Values-and-Meaning Based Data Science and Design

Standard approaches to scaling, commercialization, and optimization are hostile to meaning. But: most of us want our projects to be lastingly meaningful AND to touch many lives!

There's only one way to proceed: defensively: with an understanding of how your project is likely to be co-opted, or made meaningless by scale, and with a clear plan to defend against that possibility.

You'll need to learn what to monitor, and how to design, to avoid the negative effects of scale. Specifically, you'll need a data science of meaning, and a set of design methods that scale up without creating meaningless funnels.

These same skills will allow us to effect a large-scale economic transformation, away from the attention and consumption economies, towards an economy that addresses meaning at every level.

How it works

We offer three courses, taken in sequence.

  • In Unit 1, you develop an articulate, verifiable sense of what's meaningful for different people.
  • In Units 2 and 3, you practice designing for it, first at smaller, then larger scales.

Each course is about 5 weeks, meets twice a week, is instructor-led, and takes place in groups of six.

For an overview of our curriculum, see this 1 hour video. The course textbook is also free and online.

Unit 1
Sources of Meaning

Next batch: Jul 1

Get info and a 10 minute application form.

$700Satisfaction guaranteed.

Unit 1: Sources of Meaning — Structure and Curriculum

If you're making something meaningful, this course is for you! We get specific about what people find meaningful, to help you make things that stay meaningful, even as they scale.

  • 1. Learn how social expectations and goals crowd out sources of meaning. Tell sources of meaning apart from other kinds of motives.

  • 2. Bring definition to values Break down values into their building blocks, by understanding them as attentional policies.

  • 3. Communicate values concretely Capture and communicate sources of meaning using values cards.

  • 4. Transform emotions to values Learn to read your emotions, decipher a value that's missing in the moment, and convey it to those around you.

What Do Students Say?

Ryan
Stephany
Ari
Wiley

Our Team

Joe Edelman
Joe Edelman
textbook author
Joe wrote most of the textbook. Before that, he coined the term “Time Well Spent” for a family of metrics adopted as a guiding light by teams at Facebook, Google, and Apple, and has led to many product and ranking changes.
Ben Gabbai
Ben Gabbai
guide
Ben is a scholar of Talmud and Jewish Thought. He is hands-on about education, holding a B. Ed., teaching 4th grade and homeschooling with his wife. He enjoys reading other old books too, especially about philosophy.
Anne Selke
Anne Selke
guide
Anne has a background in organizational psychology, creative writing, game design, and design thinking. She specializes in tracing people's hard-earned wisdom and how they grow, and tracking what practices work in what contexts.

Learn more

Philosophical Background
History of the School
Compare with Other Design Methods

Unit 1
Sources of Meaning

Next batch: Jul 1

Get info and a 10 minute application form.

$700Satisfaction guaranteed.