Modern communication technologies enable this distributed workforce to be highly engaged and effective. This requires a person to be an independent worker who can manage their priorities and produce results based on individual goals. At PLi, individual goal-setting and self-reliance are bedrock competencies that are introduced starting at the very youngest students in Kindergarten.

  6. Complex Thinker
    Creative and critical thinking are two distinctly different processes, both of which are needed in order to thrive in the world of massive change. Critical thinking is largely a left-brain function that involves analyzing and breaking down a problem into its parts. Creative thinking is primarily a right-brain function that involves the synthesis of new ideas or possibilities, which is what innovation is all about. "The promotion of continuous innovation and the full and unfettered expression of human capacity are indispensable elements in Japan's economic rebirth and revitalization." – Junichiro Koizumi, Japanese Prime Minister. Alarmingly, studies have shown that the longer a person stays in school, the harder it becomes for them to innovate and create. To help counteract this trend, students are asked to go beyond curricular or content benchmarks, adding their own creativity to every project. Design-based learning experiences enable students to engage with the world of design and begin to design their world.

  7. Principle-Centred Leadership
    Leadership for the 21st century takes on an entirely different role. In today's rapidly changing world, leaders need to embrace uncertainty, work collaboratively and engage in innovative design. At PLi, we have introduced the concept of "future by design ... not by default". students become leaders of change and designers of the future. In doing so, they are building the confidence they need to take responsibility for the emerging world of their generation. This kind of leadership has to be rooted in a principle-centred value system that honours people and relationships.


5 Keys of Unlocking the Vision Led Life

We have discovered five keys to unlocking the vision led life. What we mean by this is the ability to function in all four Future Ready Capacities depending on what the context calls for.

The first of the five keys is finding your Big WHY. This is the ability to dream big, to engage with the universe of unlimited possibilities, to have a compelling vision.

The second key is activating your personal drive. This is your commitment to pursue your Big WHY, by discovering and activating your unique breakthrough drivers and by demonstrating courage, passion, initiative, perseverance, and courage.

The third key is seeing the invisible. This is the ability to activate your imagination, to have insight (the ability to see what is) and foresight (the ability to see what could be). Using this key you will begin to discover why life is the way it is and how to free yourself from the prison of your past.

The fourth key is the ability to design your future. This is making visible the invisible. When using this key you will begin to move from wishful thinking to intentionally designing your future.

The final key is doing the impossible, or at least what seems to be impossible given your track record. Once you have taken the limits off your thinking and you have designed an executable plan, it is time to build your future. You are now in the execution phase of your life plan.

These five keys can be simplified to one word each

  • Finding my Big WHY is VISION
  • Activating Personal Drive is DRIVE
  • Seeing the Invisible is SIGHT
  • Making Visible the Invisible is DESIGN
  • And Doing the Impossible is BUILD

We can apply these five keys to the act of creation. It starts with a Vision. Drive kicks in and says "I want to do this". Sight comes along to help your understanding of where the barriers are and how to overcome them. Design creates the plan and Build brings the plan into fruition.

Go to Innovation and Creation tab to view the Creative Process that helps direct the Design and Build process.


5 Keys

Five Keys Slideshow


Key 2: Drive

"Who I'm Becoming" Student Development System

Studies, such as Karen Arnold's valedictorian study, show that academic success does not necessarily translate into success in life. Arnold's study shows that there is no appreciable difference 10 years after graduation between valedictorians and the average student. Doing well in a linguistic test-oriented academic environment does not necessarily prepare students for the world of tomorrow.

We believe that we can have both a strong academic foundation along with the development of students with FUTURE READY skills. It is not an either/or proposition. Students not only GET a great academic education they also have BECOME FUTURE READY.

The Profound Learning Research Institute has developed, along with its strategic partners, a powerful groundbreaking student development system that enables the tracking of the 12 Essential Future Ready skills as well as the development of the four iCubed Identities. We believe that to fully prepare students for the world of massive change it must be done through the intentional design of learning experiences that incorporate these essentials skills and competencies. Schools must go beyond academic achievement.

Currently under development is our second generation "Who I'm Becoming" tracking system which will show the student's progress in their FUTURE READY skills. The "Who I'm Becoming" tracking system involves:

  • The journey map describes students' growth goals and breaks them down into objective criteria for evaluation purposes.
  • The data for these charts is derived from assessments within learning experiences.
  • The method of assessment often involves self-reflection and confirmation by the teacher.
  • These charts are active allowing the student or the teacher to click on an element of the chart to view the data, often a time-series of graphs representing different assessment points in the student's journey.
  • Radar charts will be used to show a student the relative development of different habits, keys and personal strengths.

Data Visualization of "Who I'm Becoming"

JW Wilson: Valedictorian Study

'"Who I'm Becoming" Teacher Professional Development

Who the teacher is becoming is as significant as who the students are becoming. At the core of the transformation strategy is professional development. The Profound Learning Research Institute provides the overall leadership to the professional development of teachers. Becoming a Master Teacher is a result of intentional professional development and mentorship.

Teachers and administrators are encouraged to become members of the online Profound Learning Professional Program which includes comprehensive online training. Just as we are able to orchestrate customized learning for students using journey maps and capacity maps, we can use these tools to customize the professional development of teachers.

At PLi we provide powerful tools for administrators to bring alignment to the professional practice within schools and districts while reducing stress and fear and increasing JOY.

Profound Transformation Workshop

The Profound Learning Research Institute team has years of experience in working with educators and administrators in system redesign and transformation. Over the years we have developed processes around "Profound Transformation" that enable large groups of educators to be involved in design experiences, resulting in Organizational Brilliance that can only come from these kinds of experiences.

Typically a Profound Transformation Workshop takes 2-4 days and involves anywhere from 20-50 participants. The work product that emerges from a Profound Transformation Workshop will not only articulate a clear implementation strategy over a number of years for a district or school but will have a high level buy-in by the participants of the Profound Transformation Workshop.

Teacher Professional Development Slideshow