Using science and sense to collectively thrive
I’m a researcher, teacher, facilitator, and author working across sectors to help build new hybrid environments that promote human flourishing. I apply developmental science principles and practices to all my transdisciplinary collaborations. I work with a range of individuals, small-group collectives, and larger organizations, pulling together expertise across disciplines, to build social technologies and infrastructures that elevate human potential.
Currently, I am focused most intensely on helping small creative collectives thrive under the premise that these collectives are the context through which Inner Development Goals (IDGs) are realized and, in turn, these IDGs significantly impact on our abilities to reach Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
What I’m building: Liminal Learning
Liminal Learning is a communal launch into purpose-driven adulthood.
We help adolescents navigate their transition to adulthood with optimism, self-confidence, and curiosity. The program combines social and emotional learning, intergenerational mentorship, and pragmatic apprenticeships over week-long retreats in stunning natural environments. These immersive communal experiences are built on evolutionary principles of play and experimentation.
I spend about half of my time as a scientist and researcher at McMaster University (in Canada) and I’m the Director for the Games for Emotional and Mental Health (GEMH) Lab (in the Netherlands). The lab aims to build and empirically test digital games and apps that are based on solid behavioural science and combine data-driven design with stunning art that insures we retain, delight, and inspire users.
The other half of my efforts are dedicated to transformative collaborations with social entrepreneurs and leaders in education. I run workshops, courses, and culture-change curricula that provide hybrid solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face in the digital age. We come together to build strategies that combine digital and face-to-face energy so that organizations can go beyond productivity and achievement statistics to focus on psychological thriving, mental health, and social connection.
My portfolio of projects and partnerships are diverse, but they are all underpinned by an “effective optimism” approach. That is, I am fiercely optimistic about the future of work, learning, and community-building, but this optimism is grounded in science and participatory research.
For a list of my publications and media contacts, please see: https://gemhlab.com/researcher/isabelagranic
For my research lab’s publications, research projects, evidence-based games, and videos that explain our mission in its various manifestations, see: www.gemhlab.com
For my Google Scholar profile, see: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=4T5cjVIAAAAJ&hl=en
I’m also Chief Science Officer of The PlayNice Institute, an organization that seeks to build and distribute evidence-based games that promote emotional health and well-being for children and youth; for more information, see: https://www.theplayniceinstitute.com/
Check out the recent interview I did on an awesome Dutch documentary series, Doc Talks. The interviewer was a dream to work with -- engaged and intelligent and he genuinely seemed interested in the work we do. If you want a quick primer on the potential benefits...