Finding Purpose Across Your Life

Learn research-based techniques to hone your sense of purpose throughout life’s challenges and transitions.

  • Venue: Online
  • Date: Self-paced course -- register and take it anytime
  • Time: Now Open!
  • Price: Free to Audit; $149 for Verified Track

Course Overview

Do you want to awaken or rediscover your sense of purpose in life? Are you facing a major life change or transition and looking for a North Star to guide you through?

This course offers research-based techniques to hone your sense of purpose, no matter what stage of life you’re in, from the formative years of adolescence through midlife and older adulthood. It can also be used by educators, coaches, parents, mental health professionals, or anyone else trying to guide someone on their path to purpose.

Created by the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC), in partnership with CoGenerate, the core goals of the course are to:

  1. inspire learners to connect with a sense of purpose that feels both personally meaningful and socially valuable;
  2. give learners practical strategies they can use to help themselves--or others--find or sharpen that purpose.

The course guides learners through a series of activities that inspire reflection, action, and self-discovery--all based on key lessons from the science of living a purposeful life and grounded in design thinking. Each module combines insights from this research with inspiring stories and practical strategies that can be applied to your life, career, and community. This learning journey will tap into your creativity, prompt introspection, and inspire you to connect with what really matters most.

The course features presentations by a mix of renowned scholars, educators, and practitioners who have done pioneering work to help people of all ages sharpen their sense of purpose in life. They include:

  • Kendall Bronk, psychology professor at Claremont Graduate University and one of the world’s leading experts on the science of purpose;
  • Victor Saad, founder of the Experience Institute;
  • Chip Conley, business leader and author of the book Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better with Age, and founder of the Modern Elder Academy;
  • and Eunice Lin Nichols and Marc Freedman, co-CEOs of CoGenerate (formerly

Their wisdom, stories, and best practices will be woven into the structure of the course, guiding learners through this exploration of purpose. Presentations will put special emphasis on intergenerational purpose--a call for young and old to come together around shared goals and challenges.

Finding Purpose Across Your Life will show you that it's never too late to develop or reconnect with your sense of purpose--and help you turn aspiration into action.

How to Sign Up

The Finding Purpose Across Your Life online course is hosted on the edX platform. You'll need to create an edX account before registering for the course on edX. 

Verified Track

Please note this course can be taken for free; simply choose "Audit This Course" to register at no charge. This instructor-led course lasts 6 weeks. After that time, course materials will no longer be available for Audit learners. However, to have unlimited access to all course materials as long as the course is hosted on, upgrade to the Verified Track on edX for $149. As a Verified learner, you will receive a certificate of completion when you finish.

If you plan to use your course for job applications, promotions, or school applications, you may prefer to have this verified certificate of completion. It’s also a great way to give yourself an incentive to complete the course and celebrate your success.

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    Marci Alboher

    Marci Alboher, one of the nation’s leading authorities on career issues and workplace trends, is a vice president at CoGenerate. Marci’s current focus is on the power of connecting, collaborating and innovating across the generations. A former blogger and columnist for The New York Times, her latest book is The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life. Marci is regularly called upon for commentary in media outlets around the world, and she has been interviewed by countless news organizations, including NBC’s Today and Nightly News, National Public Radio, and USA Today. She is a Senior Advisor to Girls Write Now, serves as a mentor-editor for The OpEd Project and is on the faculty of the Modern Elder Academy. Earlier in her career, she spent a decade practicing law. She lives in New York City with her husband Jay. 

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    Kendall Cotton Bronk, Ph.D.

    Kendall Cotton Bronk, Ph.D., is the Principal Investigator for the Adolescent Moral Development Lab and a Professor of Psychology in the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the Claremont Graduate University. She is a developmental scientist interested in studying and promoting positive youth development and the moral growth of young people. Most commonly, she has investigated these topics through the lens of young people’s purposes in life.

    Her research has explored the relationship between purpose and healthy growth, the ways diverse groups of young people cultivate purpose, and the developmental trajectory of youth with strong commitments to various purposes in life. Her work has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the Templeton Religion Trust, and the Fulbright Foundation.

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    Jonathan Collie

    Jonathan Collie is a social entrepreneur and innovator. In 2014, he co-founded The Age of No Retirement CIC, the innovation agency which has done so much to reframe retirement and ageing. Much of his ground-breaking research paved the way for The Purpose Xchange which he co-founded in 2021. Jonathan is a former medical doctor and clinical transformation lead at EDS and Perot Systems. He has an MBA from Edinburgh University. He lives in London with his wife and two children. He enjoys cycling and oil painting and is a massive fan of cricket and rugby.

