The Basics

A new learning and research experience that is completely focused on building our competence to meet the demands of an uncertain future. Acquire the mindset of a designer. Create great interfaces between us and all the challenges and opportunities we face or will face.

We will be able to learn anything, build something and change everything.

Our purpose is to build and sustain a world that understands and meets its needs effectively. Understanding is the key to this mission. Only real understanding of humans and the reality they interact with holds the promise of the future. It is really a timeless concept that transcends whatever the moment is throwing at us. Right now - and in the future - the moment will be throwing more at us than we can imagine. The acceleration of the world that is built in to rapidly scaling technologies and cities, is now part of our reality and we need a different set of competencies to bridge the frailties of hyperspecialization, changing climate and challenging new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Big Data. The thing that transcends all of this is the connection to us. We need people who are very competent in imagining how these things will work with us. It is the great challenge of our time. Inception University is designed to meet that challenge.

Why Inception?

Yes, there is a movie called Inception and yes, it is a well regarded film and, no - hopefully this doesn't disappoint you too much - it was not the reason for the name. If it works better for you, then it is the inspiration for the name. Here are the reasons for the name - everything we need is built into its meaning:

early 15c., "a beginning, a starting," from Old French inception and directly from Latin inceptionem(nominative inceptio) "a beginning; an undertaking," noun of action from past participle stem of incipere "begin, take in hand," from in- "in, on" (from PIE root *en "in") + -cipere, combining form of capere "take, seize," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp."

Understand. Build. Change.

Inception University is a start-up. A start-up consumed with finding the best ways for you to be fit for the future - whatever it happens to bring. It is a part of the growing innovation culture in Calgary. We have run a series of successful test programs in the fall of 2017 and this is the spring offering for 2018. It will expand again in the autumn. This is an unschooled experience that builds the designer's mindset by channeling relevant content from the learner's life to lead a profound experience. Inception is built to help you understand anything, build something and change everything.

Understand Anything

Develop the tools to actually figure out and understand anything. Linking this tool set to the fundamentals of how nature - especially HUMAN nature operates. The foundation of learning is this competence. The foundation of great design is also this competence.

Build Something

Know WHAT to build - alternatives the world needs. Know HOW to build it - Brilliantly. Reliably ABLE to build and refine something to get the BEST FIT. CREATE and NURTURE process and structure that supports regenerating growth and human thriving.

Change Everything

Move towards regenerative practices and economics instead of tired, failing extractive practices. Move to continuous innovation and great human experiences applied anywhere. Use dependable and effective approaches for leading change.

Anchored in the applied integration of four key thinking approaches

Creative Thinking - Find and stitch together ideas or even fragments of ideas to imagine something new that fulfills a purpose.

Critical Thinking - Learn, understand and evaluate ideas and the thinking that lies behind them - especially our own.

Systems Thinking - See the connections between things and the ways they influence each other. Find points of leverage in the complexity.

Computational Thinking - Organize concepts and processes so that they can be understood by a computer - a vital ability in a digitizing world.

Unleashed. Unlimited. Unschooled.

It’s time to return the idea and the experience of the university to the model Thomas Jefferson built: a place where learners lead with passion and build a powerful curiosity which they set free upon the many questions we all have about how things really work and what needs to be done in the world. And then do it.

There is only ONE grade - the demonstration of COMPETENCE.

No idea is safe but all people are safe to challenge those ideas. It isn’t a soft experience. It is an exhilarating experience. Be future-fit.