"The Creative Wack Pack" by Roger von Oech

"Innovation is a process. It requires discipline as well as creativity."

Guaranteed to make you question everything.

Barry Kayton
CEO (USA)

As an instructional designer Barry found the secret to great learning. Make it meaningful. Make it learner-centred. Make personalised, practical, powerful questions the key tools. And always make the mental model stand out. Barry co-founded Cognician with Patrick to make this kind of great learning possible at scale.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Intellection
  2. Relator
  3. Maximiser
  4. Strategic
  5. Learner

Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest

Alan Kay said that a change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points. I think it's also worth 80 EQ points. Understanding someone else's perspective means you're halfway to resolving any conflict between you.

Occasionally defaults to communicating through song lyrics and movie quotes.

Patrick Kayton
CEO (South Africa)

Patrick has a lifelong passion for understanding what makes people tick. He co-founded Cognician with Barry to create a platform and a company with the mission of making learning and behaviour change more effective by changing the way people think.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Strategic
  2. Futuristic
  3. Learner
  4. Individualisation
  5. Achiever

San Diego

"Do or do not. There is no try."

The solutions to most corporate challenges can be found in the Star Wars script.

Michael Leeman
Director

Michael is a serial entrepreneur, politics enthusiast and lapsed actuary. After 15 years in investment banking, he found the prospect of improving learning for all irresistable and joined Cognician.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Achiever
  2. Analytical
  3. Context
  4. Strategic
  5. Learner

Anything Brandon Sanderson writes.
Any classical music Eugene Yiga recommends.
Functional programming with Clojure!

The most powerful questions are also the simplest … "What is this?”,“Is this useful?"&“How does it matter?” ... if you genuinely put aside your existing assumptions.

Don’t ask about how we build our software unless you have a couple of hours and a comfortable place to sit :-)

Robert Stuttaford
CTO

Robert has been writing code for 15 years and is still not dead. As passionate about the craft of software development as he is about learning about the mind and how to operate one effectively.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Intellection
  2. Learner
  3. Relator
  4. Consistency
  5. Harmony

Antonia's Line, an irreverent Dutch movie about the true meaning of life, love and acceptance.

"People think that stories are shaped by people. in fact, it's the other way around."
– Terry Pratchett

If I didn't say your name or look at you, I was in fact talking to myself

Maritza van den Heuvel
Account Manager

Maritza has been a translator, interpreter, linguistics researcher, technical writer, product manager and most recently ran a small software team that built digital learning products. She epitomises the very concept of lifelong learning.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Learner
  2. Activator
  3. Strategic
  4. Futuristic
  5. Achiever

David Rock's work, especially his work on neuro-leadership.

"Neurons that fire together wire together" ― Donald Hebb

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.

Maryke Snyman
Account Manager

Maryke's mission is to help people to turn learning into performance. She started her career as a CBT (computer-based training) designer and since then has systematically worked in every conceivable role within the learning production cycle. Her current passion is performance consulting. If she can identify the performance gap, she can design a solution to close it.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Intellection
  2. Ideation
  3. Relator
  4. Strategic
  5. Learner

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…....The man who never reads lives only one." ― George R.R. Martin

Dangerous around cheese

Hayley Slater
Account Manager

The calling to live in beautiful Cape Town brought Hayley back from London and her career in financial services and onto developing local start-ups. Her belief is that by empowering your people you create market winning value. She is a lover of books and craft beer.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Learner
  2. Analytical
  3. Communicator
  4. Arranger
  5. Input

The Goon Show - Theatre of the Absurd to set your mind free

"Remember that extraordinary transformations are possible. Everything changes. Nothing is forever." - J.K. Rowling

I was born weird...

Jann Acutt
Learning Projects Manager

Jann has a chequered work history, starting as a social sciences researcher. Realizing she wasn’t cut out for an ivory tower, she travelled the world. Since returning, Jann worked in media in various incarnations before joining Cognician. She cares deeply about empowering people.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Input
  2. Intellection
  3. Strategic
  4. Restorative
  5. Individualisation

Laughter. Lots of it. Everyday.

