“Doing things in a new way is easy—we call this novelty. What’s challenging is to do things in a new way that eventually gets accepted by others; we call this creativity. What’s even more challenging is to do something in a new way that is ethical and advances the human condition; we call this ‘good work.’” – Howard Gardner
Nearly everyone would like to live in a world in which individuals are good persons, good workers, and good citizens. Yet most everyone would also agree that too many counterexamples to these ideals exist. How can we rectify this situation?
The Good Project is an ensemble of research projects designed to understand the nature of various “goods” and, importantly, to promote their realization in our time.
Through its variety of components, the Good Project investigates realms such as work (Good Work), civic participation (Good Citizenship), organizational collaboration (Good Collaboration), family life (the Family Dinner Project), conceptions of quality (Quality), and the use of digital media amongst youth (Good Play). The Good Project has designed a range of public materials that concern and promote these “goods,” including toolkits, courses, and publications. The project welcomes inquiries and is open to possible collaborations.
Originally founded by psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, William Damon and Howard Gardner, the project began as a social scientific investigation of “good work” and how members of different professions approach their work at a time when circumstances are changing very quickly, markets are very powerful, and few if any forces exist to counter overwhelming market forces. From 1996 to 2006, members of the research team conducted over 1200 interviews with leading professionals and our findings have been reported in numerous books, articles, and papers. The Good Project’s topics then expanded to include studies of collaboration, quality, trust and trustworthiness, digital ethics, and participation in the civic and political spheres.
In relation to young people, we’ve been exploring the following pressing questions: how do we raise balanced, responsible, and caring youth in today’s opportunity-rich yet challenging global and digital world? How are young people responding to the changing world in school, at home, in social environments? Are youth more socially aware and less prejudiced than ever before, or are they more narcissistic, egocentric, and self-serving? Are there important differences, in attitudes and behaviors, across social class, gender, race, national background, and other factors? How do we equip young people to recognize and confront ethical dilemmas, and to respond with integrity? How do we help them develop a sense of purpose for themselves, yet also care about the wider world? Overall, how do we best prepare them to be caring people, ethical workers, and engaged citizens today and in the future?
As we explore these issues, we produce papers, books, and practical applications for educators, parents, and professionals.
Our team is ready to help you and your community to become involved with the Good Project. Please contact us for more information.