The Meta Mindset is a graphical construct that describes the process broad thinkers in any discipline use to approach challenges, opportunities, and problems. It highlights the (often lonely and even frightening) journey common to all ambitious endeavors to create new social or commercial value. It fosters empathy by enabling us to see that each of us brings unique background, positionality, and valuable knowledge to every effort. The journey is fueled by curiosity, is always iterative, requires management of a wide range of risks, encourages collaboration, and is never a “sure win.” Practicing the non-linear journey is scalable - from individual assignments, projects, and courses to larger life challenges. The Meta Mindset offers a way to use every learning experience, no matter the scale, scope or subject matter, to prepare for the next larger challenge and opportunity by using each experience to refine our abilities to think broadly and proceed creatively and deliberately. It can be applied in any context to any circumstance in academic, professional, and personal life.

A roadmap for faculty and students

Dr. Chris Phillips


Lafayette College

Value in the process

Elias Mueller

Mechanical Engineering Student

Lafayette College

Relationship to problem solving

Dr. Jonathan Dahl

Computer Science & Math

Lafayette College

Highlighting what we bring

Dr. Alex Brown

Mechanical Engineering

Lafayette College

Teaching empathy

Dr. Jennifer Kelly


Lafayette College

Thinking about the process

Dr. Lisa Gabel       


Dr. Yih-Choung Yu

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Lafayette College

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