"May the space between where you are and where you want to be forever inspire you."

Feeling things deeply is my superpower. I'm an empathetic badass.

Nicole Petersen
Account & Product Executive

Nicole survived three years studying Literature, Psychology, Media and Writing at UCT. She's currently fighting to get an Honours degree in Media, while spending her days learning crazy, new and exciting things from the Cognician family!

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Harmony
  2. Empathy
  3. Input
  4. Analytical
  5. Developer

Makai Creative.

"If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side."

Doesn't function until fed.

Rebecca Weiss
Junior Account Manager

Rebecca is currently studying Industrial Psychology at Stellenbosch University and is absorbed by figuring out what motivates people's behaviour. She is a lover of all things chocolate and wine and can often be found in a forest or by a river.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Positivity
  2. Learner
  3. Individualisation
  4. Includer
  5. Developer

Dwarf Fortress

"The first day is always the hardest. And it's always the first day."

Please keep your critical thinking with you at all time during use.

Antoine Chesnais
Data Specialist

Antoine is currently hiding from the French government, who want to make him an English teacher. He’s a literature major, but his interests range from linguistics to computer science, along with the philosophy and aesthetics of video games.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Input
  2. Intellection
  3. Restorative
  4. Ideation
  5. Learner

Zaireeka by The Flaming Lips

"Admitting you don't know is often the more truthful answer. Then you can try to find out."

This side up.

Francois du Toit
Developer

I would prefer writing a description-generating program over writing a description of myself. Wait, I just wrote one didn't I...

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Empathy
  2. Adaptability
  3. Relator
  4. Learner
  5. Connectedness

Out of the Tar Pit by Ben Moseley & Peter Marks

"Simplicity is a great virtue but it requires hard work to achieve it and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse: complexity sells better."
― Edsger W. Dijkstra

The owls are not what they seem.

Nikita Prokopov
Software Developer

For the past ten years, Nikita has been building web interfaces, backends and distributed systems in Clojure, Erlang, Python and Java. He's a long-time blogger, UX enthusiast and Clojure evangelist from Novosibirsk, Russia.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Ideation
  2. Responsibility
  3. Deliberative
  4. Learner
  5. Futuristic

Meditation – get to know the real you.

"The most important thing that you should be doing is what you currently are, right this second. It's called the present because its a gift."

Thinks the majority is always wrong and the minority is rarely right.

Oliver Powell
Developer

Oliver is an autodidact who is interested in just about everything. He loves learning, creating and spending time in solitude. Unconventional ideas and approaches to things tend to catch his eye. In life he follows some simple advice: "Whenever two paths open up to you , always pick the harder one."

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Futuristic
  2. Intellection
  3. Input
  4. Learner
  5. Maximiser

the movie: citizenfour

stay humble

Mouth may contain traces of foot sometimes

Geoff Kruss
Developer

Geoff is a long standing member of the EFF (no, not that one) with a passion for mastering his two lifelong careers: blowing up internet spaceships in Eve Online and software automation. o7

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Ideation
  2. Restorative
  3. Intellection
  4. Connectedness
  5. Relator

Manchester United

"If fate doesn't make you laugh, you just don't get the joke."

Feed coffee to operate.

Mark McFadyen
Junior Developer

Mark studied software development at CTU Stellenbosch, where he completed his MCSD. Mark has an undying thirst for knowledge, and believes that there's nothing in the world one cannot learn and master, as long as the will to learn exists. He has a love for all things Internet- and software-related.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Restorative
  2. Learner
  3. Ideation
  4. Strategic
  5. Futuristic

Putting an egg in your coffee.

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Do not disturb, unless I've had coffee.

Chris Etheridge
Junior Developer

Chris is a nerd at heart. He loves everything about technology and the Internet. He has a huge interest in software development and is thus studying software development at Varsity College while interning as a software developer. He's beyond addicted to coffee.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Futuristic
  2. Empathy
  3. Positivity
  4. Input
  5. Restorative

For stress relief, Tekken works 60% of the time, every time.

