Lab behind the Initiative

Lab behind the Initiative

Lab behind the Initiative

ILLUMINE is a purpose-driven Knowledge Lab, based in Mumbai, India.

Illumine works towards realizing four key outcomes in society:
(i) Building individuals who are empowered from within, (ii) Re-building education around assimilation of knowledge, (iii) Enriching the quality of work-life, (iv) Developing self-enabled communities who can find their own solutions.

Illumine has a multi-disciplinary team from diverse backgrounds – such as engineering, business management, psychology, counseling, education, mathematics, philosophy, anthropology, architecture, and human development – that comes together to work on an outcome.

Our capabilities in the area of deep human learning
Our Technologies, Practices & Areas of innovation
Our ability to actualize Large-scale Interventions
Our Research & Development Approach
Our Lab Model

Our capabilities in the area of deep human learning

To achieve our purpose we have developed 4 core capabilities in the space of human learning and change:

We build several levels of human possibility skills – adaptive skills, etc.

We build new learning architectures, methodologies and tools that enable deep human learning at scale

We handle complex & large-scale multi-stakeholder challenges and find win-win answers

We build contexted assimilation engagements that allow these new skills and capabilities to be landed into real-world outcomes (e.g. making a salesman stronger or making a teacher stronger, etc.)

Our Technologies, Practices & Areas of innovation

Over the period of these years, the lab has built new technologies, new practices, and opened up several new spaces of innovation in the area of deep human learning and cognitive change


Knowledge Access & Discovery Solutions: To significantly enhance the way we access, utilize, engage with and assimilate knowledge

Building Knowledge Capacities: To help people build the necessary capabilities to flourish in a cognitively complex world

Knowledge Interventions: To bring about precise changes in thinking & value systems at scale

Sense-making & Envisioning: To enable partners to sense-make their present & envision their future in a digitally-rich, cognitively complex, socially awakened and user-empowered world


Illumine has developed several knowledge practices that together support the deployment of its technologies into a client/ customer context.

These include:
Cognitive Measurement
• Learning Architecture
• Knowledge Product Innovation
• Engagement Design
• Knowledge Tool Design
• Knowledge Discovery Processes
• Knowledge Modeling


Illumine has been developing deep & radical innovations for nearly two decades. Innovation spaces in learning & cognition include:

  • Discovery Learning, at scale: These can help change education/ training from a ‘tell’ focus to a human-centered ‘discovery’ focus.
  • Cognitive solutions, at scale: These help build “reflexive knowledge” at scale. For example: new self-awareness models, career discovery models & collective engagement models.

Our ability to actualize large-scale interventions

Besides having the core capabilities on the research and development (R&D) side, we also have capabilities in delivering and managing large scale interventions in the Indian context.


Example: Developing a 4-credit course forteaching the “contributor mode of mind” in a traditional university setting involved modeling the complex subject matter into 48 shifts which were further crystallized into a set of specific deep learning outcomes – each of which could be achieved in a single classroom engagement of ~45 mins.

Example: Developing a 3-year school curriculum for human possibilities education for class 7-8-9 involved modeling the subject matter into 18 possibilities which were further modelled into a series of specific shifts in vision & thinking, which could be delivered in a classroom engagement of ~ 30-35 mins. each.


Example: Building the contributor intervention in universities in India has meant finding an integrated model that works for multiple stakeholders – university departments, colleges, faculty, students, funders, and employers. This model has recently been included in the All India Council for Technical Education and is set to scale up across the country

Example: Creating a shared commitment to change across diverse stakeholders of the 200,000 employee-base of India’s largest bank needed an 8-month shared visioning exercise with key stakeholders. It also involved launching the program in 14 Indian languages and 4 separate versions for Senior Leadership, Regional Leadership, Branch & CPC Teams and Subordinate staff, respectively.


Example: The project for building a Citizenship Culture for India’s largest bank spanned across 3 years, during which Illumine’s design fees were in the range of Rs.100 Million (2008-11) and the overall budget for the initiative was Rs. 1 Billion.

Example: Building Sustainable business models for the insurance business for one of India’s leading financial services group involved the entire direct sales force comprising of ~5000 people and advisor network of over 100,000 people. Illumine’s design fees were in the range of Rs.150 Million (2014-17)


Example: Transforming the business model of an insurance company involved enabling all links in the sales hierarchy to adopt the new model – namely, sales heads (new dialogues & new measures), branch managers (new ways of governance), branch sales teams (new ways of outreach and recruiting distributors), advisors (new way of doing business, new ways of acquiring customers, etc.)

Example: For scaling the Awakened Citizen Program across all CBSE schools in India we created multi-level enablement packs – for master-trainers, trainers, and school teachers – which included class plans, facilitation guides, additional reference resources, Thus far 15,000+ teachers have been trained.

This broad range of capabilities allow us to be uniquely suited for building and delivering interventions which are large-scale and created to achieve lasting impacts in society.

Our Research & Development Approach

To do all of this work, we have developed our own unique version of design-based research (DBR) which we use for the purpose of building solutions to deep/ inside-out human learning problems. This particular usage of DBR is not done anywhere else in the world.
Applying DBR into a new 4-stage approach:

  1. Modeling problems – going deeper than conceptual learning problems to identifying deeper cognitive outcomes for a person in a given context.
  2. Leveraging world-wide thinking – identifying the relevant thinking approaches and pedagogies that are best suited for the purpose at hand.
  3. Designing the intervention and architectures – this uses traditional DBR methods like rapid prototyping, testing and involving users – to arrive at the most suitable knowledge representations, methods of learning, etc. that work in a specific context.
  4. Creating formal knowledge – assimilating and synthesizing DBR learnings and creating new Assimilative Knowledge FrameworksTM (AKFs) – that both explain past data & learnings and provide a framework for future predictive designs & improvements.

Our Lab Model

We seek to incubate and develop new knowledge-based businesses that leverage the research and intellectual property developed by the lab and create high-impact interventions in society.

Illumine’s knowledge creation work alone has thus far impacted more than 3 million people.