Learning the Functionalist Approach

Unicist Education to Manage Adaptive Environments

Functionalist education became necessary because the 4th Industrial Revolution introduced a new stage in the social world. This stage addresses the empowerment of adaptability, which necessitates managing functionalist principles to handle the functionality of social, economic, business, and personal environments.

It demands the establishment of a new comfort zone grounded in a conceptual mindset. This mindset facilitates the management of adaptability, efficiency, and customer orientation, all essential for managing the ecosystem of businesses and their functions.

Functionalist business education is a superior education model for professionals who decide to go beyond the operational approach to businesses and manage their functionality.

Teaching cobots (collaborative robots) were developed to simplify graduate educational processes allowing professors to focus on the learning processes of the participants.

Learning to manage the functionality of business processes requires the use of an action-reflection-action process and learning-by-teaching activities.

Here you can experience the functionality of a teaching cobot to transfer the basics of the technologies used in functionalist education and integrate them with the benchmarks that are presented. Consider that the participants of this activity were exposed to the solution to a real problem and had access to the documents of the technology before the activity began.

Unicist business education is based on learning processes that are essentially analogous to “teaching hospitals” based on real problem-solving in adaptive environments but managing the functionalist principles to deal with the root causes of problems.

The Framework of the Unicist Functionalist Approach

The framework of the unicist functionalist approach establishes the logical approach that is necessary to manage the functionality of adaptive environments. The unicist functionalist technology is based on the research work at The Unicist Research Institute. It represents a distinctive approach to business strategy that emphasizes the use of ontological methods to understand and predict the evolution of adaptive systems, such as businesses and markets.

Here are some key components and concepts that define the framework of the unicist functionalist approach:

  • The Unicist Functionalist Principle: This principle states that there is nothing in the universe, which is part of a system, that does not work with a purpose, an active and entropic function, and an energy conservation function, which define its unified field.
  • Unicist Logic: The Unicist Logic is a synthetic logic that emulates the ontogenetic intelligence of nature. It was developed to understand and manage complex adaptive systems, both natural and artificial. Unlike traditional logic, which is based on dualistic approaches, unicist logic is a double dialectical logic that allows for the comprehension of triadic structures and the unified field of processes, evolution, and behavior
  • Unicist Ontology: This is a structured approach to understanding the nature of specific realities based on their functionality. It involves finding the fundamentals that define that reality to predict its behavior.
  • Adaptive Systems: These are systems that adapt and evolve based on external influences. Unicist strategy sees businesses and markets as adaptive systems and proposes tools to manage and influence them.
  • Pilot Testing: Instead of launching full-scale strategies, the unicist approach requires using pilot tests and unicist destructive tests to validate and find the limits of the functionality of solutions. This reduces risk by validating strategies before their implementation.
  • Maximal and Minimum Strategies: The unicist approach designs two simultaneous strategies. The maximal strategy pursues the growth or improvement of a system, while the minimum strategy ensures survival or minimally acceptable results.
  • Abductive reasoning: Abductive reasoning, structured by unicist logic, is necessary to define possibilities and build future scenarios and strategies, while deductive and inductive reasoning is needed to develop tactics and unicist binary actions to achieve objectives.
  • Unicist Binary Actions: These are two synchronized actions that define the tactics of maximal and minimum strategies. On the one hand, they open possibilities and on the other hand, they ensure the generation of results.
  • Double Dialectical Analysis: This approach is based on unicist logic and is used to understand the dynamic behavior of entities by analyzing their active and energy conservation principles. It’s a method to dissect adaptive problems and situations, allowing for a profound understanding and solution design.
  • Objects and Object-Driven Organization: The Unicist approach involves the design and use of business objects. These are encapsulated entities designed to produce specific results within a process. They add simplicity and efficiency by focusing on particular functions of a business system.
  • Future Research: Future scenarios are built to define the possibilities of a business. The unicist strategy employs a method to anticipate future scenarios by understanding the root causes, trends, and potential evolutionary paths of a given environment..