"Platform First."

Must Vape.

Regaardt Geldenhuys
Designer

Regaardt is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Audio Visual Multimedia at the University of South Africa. Always learning, he loves multimedia design and UX.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Strategic
  2. Achiever
  3. Learner
  4. Connectedness
  5. Intellection

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

UX is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it isn’t that good.

Can ramble when storytelling

Roxanne Pearce
Designer

Roxanne is a designer who has a big passion for designing and improving user experiences by understanding the why rather than the what. If she is not designing beautiful user interfaces she is exploring new restaurants as she is a bit of a foodie.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Relator
  2. Strategic
  3. Developer
  4. Positivity
  5. Activator

Only Connect
(A quiz show that makes you feel smart if you get anything right.)

Happiness = Reality – Expectations

May contain traces of nuts.

Careena Koch
Editor

Careena is a molecular biologist turned editor, and a fancier of apostrophes, en-dashes and bacteria. She also likes tea.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Harmony
  2. Consistency
  3. Context
  4. Learner
  5. Analytical

The Forest of Rhetoric

"Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life."
- Terry Pratchett, Jingo

Give me an hour and I'll make your brain explode.

Justin Germishuys
Learning Experience Designer

In an attempt to remedy his life-long struggle with confusion and uncertainty, Justin studied Psychology and Philosophy at Stellenbosch University. It made his condition much worse. He also enjoys reading PG Wodehouse while eating chocolate biscuits.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Ideation
  2. Strategic
  3. Learner
  4. Restorative
  5. Individualization

Watch the film "Astronaut: The Last Push" (Directed by Eric Hayden, 2012)

"Be the change you want to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi

A mine of useless and trivial information

Chris Hill
Learning Experience Designer

Chris has over ten years’ experience in technical writing and eLearning, and has worked in the education and finance sectors. He has a Social Science Honours degree and qualifications in management, marketing and accounting under his belt.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Learner
  2. Intellection
  3. Ideation
  4. Analytical
  5. Strategic

"The writer is the engineer of the human soul."

I sometimes involuntarily tap my foot while I am working. I am sorry.

Ivan Sadler
Learning Experience Designer

Ivan studied Fine Arts at UCT and runs a microscopic T-shirt printing concern in his spare time. He has previously worked as a technical writer, instructional designer, graphic designer, illustrator and freelance film critic. He also plays guitar, loves beer, heavy metal, and keeps a pet rabbit that lives inside a couch.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Context
  2. Ideation
  3. Empathy
  4. Input
  5. Intellection

Go climb a mountain.

Find everything you do fascinating and curious.

Can't resist a great metaphor or an adventure

Gabriella Garnett
Learning Experience Designer

Gabriella is passionate about potential and growth as well as integrating Applied Neuroscience into learning and development. Having studied Organisational Psychology, she remains an autodidact and works to apply what she learns into all spheres of life.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Strategic
  2. Learner
  3. Ideation
  4. Responsibility
  5. Connectedness

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood

They say that University is the best four years of your life. But I say: why make it four if you can make it six?

If anyone ever tells you that you have too much peanut butter on your bread, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

Robyn Ford
Learning Experience Designer

During her studies in psychology, Robyn was disappointed to learn that they would not teach her telepathy. Her other skills and talents include shrinking heads, tattooing, and reading and writing real good like. She has a passion for learning, life coaching, and community and individual development. Her Staffordshire Terrier, Poebie, is the master of her universe.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Strategic
  2. Individualisation
  3. Intellection
  4. Ideation
  5. Context

Walking and exploring. Getting lost!

"When in doubt; surrender."

Prone to distraction.

Christopher Garratt
Learning Experience Designer

When he's not daydreaming or people watching over a good cappuccino, Chris dabbles in just about everything. Languages, tennis, writing, meditating, motorsports, theatre, birdwatching ... you name it, he'll try it! (Well, just about. He's not too keen on extreme sports.)

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Input
  2. Intellection
  3. Ideation
  4. Empathy
  5. Adaptability

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