Illumine was founded in 1996. Initially
Illumine's areas of work were limited to information visualization
and effective communication of ideas for the purpose of
education and learning especially in corporate environments.
As the years - and projects - progressed, the team at
Illumine began to discover (i) deep limitations in existing
notions of learning, communication, education, and design
(ii) a fundamental need in human collectives to evolve
on a sustainable basis.
Both these dimensions - the limits of knowledge and vastness
of human aspiration led to a profound journey of transformation
not just for Illumine's work (in the form of thought streams),
but also for the individuals involved within.
|| The first recognition
that change can be architected
There was now a recognition that change
can be architected, and education is intrinsic to human
evolution itself. And that these two aspects of transformation
are one and the same thing (i.e. true education, is manifest
as transformed human beings, and true change in a collective
is both causal of, and an effect born of transformed human
|| Towards a theory of
By 2003, Illumine was beginning to see
a cohesive picture of positive societal change. It saw
a dynamic of self negating change being replaced by a
new positive dynamic of sustainable evolution in collectives.
Model for Sustainable Evolution
|| Projects, influences
By now Illumine was clearly a space
(not just a place) where work was becoming a journey of
deep transformation for all concerned.
The test-beds were continuing, work was being done with
some truly interesting and productive challenges, and
specific “products” from Illumine's research
were being used by clients to address their internal (people)
and external (market) challenges.
While the core team continued to remain small, the number
of members in the “Illumine Collaborative”
(a model that only recently has been formalized but has
existed for long) was growing, influences were pouring
in from social sciences, philosophy, physical science,
Notable through this process was the two dichotomous cornerstones
of Illumine's work method - focus on effectiveness on
the ground, and don't lose focus on fulfillment of the
As this dichotomy drove projects, conversations, numerous
arguments, and fresh breakthroughs everyday - Illumine
was now reaching a point where it sought to crystallize
its almost encyclopedic range of influences, models, approaches
etc. into a simple, communicable vision for itself.
The purpose was seen manifest in powerful transformation
projects with two leading corporations. In both cases
(the industries were diverse the challenges apparently
unconnected - one in software and one in oil) the solution
was the same-to ensure long-term competitiveness, do not
offer strategy, technology, or training instead offer
each individual the power to evolve in the context of
Put another way, can we enable each individual to become
a solution designer such that the negative dynamic (of
codified knowledge, fractional community identity, poor
collective self esteem, and deeply limiting concepts of
personal competence) can be transformed within months
into a positive, freeing, enabling dynamic (just-in-time/
enabling knowledge, a new “whole vision” of
the community for itself, an affirming of personal aspiration,
and the creation of an "evolutionary competence"
view of oneself and the collective)?
Can each one be a designer of solutions and therefore
free to respond to the challenges facing the community
not necessarily at the individual level but certainly
in the context of the collective.
Can all of the above be done on a scalable, replicable
basis across large collectives?