The unicist functionalist approach is not just a theoretical model; it provides practical tools and methods for dealing with adaptive business challenges. The emphasis on understanding the fundamental nature of problems and the underlying causes (rather than just symptoms) is a hallmark of this approach.

Unicist Reflection Driven Education in the 4IR

The unicist education model is based on five pillars:

1. A learning context is required before a learning process begins. Learning processes in adults require the existence of a real problem to be solved.

2. An adaptive learning contract that defines the guiding idea of the learning process and the conditions of the teaching and learning activities.

3. The development of business residencies, analogous to medical residencies, utilizes the unicist reflection methodology to craft solutions. Multiple experiences in solving real problems in adaptive environments facilitate understanding their functionality.

4. The use of learning objects that allow managing the personalized learning program of participants.

5. The professor’s role is focused on ensuring the development of solutions while driving learning activities.

6. This model became possible due to the discovery of the functionalist principles that define the functionality of things and the corresponding synchronized binary actions that make them work.

The Learning Context

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 Context

The 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 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 the Functionalist Approach

The functionalist approach is based on the fact that human actions are driven by concepts people have and that such concepts are stored in long-term memory. It is based on knowing the conceptual structure of what needs to be managed.

The functionalist approach requires using an abductive approach to apprehend the triadic functional structure of ideas, actions or facts that are part of a system. This requires apprehending their underlying purpose, active function, and energy conservation function.

This abductive approach needs to be integrated with the deductive and inductive approaches to generate functional knowledge that can be stored in long-term memory as a concept.

According to their functionality, there are different types of concepts. In a learning process what matters is that the intrinsic concept of something and its extrinsic concept must be apprehended to deal with a specific process.

The intrinsic concepts define the intrinsic functionality of things while the extrinsic concepts define the functionality of their use. Something might have an intrinsic and an extrinsic concept at the same time, for example, an airplane, because its intrinsic concept makes it fly, and its extrinsic concept makes it usable. Human actions have concepts where the intrinsic aspects and the extrinsic aspects are integrated, for example, the concept of leadership, because the relationship with others defines its intrinsic functionality and simultaneously its usability.

The apprehension of the intrinsic concept of something requires having sound technical and operational knowledge of such a thing. The apprehension of the extrinsic concept of something requires having a sound empathic approach in the field of application.

The Educational Tools

Unicist reflection-driven education is developed using the unicist standard language. This language, akin to musical language, must resonate in the mind to convey meaning. The unicist standard language is meaningful for those who have learned and can manage both the unicist logic, which defines the functionality, dynamics, and evolution of things, and the unicist ontology. The latter employs ontogenetic maps to describe the unified field of their functionality.

The tools used include:

  1. An Educational Platform
    • For managing residencies and programs.
  2. Unicist Reflection Sessions
    • Where the Learning by Teaching process takes place.
  3. A Forum
    • For exchanging experiences with colleagues.
  4. The Unicist Virtual Advisor
    • To assist in the development of guiding ideas.
  5. A Consultation System
    • To guide the development of solutions.

The Learning Curve of the Functionalist Approach

The management of the functionality of things requires passing a long period of time in which the knowledge does not suffice to develop structural solutions while many logical applications need to be assimilated until able to develop such solutions. Teamwork is the natural complement to feeling successful during the initial stage.

That is why the learning process to manage functionality requires covering different stages that define the learning curve of the functionalist approach.

The Decision to Learn

Stage 0) Discovery of the Functional Structure

The learner needs to rediscover that all that exists in the world and is part of a system, has a purpose, an active function, and an energy conservation function. It is necessary that those who need to manage the functionalist approach understand this structure (purpose-active function and energy conservation function) in an application field where they have sound technical and operational knowledge.

The confirmation that an individual is able to perceive this structure allows making the decision to enter the functionalist approach. The lack of this decision hinders the beginning of the learning process.

The understanding of the functional structures of processes demands less than 6 hours.

