“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea,

never regains its original dimension”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

What is Passion-based Action Learning?

Thrivability Institute offers research scholars, University students, visiting and after-school programs, and home-schooled students the opportunity to deeply explore their greatest passions in an environment specifically designed to include abundant resources. We call this passion-driven research “JOY-Centered(SM) and it is founded on several core beliefs:


Passions. People do best when they empower themselves to freely chose what they want to focus their attention upon, for how long, and in what way - especially when they feel their decisions are real and meaningful.
Choice. No matter what the circumstances, we each have the power to choose how we allow ourselves to experience any situation. We always have the option to seek and choose the closest experience of well-being we can find in every moment.
Responsibility. We ask each person to self-assess and take full responsibility for their choices in life. In an atmosphere of constant encouragement, each person is empowered to focus on what brings inner JOY and a sense of mastery.
Honoring All Life. Thrivability Institute embraces a perception of life that is systemic in nature, in which life is seen as interdependent nested systems of adaptation and support. Our projects deliberately explore the choices we make and how our perception of available options can limit or broaden the perceived scope of the possible.
Partnership. We all learn from each other, no matter what our age and experience. We celebrate an awareness of the gifts we offer each other.
Education is about YOU. All education is really about exploring the way you perceive yourself in the context of the given topic, so in a very real sense, education is self-exploration.


Our educational opportunities include:

  • University level curriculum through internet-based Gaia University, including advanced degrees
  • Opportunities for home-schooled children to explore their own experience of thriving in the context of our diverse research programs
  • Visiting school groups from both public and private schools in the area
  • After-school classes specifically designed to allow students to explore their passions
  • Evening classes for the community


Depending on our location, our research center could include: an extensive library, computer lab, expressive arts center, science laboratory, land-use design lab, eco-business studies center, and food lab – whatever facilitates thorough and efficient research.

Educational Core

At the core of our educational programs is the question, “What do you really want?”, also stated as, “Who are you willing to be?” Since it is impossible to thrive without honoring Self, we intend to listen carefully and support each person in discovering, honing, and celebrating their unique gifts.

Every program will be seen as a nested system within a system - all interdependent - and all important to the welfare of the whole. This is true of the participants also, as they are empowered to follow their passions. This means all methods of learning are worthy of attention, as well as all methods of knowing. We are finally able, as a species, to recognize that everything is subjective - not only does the observer affect the observed, but "data" is subjectively selected by people focused through their own unique perceptual filters. Therefore, we encourage honoring the totality of our experience, whether quantifiable or not. We honor all knowledge, and approach learning with eyes and hearts wide open.


The intention of the Thrivability Institute is to offer a space in which all who participate can playfully explore what it means to take full responsibility to be, do, and have whatever they want in any given moment.


We are a foundation for the possible – and for personal magnificence - a space in which the experiment can be contained and nurtured with full attention and intention. Ultimately, as we support each person to fully thrive, we intend to unite generations and community members through common explorations that benefit us all.