Teacher in classroom with children

How PI works

Principled Innovation asset chart

Character is at the core of Principled Innovation

When we talk about character, we’re referring to the moral, civic, intellectual and performance assets that are formed over a lifetime through experiences, relationships, values, beliefs, actions and the context in which we operate and develop. These assets are fluid, personal and constantly evolving.

Character adds purpose to innovation. Through nurturing our moral, civic, intellectual and performance assets, we are better able to identify and address inequities in our systems and environments and ensure the solutions we enact are meeting the current and future needs of humanity.

The eight practices of Principled Innovation (PI) are ways to demonstrate and develop these assets.The practices can be applied when we are making any decision, large or small, that affects the lives and learning of other people. While specific practices align closely with individual assets, as seen in the model to the left, all assets and practices interconnect and inform each other.

We are always in a dynamic process of becoming

We develop a sense of understanding of self and others in relation to our experiences in different environments, which affects our choices and actions. Not only do environments impact our development as individuals, but individuals also shape the environments in which they operate.

Practical Wisdom through the practice of Principled Innovation

PI Character Ed framework

In addition to developing our character assets, PI contributes to the cultivation of practical wisdom. Practical wisdom is knowing how and when to apply the knowledge we accumulate through our experiences in different contexts. Developed over time through an iterative process, it is helpful in situations where there is no clear “right” action. As we practice PI, we can reflect on our decisions and actions, celebrate where we are effectively using our assets, and also identify opportunities for growth. We can then use what we learned as we enter into new experiences. When intentional about this process, we build a solid foundation of practical wisdom that allows us to make the best possible decisions in situations that do not have clear answers.

By creating learning and working environments that embrace Principled Innovation, we make it possible for humans and communities to flourish.

Principled Innovation then becomes a vehicle to enact human agency, solve real-world problems and fundamentally improve systems that directly affect the future of a civil and economically viable society.