Part 1:

The achievement of stages 1 and 2 demands 3 months. It requires multiple applications of the unicist logic in terms of binary actions, which are two synchronized actions that aim at the same purpose.

Stage 1) The Unicist Logic

This stage includes the study of the structure of the unicist logic that defines the triadic structure of purpose, active function and energy conservation function, its laws of functionality, and the binary actions that make things work.

The learning process begins by being able to reason in these terms, read the unicist standard language that defines its functionality and apply it to define the functional structures of the fields where the learner has technical and operational knowledge.

The abstraction of the unicist logic makes the functionalist approach appear to be hypothetical and drives to the next stage where application rules the learning process.

Stage 2) Binary Actions

The functionality of things is driven by binary actions that make them happen. There are different levels of binary actions according to the complexity of what is being managed. There are catalyzing binary actions, driving binary actions, expansive binary actions, and results assurance binary actions.

The definition of binary actions requires being able to transform ideas into value-generating actions that hinder the annulment of actions generated by the reactions of the environment. All binary actions have the characteristic that one of the actions opens boundaries and the second action produces results.

The functionality of these actions drives to the next stage, which is the need to develop pilot tests and reflect on the results of the destructive and non-destructive tests.

Part 2:
The Structural Functional Knowledge

The acquisition of the structural knowledge included in stages 3 and 4 requires 3 months to expand the applications that were developed before by using the Q method, unicist reflection, and managing the complementation and supplementation laws.

Stage 3) The Q Method and Unicist Reflection

This stage requires the use of the Q method to solve contradictions between different definitions of binary actions that appear incompatible. The use of trial-and-error approaches needs to be avoided.

To do so, it is necessary to establish a logical approach using the Q method that includes a reflection process based on the feedback of the destructive and non-destructive pilot tests.

This is perceived as a static process which makes it meaningless if the dynamics is not explained. The dynamics of the process is defined by the supplementary and complementary relationships among the fundamentals that define the functionality of something.

Stage 4) Supplementation and Complementation Laws

The learning of the supplementation and complementation laws that integrate the fundamentals to define the functionality of a process requires being able to see both operational relationships and essential relationships. The supplementation and complementation are rarely perfect. That is what drives the evolution. If they were perfect, things would not evolve.

The management of both laws requires having a sound knowledge of the field of action and drives to the next stage which deals with the understanding of the synchronicity of actions and the timing of processes.

Part 3:
The Integration of the Functionalist Approach

The integration of knowledge requires 3 months of managing the synchronicity of processes based on the evolution laws and using catalysts to be able to deal with strategies and future scenarios in the specific field of action.

Stage 5) Synchronicity and Timing

An understanding of the synchronicity of the process is necessary to avoid generating fallacious conclusions. The synchronicity depends on the basic law of evolution and on the synchronicity defined by the conceptual structure of things.

The synchronicity of a functional structure needs to be managed to avoid generating paradoxical results. The timing of intrinsic concepts depends on the internal functionality of something while the functionality of extrinsic concepts, that deal with the use of things, depends on the restricted and wide contexts.

Therefore, this stage drives the need to use catalysts that are part of the restricted context to ensure the functionality of the extrinsic conceptual structures that have been defined.

Stage 6) The Use and Building of Catalysts

The final stage of the learning of the functionalist approach is the discovery, definition, use, or construction of catalysts to ensure the functionality of a process.

These catalysts need to open boundaries for what is being designed, be influential in the environment, and have the necessary timing to follow the process that is being built. When it is an extrinsic concept, the catalysts need to cover the latent needs of the environment that is being influenced.

The Unicist Adaptive Learning Taxonomy

The research on human adaptive learning, developed at The Unicist Research Institute, led to the finding of four structural stages that deal with the learning of the management of adaptive environments and the management of the root causes in these environments.

The learning process of the know-why of things and its integration with the know-how is necessary to learn to manage adaptive systems that are continuously adapting to the feedback from the environment.

