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University of California, Berkeley

Finding Purpose Across Your Life

University of California, Berkeley via edX


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 UC Berkeley’s 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 Wisdom @ Work, 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.

“Purpose Across the Lifespan” 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.


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