off of a study on Purpose Learning out of Stanford University, we have created a very exciting learning experience for our Creative Doers in the Do Lab. The essence of Purpose Learning is that academic pursuits are linked with the purpose that fuels it.  This suggests a shift where future college students will declare Missions instead of Majors.  Throughout the year we have been helping our Doers discover their mission by asking “How Might You Make Your Mark on the World?”

mission statement

These exercises have resulted in mission statements which include:

  • I will learn product design so that I can create products for people with arthritis and different disabilities.
  • I will learn to design toys and games, so that infants and toddlers will have a better start in life.
  • I will learn footwear design and gain an understanding of materials, so that kids can have cool / affordable sneakers that encourages an active lifestyle.
  • I will learn robotics so that I can design law enforcement robots to de-escalate conflicts.
  • I will learn robotics so that I can design and build prosthetic limbs for people especially soldiers.

Hopefully, their missions become long-term pursuits.  However, in the Do Lab – we do.  Thus, missions are translated into projects that begin building skills bringing them one step closer to their goal.  Current projects include product design, robotics and computer game design.

Although, the work with their mentors is just beginning,  I can already sense their internal drive picking up.  This happens to be one of the objectives of the Do Lab “to start developing the characteristics and drive embedded in an innovator’s DNA.”


This summer we hope to extend our programming by adding a 4-week immersive learning experience, Innovators Workshop, for youth under-represented in STEM residing in Boston and Cambridge in grades 6-12. We will continue leveraging Purpose Learning to help students discover their unique talents & the purpose that fuels it. Our hope is that they will return each summer iterating on their project. Over time students, will not only have developed their skills & identity as innovators, but will also have a portfolio of projects to support their college application. This perfectly aligns with a recent Harvard Report that says not just brains, but heart should count in college admissions.

Unfortunately, we are not positioned to launch Innovators Workshop without partners – the opportunities lost without this Learning Experience would be immeasurable. To bring this to life we need partners willing to invest and work with us. Please connect us with visionaries – individuals, corporations, foundations, who share our desire of energizing an untapped source of innovation. Let’s make this happen…

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Michael K. Dawson

Co-Founder, Chief Doer, Innovators For Purpose, Inc. Creative Doing - the act of changing or influencing with the intent of leaving a mark on the world...

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