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What is the CRI?

The CRI is co-constructing and sharing new ways of learning, teaching, conducting research and mobilizing collective intelligence in the fields of life, learning and digital sciences, in order to face the world's sustainable development goals (SDGs).

CRI develops and hosts educational programs, from preschool to high school (Savanturiers - Ecole de la Recherche), and interdisciplinary Bachelor, Master, PhD as well as lifelong learning programs, of the Université de Paris.

At the heart of CRI are an INSERM-Université de Paris research Collaboratory Unit and an innovative maker and digital labs.

CRI co-organised the World Innovation Summit for Education in Paris (WISE@Paris) and hosted the first edition of the Learning Planet Assembly in partnership with AFD (Agence Française de Développement) and UNESCO. A wide range of partners accompanies CRI including Paris City Hall.

CRI was founded in 2006 by François Taddei and Ariel Lindner with the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation as an essential and key supporting partner.

  • 350 students each year, 1300 students since CRI's creation
  • +40 research fellows
  • +30 000 pupils involved in Savanturiers program since Savanturiers' creation in 2013
  • +100 Scientific masterclasses with high profile external speakers since CRI’s creation
  • +100 000 subscriptions to CRI’s MOOCs since 2014
  • +50 nationalities
Our vision

Co-constructing a learning planet to confront the major challenges of our time

A learning society and a learning planet are organized to systematically promote the learning of individuals and collectives that compose them and enable them to solve the challenges they face.

Because our greatest challenges are global, we must develop a learning planet that facilitates learning through research, engagement and innovation at all stages of life: everyone must be able to document their learning, exploration and action so that others can learn from their successes, difficulties and failures, learn from their experiences and improve their solutions. We must develop a society where sharing, mentoring and cooperating are the norm and transform lifelong learning. Countries such as Finland, Singapore or Canada, that have been able to modernize their education systems show us that such changes are possible and that it is possible both to raise individual standards and to reduce inequalities.

CRI, founded by researchers specializing in evolutionary dynamics and systems engineering, brings together very diverse audiences throughout the world to design and prototype new learning ecosystems and new exponential dynamics in order to mobilize collective intelligence and thus accelerate our ability to meet the SDGs.

We have to learn how to take care of oneself, others and the planet - François Taddei - Chairman and co-founder of CRI

Our mission

Learning and researching together for a better world

As a society and a planet we face a major challenge : Humanity generates problems faster than the knowledge needed to solve them. Our mission is to close this gap by combining three approaches:

  • explore new ways to collectively learn, teach and develop pedagogical methods and digital tools to produce a generation of learners who will work together to create and share their solutions;
  • develop research and science for the people and with the people at the interfaces between the life sciences, learning sciences and digital technology;
  • contribute to transforming education and research communities and institutions to tackle the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Over the last sixteen years, with the generous support of the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, CRI has grown from a handful of people to an international renowned institute and a worldwide community with more than 100 teachers, 40 in-house researchers, 1,300 alumni, 30,000 Savanturiers pupils, 350 yearly students, 100,000 online learners including 30,000 school teachers. CRI evolved from 20 m² to a prestigious and award-winning 7000 m² research and learning campus hosting an ever wider range of programs for all ages and all walks of life (Bachelor to PhD, K12 - Savanturiers, lifelong learning, outreach, research collaboratory etc.). Furthermore, CRI is in high demand to offer new perspectives to traditional institutions from universities content to companies to ministries to intergovernmental bodies.

Our objectives

Interacting and interwoven objectives

We propose that over the next ten years, we will focus on four interacting and interwoven objectives :

  • Prototype and promote pedagogical innovations that develop original problem solving skills across all ages and layers of society, (i) to adapt our approach of training through research to SDGs, (ii) to build new methods to assess learning and acknowledge contributions to knowledge, (iii) to partner with other actors to scale up our pedagogical impact;
  • Develop and promote open research at the interfaces between life, learning and digital sciences by (i) building an environment that sustains novel interdisciplinary and collaborative research (the collaboratory), (ii) creating a research hub for the people and with the people, (iii) promoting SDG-driven, open and participatory science and technology;
  • Help build a global open source digital campus where learners can (i) access appropriate educational resources based on their interests and create learning paths adapted to their level, (ii) be connected to other learners and mentors, (iii) be evaluated and have their knowledge recognized (iv) participate in research and innovation for SDGs;
  • Foster collective intelligence that contributes to the evolution of learning places and institutions by (i) expanding, adapting and sharing ours and partners’ vision, programmes and know-how (ii) creating events and frameworks to recognize and mobilize collectives for the SDGs (iii) offering and instilling new perspectives to institutions willing to experiment and enhance collective intelligence.
Our values

In the tradition of Socrates and Humboldt, CRI is an evolving and fruitful framework of freedom based on key values.

Respect the freedom of others in all its forms. To get involved and discover, you have to be free:

  • to be yourself;
  • to think, question, learn and teach;
  • to research, explore the unknown, imagine, create, experiment;
  • to take risks, undertake and commit;
  • to fail in a setting where failure builds future success for oneself and others.

Trusting the other by default, an essential factor in a learning collective

Trust facilitates learning, mobilizes everyone's energies and releases creative thoughts. It makes it possible to expose and overcome differences of opinion, to share and build together. To flourish, it requires people to display integrity and competence, and to be kind to each other. This is what allows constructive criticism to be expressed.

Advancing knowledge, the source of progress and human development

“We are all born scientists”. Asking questions is what human brains were born to do, as shown by Alison Gopnik. We can all contribute to the advancement of knowledge, even the youngest ones, because we can nurture the art of questioning, have access to knowledge and technology, learn from peers and mentors, and be trained to take into account best practice in research and ethics.

Promoting the ethics of action

For Aristotle, knowledge takes three forms: Episteme, Techne and Phronesis. While the first two have given us science and technology, the ethics of action, is rarely taught in higher education. CRI encourages students to think about the applications and implications of their projects, the consequences for themselves and others, in the short and long term, at the local and global level to guide their approach throughout their careers and throughout their lives.

Foster the development of collective intelligence

"None of us is smarter than all of us"; no single discipline is smarter than all disciplines considered together. No one knows everything, everyone knows something and being enriched by our differences is essential for creating new solutions.

Our campus

The new CRI campus, whose site was graciously provided by the Ville de Paris, opened in October 2018 after renovations made possible through the generous support of the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation. The campus includes an on-site student residence comprising 55 dormitories, and housing is provided based on income considerations as well as how far students have to travel to get to campus.

Lead architect Eddy Vahanian along with Patrick Mauger and chief architect for historic monuments Daniel Lefèvre worked together to design a true learning hub where teaching and research intersect. The main hall, the Learning Centre, the Makerlab, the auditorium, the laboratories, the offices, the reception areas, the garden, the rooftop: every space is open and fluid (and often equipped with cutting-edge technology) to provide CRI members with an ideal setting for meeting and exchanging. This likewise makes the site an ideal venue for scientific or cultural gatherings, conferences, and events.

  • Eco-responsible building
  • A campus of 7300m²
  • 1200m² of laboratories
  • 12000 visitors each year
  • 55 accomodations avalaible for students and young researchers
Our partners and patrons

The Bettencourt Schueller Foundation has been a strategic long-term partner since the CRI was created. We also receive support from an array of partners such as Ville de Paris and the INSERM, and we receive grants from the Axa Research Fund, the European Union, the Investments for the Future programme, the French National Research Agency and MSD Avenir.

The CRI develops its degree and research programmes through the Université de Paris and INSERM.