Ikigai+ Purpose-Based Learning


The Ikigai+ is a purpose-based advising and mentorship model that was developed at the University of Dayton's Institute of Applied Creativity for Transformation (IACT), as the vehicle for academic intentionality, creative and experiential exploration and purpose-based discernment. The model received a Global Honorable Mention Award in OpenIDEO’s Future of Higher Education Challenge.

The Ikigai+ model enables and equips 21st century students within the nation's first academic certificate focused specifically on Applied Creativity to build the creative competencies that today’s job market demands — critical perspective, complex problem solving and collaboration with others. By declaring and developing an individual purpose statement of action, students evoke, imagine and enact innovative social change within society — through their disciplines of study.

The world now demands that our students act upon the synergies between their desires, callings, skillsets and interests to fill the voids of the world!


Students declare the certificate and undergo a continuous process of Ikigai+ advising and mentorship to conceptualize, refine and creatively innovate their purpose statements of declaration. During the first and second years of a three year certificate program, these purpose statements are based on a series of existential questions (that which you love, that which the world needs, that which you can be paid for and that which you are good at) to formulate the synergies of one's mission, vocation, profession and passion.

This provides a framework for the mentor, adviser and/or teacher to meet the students where they are — and to guide a pathway within and through certificate requirements, general education selection, degree fulfillments, co-ops, service learning, internships, study abroad and student leadership experiences towards a primary means. The model revolves around holistic purpose-based 360º education (i.e., simultaneous acts of both teaching and learning) through Applied Creativity.

Gone are the days of advising models that simply “check the box!”

The “+” is Action-Oriented Purpose

As students enter their third and final year of the certificate program, they are challenged to further engage and discern the program’s student learning outcomes of critical perspectives, creative confidence and innovative application. Students begin to actualize their Ikigai by way of mission, vocation, profession and passion — to bring their purpose statement declarations to life via purpose statements of action. The “+” in Ikigai+ provides the action-oriented steps of develop, advocate, serve and innovate for social change. With a foundation of anchored, but yet fluid, individual ‘purposes’ of action, students are able to think without a box.

Humanity-centered design calls for us all to be silo-busters, as the greatest challenges in the world require perspectives and skill sets from diverse individuals regardless of backgrounds and/or disciplines of study. Individual purpose statements must become collective calls-to-social-action through the merging of two or more Ikigai+’s to formulate a unity of purpose through multiple disciplines and ‘purpose statements’ of action. This is the “Transformation” in IACT.

"My purpose is to challenge archaic modes of travel, by presenting futuristic U.S. high speed rails and aerospace designs that cater to those with low spectrum autism and disabilities."

— Lewis Forman (Mechanical Engineering & Aerospace focus)


The mindset of Applied Creativity is about being able to harness imagination and vision to effectively implement unexpected, innovative ideas that can change the world. This is accomplished through transdisciplinary teaching and learning — the unity of intellectual frameworks beyond the focus of single disciplinary perspective.

By partnering with the US Department of Education's Office of Education Technology and collaborating with creativity and innovation thought leaders in ALL fields for the future wave of social change agency, we look forward to ushering in a worldwide educational and workforce development movement focused on Purpose-Based Humanity-Centered Design.

What if the Ikigai+ model was integrated into the entire higher education experience?

We need creativity and innovation from every seat, so come join us!

For more information, please contact Karlos Marshall, IACT Academic Development Coordinator.

Contact Us

Institute of Applied Creativity for Transformation (IACT) at ArtStreet

ArtStreet is located on the 300 block of Kiefaber St. 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2620