our mission

“If you aspire to create meaningful, almost magical, conversational moments between human beings then Project Wayfinder may be your craft. At the heart of Project Wayfinder is the deep commitment to community and self discovery to help you find your unique skills, interests, and passions to create change in our world.”
— Gabe Cooper - Founding Principal, Unschool

At Project Wayfinder, we believe that school has the possibility to be a transformative and profound experience for young people that sparks their passion and curiosity. To create such an experience, our schools need to nurture a sense of meaningfulness and emphasize why life is valuable. Project Wayfinder’s mission is to inspire our next generation to become intentional meaning-makers empowered to contribute to the world around them.

We believe our current education systems are failing our next generation. 

We see an endless number of hoops being imposed onto our youth: strict schedules, aggressive testing and relentless pressure to achieve high scores. By telling students that meeting extrinsic goals is the metric for a successful life, we are failing to support them in developing the intrinsic motivation crucial to a lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Founded at Stanford University’s d.school and now operating as an independent organization, Project Wayfinder has designed a 15-piece toolkit to equip students with the skills, knowledge and confidence to become purposeful navigators. Our toolkit is inspired by cutting-edge purpose research, wisdom and practices from native wayfinding traditions and our own personal experiences. We are currently piloting our toolkit with 22 partner schools across the US, Mexico, China and Australia and were recently featured in KQED's Mindshift.

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