It required developing an educational model that allows learning the use of functionalist principles to manage the know-why and unicist binary actions to manage the know-how. This model required the development of Teaching Hospitals in Business where the participants develop solutions while they learn to manage the know-why and the know-how of things based on a reflection-driven learning technology.

The four structural stages are:

Stage 1 – Finding Homological Benchmarks – Learning WHAT FOR

This stage drives the definition of what has to be produced. It needs to be a solution for third parties. To begin the process, the participants need to find in their minds the concepts of other experiences they had to work as homological benchmarks. A learning process on the functionality of adaptive environments can only begin if the learner has a homological benchmark in mind.

Stage 2 – Learning the Functionalist Principles and the Fundamentals define WHAT needs to be achieved.

The relevant aspects of a given reality are defined by the functionalist principles and fundamentals that underlie it. The learning process of the functionalist principles and their fundamentals is given by the use of learning objects that allow understanding of the unified field of an adaptive system. The goal of these objects is to provide the functionalist principles and the fundamentals of the specific relevant aspects of reality.

Stage 3 – Developing solutions and Pilot Tests – Learning the HOW of things.

The pilot tests are real applications in the specific action field that is being learned or in homologous fields when the full real application is too risky. Pilot tests allow learning HOW the knowledge works and is transformed into actions. The recycling process of the pilot tests drives the learning process in adaptive environments. It includes the use of destructive tests that confirm the limits of the validity of specific functionalist knowledge.

Stage 4 – Unicist Reflection – Learning the WHY of the functionality of things.

Unicist reflection is a pilot-test-driven reflection process. It uses abductive reasoning, unicist logic, and unicist deductive and inductive approaches to develop solutions.

Unicist Reflection requires having a final picture in mind, which means that the solution has to be emulated. It requires positive thinkers; individuals who see the bottle as half full, not half empty.

The specific reflection of the results of pilot tests produces improvements in the application process of what is being learned. It requires having a personal value-adding approach to seek the root causes of problems and build solutions.

The process ends when the destructive tests confirm the limits of the validity of the solutions

The unicist reflection-driven education model is based on five pillars:

  1. A learning context is required before a learning process begins. Learning processes in adults require the existence of a real problem to be solved.
  2. An adaptive learning contract that defines the guiding idea of the learning process and the conditions of the teaching and learning activities.
  3. The development of business residencies, which are homologous to medical residencies, where the unicist reflection methodology is used to develop solutions.
  4. The use of learning objects that allow for managing the personalized learning program of participants.
  5. The professor’s role is focused on ensuring the development of solutions while guiding and catalyzing learning activities.

The Unicist Reflection Process

Unicist reflection is an approach to complex human adaptive systems to understand their nature, define the possibilities to influence them, apprehend the algorithms that allow exerting influence, and generate added value.

Unicist reflection has no relationship with other introspective approaches like religious introspection, transcendent meditation, yoga, or other technologies that have been developed for different purposes. Unicist Reflection has been developed to deal with complex human adaptive systems, such as businesses, to develop scenarios, diagnoses, and strategies to achieve possible results.

The reflection process covers five stages:

Everyday Life Problem Solving

0 – Focus on the solution

1 – Dealing with projections
– Beta brainwaves suffice
– Destructive pilot tests

2 – Dealing with Introjections
– Alpha brainwaves are needed
– Non-destructive – Destructive pilot tests

Universal Problem Solving

3 – Dealing with integration
-Theta brainwaves are needed
– Non-destructive pilot tests

4 – Dealing with communion
– Gamma brainwaves are needed
– Results validation

5 – Dealing with the unified field

Metaphor of Unicist Reflection

1) It reflects outside
2) It reflects inside
3) The outside vanishes
4) The inside vanishes
5) All is one

Focusing on Reality

Focusing on reality implies the integration of two focuses. On the one hand, the focus is on the environment, which means trying to integrate with it and accept its influence.

On the other hand, focusing on the influence one is trying to exert on the environment. This level of reflection requires a fully adapted behavior. One must be at peace with the environment one intends to influence.

