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Theory of Impact

Imagine a world where young people are prepared to face their future, no matter what curve ball comes their way. They are self-possessed and confident in their choices. We believe it all starts with an understanding of self—by empowering a generation of students with the skills of self-reflection and experimentation, it will not only prepare them for college, but for jobs that don’t yet exist, and moreover, a life well-lived.

Schools, counselors, and parents shouldn’t be tasked with this challenge alone. This is a story we want to build, together. Let’s make this vision happen by honoring the potential that students already possess, helping them see it, and letting their own creativity guide the way towards a future that is uniquely theirs.


Riverdale Country School and IDEO joined forces to make this vision a reality. By combining human-centered design, innovation in education, and world class research, we are creating an experience that enables students to face their future with confidence. In close collaboration with a team of students, teachers, researchers and designers, we have created a curriculum and supporting platform to help students design their path forward.

Throughout this process we are looking to a range of pilot schools to help us design the Purpose Project, so it can scale to benefit all students.  The experience is currently in closed beta, but do reach out of if you would like to collaborate or be considered for our next pilot site.

Foundational Research

Many thanks to the team of students, teachers, researchers and designers that came together to bring the Purpose Project to life:

Tony Wagner, Creating Innovators
Martin Seligman, Navigating into the Future
Bill Damon, The Path to Purpose
Graham Gibbs, Learning by Doing


Dr. Susan Harter, Self and Identity Development
Ken Robinson, Finding your Element
Paul Tough, How Children Succeed
Angela Duckworth, True Grit
Dan McAdams, A Narrative Solution
Minnie Bredouw, Product Lead