"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 (UK)

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

The fragrance of fresh rainfall and allowing an elegant piece of prose to spill over your morning coffee!

"Sometimes the simplest of things hold the most beauty ... like toast. Yes, sometimes toast for dinner is an absolutely wonderful thing!"

Dangerously competitive champagne decorker – currently holds the distance title!

Cali Coetzee
General Manager

Cali loves the purpose that work brings and is insatiable for the challenge of new, better, right, and beautiful. She loves to write and develop reading materials and learning experiences that make a difference. Although she probably uses far more exclamation marks than would make a grammarist comfortable!

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Input
  2. Learner
  3. Empathy
  4. Strategic
  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
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

Published in 1993, still the best book to describe our present future: Things That Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine by Donald Norman.

"The world simply no longer cares how much you know, because Google knows everything. What the world cares about – what matters for learning, work, and citizenship – is what you can do with what you know." – Tony Wagner

Tends to talk a lot and very loudly and with way too much enthusiasm. #bubblelikeEno

Rhodé Odendaal
Account Manager

There is nothing more thrilling than seeing a team or an individual recognize the value of digital, and how it can transform lives and businesses for the greater good. Rhodé is an ardent supporter of the digital technology that helps us to live, work, and learn better as citizens.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Learner
  2. Achiever
  3. Input
  4. Responsibility
  5. Strategic

Chocolate fixes everything! ... And hugs! Hugs work well too.

"Look after yourself. You can't pour from an empty cup."

May contain traces of nuts.

Lou Mardon
Account Manager

Lou is interested in change management and leadership development. She loves to challenge herself and learn new skills. She's passionate about living with purpose and enjoys talking to people about theirs.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Strategic
  2. Relator
  3. Belief
  4. Achiever
  5. Positivity

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

Read at least one book for fun; there is so much talent out there that has to be supported and discovered.

"Put yourself out there. There is more gratification that comes in trying than not."

Firm believer in positive vibes.

Amanda Churu
Data Intern

A scientist at heart, Amanda recently developed an interest in learning all things data-related. She aspires to become a data analyst and hopes to contribute to the data science industry in the future. She also reads a lot of African Literature.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Positivity
  2. Achiever
  3. Input
  4. Ideation
  5. Arranger

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

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
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
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

Walks on the beach. Every day. Even in the wind and the rain.

"Never stop learning! If you don't use it, you lose it."

Has been known to be sarcastic on occasion.

Mike Hewitson
Developer

Mike has been captured by IT since the late 1970s and hasn't managed to escape since. He is a maker in all aspects of his life – from computer systems, to food, to furniture, to charcuterie, to tonic ... and really struggles to do things in half measures.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Strategic
  2. Learner
  3. Achiever
  4. Responsibility
  5. Input

Doing absolutely nothing but sitting dead still, concentrating on your breathing, and experiencing how the universe reveals its secrets to you.

""Man's life is like lightning; now here, now gone Green in spring, leaves turn red in autumn, Heed not glory nor disgrace Grandeur or decay but dew on grass." – Van Hanh "

Experiences scatterbrains at random times.

Jacques du Preez
Developer

Jacques is a software-development-crazy adventurer, stock trader, and explorer of the mystic nature of the universe.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

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

Diving the SS Thistlegorm, Ras Muhammad, Red Sea

"Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak." ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Have your people call my people, and we'll do lunch.

Gerrit Ellis
Compliance Officer

Gerrit has over 14 years' experience in Information Technology, of which 10 years were spent within global financial institutions. He is passionate about all things cybersecurity with a keen interest in global politics and international relations.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Relator
  2. Learner
  3. Individualization
  4. Responsibility
  5. Focus

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

Travel within Cape Town!

"Reflection furthers passion."

Not a morning person.

Ashley Jane Seymour
Designer

Ashley is an aspiring graphic designer who's fascinated by the intersection of content and style to create informative and appealing online layouts. She hopes she can apply this passion to the Cognician platform to encourage further engagement with its material.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

  1. Individualization
  2. Strategic
  3. Analytical
  4. Relator
  5. Restorative

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

Ray Bradbury said it best: "Live in the library."

"A few deep breaths in the morning are like rocket fuel for the brain."

Ignore the smoke coming out of my ears – I'm thinking.

Mlungisi Mthembu
Learning Experience Designer

Mlungisi has a background in music, science and journalism. The common thread joining these seemingly disparate disciplines is his insatiable need to learn and grow. The journey continues at Cognician, where he plans to unleash his superpowers!

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

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

A cup of tea and Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss.

"Accept what you can, change what you can't."

Dangerous if deprived of tea.

Laura Germishuys
Learning Experience Designer

Hoping to save the world, Laura did a Master's in Sociology, only to realise that knowledge isn't a magic wand. She didn't lose her belief in education though. In her free time, perfection is a cat, a fire and a good book.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Results:

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

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