Grand challenges/Causes of Suboptimal Life Experiences

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Interested students are invited to contribute to this on-going research project to identify the Causes of Suboptimal Life Experiences.[1] In short, this research seeks to identify the many causes of the grand challenges, and to understand how those causes are interrelated. The purpose of this research is to identify the obstacles that need to be overcome, and problems we need to solve to attain flourishing lives for all of the world’s people, now and forever.

Researchers are asked to reflect wisely on the questions:

  • What kind of world do we want?
  • What obstacles need to be overcome, what problems do we need to solve to attain flourishing lives for all of the world’s people, now and forever?
  • What are the relationships among those problems?

This leads to a cause-effect diagram identifying causes of suboptimal life experiences—failure for everyone in the world to flourish and experience the greatest possible well-being, including all that is of value now along with ever increasing well-being and value forever.

The current diagram is presented in the outline below.

Students are invited to study the existing diagram, offer their comments in the associated talk page, and if you are confident you can improve the diagram, please contribute your improvements by editing the diagram.

Unmet Physiological Needs[edit]

Abridged Human Rights[edit]

Inadequate or wrongly-directed Education[edit]

  • Obstacles to accessing Education
    • Poverty
  • Relevance of available Education
  • Unclear or Unwise Education Goals
  • Poor Education Curricula
  • Ineffective Education Systems
    • Lack of focus on learning
    • Lack of focus on exploration and discovery
    • Not driven by curiosity and inquiry
    • Failure to use play as a primary learning mode.
    • Failure to emphasize experiential learning, learning by doing.
    • Lack of dialogue.
    • Lack of integration of subjects, problems, and experiences.
    • Failure to apply learning to solving the grand challenges.
    • Poor fit of education methods and goals to student interest, learning style, and goals
    • Educational institutions based on ineffective theories of learning

Prevalence and persistence of misinformation and poorly founded beliefs[edit]

Unwise Goals: personal, organizational, academic, national, international[edit]

Fragmentation of People because of differing Cultures, Nations, and Ideologies[edit]

Human Frailty[edit]

Emotionally Reactive Episodes—Impulsive and Destructive Emotional Reactions[edit]

Ineffective Economic Systems[edit]


  1. This essay first appeared on globalcircle.wikispaces. It has been adapted here with permission of the author. See: