Unicist Learning

Building the Guiding Idea in Adults´ Learning Process

The Research on the Ontology of Human Learning developed at The Unicist Research Institute showed that the development of the guiding idea in the learning process of adults is the decisive step to begin the learning process. If there is no clear guiding idea, the learning process does not even start.

The Unicist Ontology of the Guiding Idea of Adults' Learning

The guiding idea of what is being learned is defined by providing an essential answer to the following questions in relation to the object of learning:

What is it?

The definition of the category of the “thing” that needs to be apprehended is the first step to apprehend its nature.

What is it for?

The “What for” of a concept that an adult aims to learn sets the functionality of what is being learned. If the learner truly understands the “what for” of something, the information on this functionality could be used in the future as it would be stored in the long-term memory associated with a concrete use and added value.

What is the differentiation within the category?

Once the essence of an object of learning is apprehended (what is it?) and the functionality of this concept is known (what is it for?), then the individual needs to approach the differentiation of this object of learning with other objects within the same category. Adults are only willing to learn if they know that the solution is “the best of the class”.


The Building of the Guiding Idea: The Key to Learning

The building of the guiding idea is the starting point for any learning process. Learning is one of the most freedom oriented actions. No one can truly force anyone to learn, no one can truly stop anyone from learning. For this learning process to take place, the learner makes an individual decision.

When the guiding idea is not defined, the learning does not begin, when the 3 questions are not validated, and are taken as truths, preconcepts and fallacies prevail, but when they are answered and taken in functional terms, a new door opens for the learning of adults.

And as Sun Tzu stated: Every battle is won or lost before it is even fought. The answer given to the essential questions of “What is it?”, “What is for?” and “What is the difference with others in the same category?” define the success or failure of the learning process.

Unicist Education: The Adults’ learning process in complex adaptive environments

The learning context provides the framework that allows building a guiding idea to begin a learning process. The construction of the guiding idea of learning processes is the first stage to be fulfilled in order to make a learning process begin. Unfortunately, many adults prefer judging instead of assuming the role of a learner. Learning requires a personal decision that cannot be forced because adult people only learn what they need.

Learning ContextThe generation of a guiding idea requires that people are exposed to real value-adding actions and discover that they cannot achieve the necessary results with what they have.

The exposure of individuals to value-adding actions implies two alternative situations:

a) The individual can generate the necessary value.

b) The individual cannot generate it.

If the individual cannot solve the problem, there are two alternatives:

1) The individual is in a comfort zone and is not interested in acquiring a new knowledge to solve the problem.

2) The person needs and wants to learn to solve the problem.

Only the case b) 2) drives to a learning process. The design of learning processes needs to follow the unicist ontology of learning, which defines that, prior to a learning process, an individual needs to be exposed to a meaningful value generation process in order to be able to reflect on that experience and decide to learn or not to learn.

Unavoidably, the learning process in complex environments requires an action-reflection-action process that begins when the guiding idea of the learning objective has been defined. Meaningful guiding ideas sustain the success of learning processes.

Diana Belohlavek

NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute was the pioneer in using the unicist logical approach in complexity science research and became a private global decentralized leading research organization in the field of human adaptive systems. It has an academic arm and a business arm. http://www.unicist.org/repo/#Unicist

Unicist Talent Development: Research on the Genesis of the Strategic Style

The research works carried out at The Unicist Research Institute on the roots of human intelligence included the study of the behaviors that define the different functionalities of intelligences in the adaptation to the environment. This work included not only the research on the nature of the Strategic Intelligence, but also included the research on the nature of Ethical Intelligence and the Type of logical thinking an individual uses to apprehend the nature of a reality.

Functionality of the strategic intelligence

The different types of strategic intelligence define the way individuals adapt to the environment. The higher the maturity, the higher their learning orientation and adaptation capacity.

The life history of volunteers was researched seeking how they had developed their strategic style. We were surprised when we found out that the individuals’ strategic style began with their first adaptive actions when they were born.

A just-born child enters a hostile environment where he/she has to find the way to find a place and evolve. All the places in the world have an owner. That is why they have to find a way take their own.

The just-born develops a personal characteristic to search for a place. The approach he/she uses to search for a place is the strategic style. In order to approach hostile environments adults use the same strategic style they developed when just born.

This research opened new adjacent questions that influence the adaptive process of the just born. Is he/she the first child? If he/she has an elder brother there is a place that has been already occupied. Then he/she needs a different one. Is he/she a “expected” child or not? Are their parents living together?

There are countless circumstances the just-born child has to face to find a way to develop. Strategic styles define the way individuals adapt to conflictive environments. Operationally, they take different shapes. But their objective is unique: to ensure an adapted place in the world.

The Strategic Styles

Strategic styles are related to life plans. Each individual has a natural objective in life. When an individual matures in a specific field he complements with others to confront difficulties in the search of his plan. Nevertheless, if he cannot overcome the difficulty, he returns to his natural strategic style.

Now the functional strategic styles will be described:

Freedom fighter

The freedom fighter is a utopia-driven individual, highly individualistic. He looks for a “pertaining group”. From his point of view institutions are utopias, but groups are not. Freedom fighters are change agents in institutions. They oppose to existing ethics proposing a new ethical approach to reality. Freedom fighters are usually leaders that are followed by those who share their utopia.

Flank Defendant

It is an individual that uses his judgment to generate the need for a new solution and, having found the solution, occupies the empty space opened by his judgment. He is an excellent professional when he has the will to learn and keep himself updated in his field of action. In this case, his knowledge enables him to propose new solutions and innovations to improve an organization.


The frontal style is naturally functional to the institution he integrates: he is an “institutionalizer”. He looks for effective operational solutions using a direct approach to the environment. He delivers a high added value in situations where results depend on human actions.

Empty-space occupier

The empty-space occupier is the one who procures to add value in a field no one is doing so. It is a necessary approach for entrepreneurs, successful innovators and creators.


The research work showed that individuals’ behavior include all the strategic styles. But in case of extreme stress, individuals use their natural dominant style.

Being aware of one’s strategic intelligence makes complementation with others easier. Avoiding uncertainty permits avoiding stereotypical behaviors.

Models, like this one, facilitate a logical but imperfect approach to reality. Thus, uncertainty is transformed into a manageable risk. This way, individuals can empower their skills and complement with others.

More information on the Roots of Human Behavior:

NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute was the pioneer in complexity science research and became a private global decentralized leading research organization in the field of human adaptive systems.