Learning by Teaching in Unicist Reflection-Driven Education

Unicist Reflection-Driven Education is based on “learning by teaching.” This constructivist approach hinges on expanding the participants’ comfort zone, elevating them to a superior level of knowledge that handles the functionality of things. This model naturally facilitates the management of adaptive environments, relying on participants’ commitment to devise a solution to an unresolved problem.

The functionalist approach was crafted to address adaptive systems and environments. It’s essential to recognize that, abstractly speaking, all systems exhibit varying degrees of adaptability. Operationally, adaptive systems are those where outcomes are contingent on feedback.

This functionalist approach culminates in the functionalist approach to science, a pragmatic, structural, and functionalist method applied to the real world. It employs an empirical strategy to formulate operational responses to functionalist requirements.

Unicist Learning by Teaching

This methodology is novel, demanding the creation of a fresh comfort zone to navigate adaptive settings. Once this approach becomes entrenched in high school curricula, it will fortify process adaptability, granting young individuals a platform to enhance their conscious reasoning abilities.

“Learning by teaching” encompasses two facets, unified by the unicist reflection procedure – action-reflection-action – for solution formulation:

  1. Learning by teaching generative AI models (e.g., ChatGPT)
  2. Learning by teaching peers

Learning by Teaching ChatGPT

Paradoxically, the advent of data-driven AI acts as a catalyst to amplify these possibilities. Given that artificial intelligence relies on data, it doesn’t grasp the functionality of entities rooted in principles. These principles translate into binary actions, driving functionality. However, through unicist debates wherein learners instruct the system about functionalist solutions, a conducive environment is established for learning by teaching. This method imparts a deep understanding of real-world fundamentals.

Unicist debates champion the notion that every participant’s viewpoint is valid, facilitating the resolution of conflicting opinions by assimilating and respecting diverse perspectives.

Learning by Teaching Colleagues

The “learning by teaching” based on colleagues merges a conceptual breakdown of a knowledge domain (clarifying the underlying reasons) with a real-world application demonstration, addressing a genuine issue using the functionalist approach.

Such integration stimulates discourse among peers, enabling them to assimilate the conceptual explanations alongside the practical solutions crafted post-clarification of all objections. The real-case solution is showcased as a pilot test that concludes post-teaching. It culminates when the instructing participant refines the initially presented solution and shares it with the attendees.

The Roles in Learning by Teaching

The pedagogical model incorporates three distinct roles: the ombudsperson, the coordinator, and the fallacy shooter. The roles are executed by:

  • The teaching participant, who assumes the coordinator role.
  • The remaining participants, who function as ombudspersons.
  • The “professor” who takes on the role of fallacy shooter.

A brief elucidation of these roles:

Coordinator: The coordinator is responsible for guiding the group toward the objectives that have been defined. They have full responsibility for the diagnoses and for achieving the results that have been determined as possible. The coordinator plays a crucial role in ensuring that the group stays on track and works towards the desired outcomes using unicist functionalist technologies.

Ombudsperson: The role of the ombudsperson is to monitor the value generation of the design processes. They are responsible for ensuring that the proposals and solutions developed by the group respond to the functional needs of the environment. The ombudsperson represents the “user” and focuses on generating value for the organization or clients.

Fallacy-Shooter: The fallacy-shooter’s role centers on validating solution functionality, relying on pilot, destructive, and non-destructive tests. The fallacy-shooter guides the group in conducting destructive tests to confirm the limits of the validity of knowledge and to evaluate the proposed solutions.


The unicist educational model is based on the development of unicist business residencies where participants have a space to develop solutions for complex problems while accessing the concepts and fundamentals underlying business processes.

Unicist reflection-driven education enhances the strategic approach of participants. This enhancement comes through their exposure to maximal and minimum strategy building, root cause management of business problems, development of unicist binary actions, use of business objects, creation of destructive and non-destructive pilot tests, and learning the management of fundamentals.

The Unicist Research Institute