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    Chip Conley

    After disrupting the hospitality industry twice, first as the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, the second-largest operator of boutique hotels in the U.S., and then as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, leading a worldwide revolution in travel, Chip Conley co-founded MEA (Modern Elder Academy) in January 2018.

    Inspired by his experience of intergenerational mentoring as a ‘modern elder’ at Airbnb, where his guidance was instrumental to the company’s extraordinary transformation from a fast-growing start-up to the world’s most valuable hospitality brand, MEA is the world's first ‘midlife wisdom school.’ A New York Times bestselling author, Conley's 7th book “Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better with Age” is about rebranding midlife to help people understand the upside of this often-misunderstood life stage.

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    Marc Freedman

    Marc Freedman, the founder and Co-CEO of CoGenerate, is a renowned social entrepreneur, thought leader and writer. Under Marc’s leadership, CoGenerate has pioneered innovative programs and sparked a growing movement in the United States and beyond to tap the talent and experience of people past midlife as a human resource for solving our most vexing social problems.

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    Ladybird Morgan

    Ladybird is currently a private palliative care consultant with Mettlehealth where she co-facilitates discussions about the practical, emotional, spiritual and existential elements of chronic and terminal illness. She offers similar support as a staff member at Commonweal’s Cancer Care Help Program. Ladybird’s other primary interest is in supporting the work of psychedelics as tools for transformation. She is a co-investigator/study therapist with a University of Washington study of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy and a Learning Facilitator for Synthesis LLC Psychedelic Practitioner Training. Ladybird has been working in end-of-life care as a registered nurse, social worker and educator for over 20 years with organizations including The Zen Hospice Project and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), guiding individuals, families, caregivers and medical practitioners to find their clearest voice as they step across significant thresholds in life and in preparing for death.

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    Eunice Lin Nichols

    Eunice Lin Nichols is Co-CEO of CoGenerate. She has spent more than two decades bringing older and younger generations together to bridge divides and solve problems, including leading CoGenerate’s innovation portfolio, serving as national campaign director for the Generation to Generation initiative, running The Purpose Prize (now a program of AARP), and scaling Experience Corps from one neighborhood school in San Francisco into a thriving Bay Area program helping thousands of kids read by third grade.

    Eunice has been recognized as a Next Avenue Influencer in Aging and is a graduate of the Billions Institute Fellowship for Large-Scale Change. She is also a recipient of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for advancing innovative and effective solutions to California’s most significant issues.

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    Julia Randell-Khan

    Julia co-founded The Purpose Xchange in 2021, a platform to help people discover their purposeful futures in work and life. A former attorney, Julia’s own transition is from 30+ years in international law to a career as a longevity entrepreneur and encore career advocate. Julia is a Senior Fellow with CoGenerate (formerly, an organization which taps experienced talent for social change offering co-generational solutions to social problems from literacy to loneliness. Julia set up the Encore Fellowships program in the UK to promote the value that experienced workers at 50+ can offer to the social sector as part of an encore career and a purposeful “non”-retirement.

    Julia is a consulting fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Longevity, working on the “New Map of Life™” project and the transformative changes needed to address the challenges and opportunities presented by longer lives. Her research builds on her experience at Stanford’s Distinguished Careers Institute – a mid-life career transition programme and her work as guest faculty with the Modern Elder Academy.

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    Victor Saad

    Victor Saad is the founder of Experience Institute (Ei), TED speaker, and a Forbes 30Under30 recipient in the field of education. In 2012, Victor launched Ei by designing his own Master’s through 12 work experiences in 12 months. Since then, he and his team have worked with thousands of individuals and teams to grow in their careers by combining relevant curriculum, caring community, and memorable experiences. He’s also the founder and director of Design Formation, a program at Stanford’s — helping students build the bridge between the classroom and the broader world of design. When he’s not leading or facilitating, he’s on his bike or working on his next writing project.

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    Scott Shigeoka

    Scott Shigeoka is an internationally-recognized curiosity expert, speaker, and the author of Seek: How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life And Change The World. He is known for translating research into strategies that promote positive well-being and connected relationships around the globe, including at the UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and through his popular courses at the University of Texas at Austin. Scott has spread the gospel of curiosity to public officials, health care professionals, artists, activists, writers, media organizations, educators, community leaders and businesses. Originally from Hawai′i, Scott now lives in California.

Learners will be able to:

  • Describe the meaning, value, and benefits of having a sense of purpose in life
  • Follow a science-based process for exploring your purpose
  • Identify techniques for tapping into your creativity, curiosity, and sense of possibility
  • Discover tools for identifying your core values and goals in life
  • Identify strategies for converting your aspirations into a concrete course of action