Eight Areas of Inquiry

With a mission to create world-changing dialogue on health care and the human endeavor, the Octagon will host new conversations among the greatest thinkers, writers, politicians, entrepreneurs, educators and speakers in the world. The dialogue will be based on vitalistic philosophy: the understanding and principle that all organic systems in the universe are conscious, self-developing, self-maintaining and self-healing.

These proficiencies are pillars that collectively advance personal integrity and provide the foundation for professional success, social contribution and cultural change—all that distinguishes a Life education and defines the Life Movement.

Through the Octagon each of the proficiencies will develop its own principles and create its own platform for targeting change. Eight endowed chairs, occupied by leaders whose life’s work embodies the meaning within the proficiency they represent, will be the focal point for this development. It is envisioned that each chair will have staff, a budget and a world-acclaimed advisory board to assist them in their quest for meaningful and impactful change.

Integrity and Citizenship

What it is: Integrity provides the underpinning for the responsible exercise of our rights and responsibilities as human beings. Integrity leads to empowerment and excellence, while a lack of integrity results in mediocrity.

The Octagon Goal: To improve awareness of the role of managing integrity on personal, governmental and societal outcomes.

How it Lives at Life: Life teaches students how to manage personal integrity and function as valued citizens within the academic, health care and larger communities.

Societal Outcomes:

Increase student integrity on university campuses
Develop guidelines for corporate integrity management
Inspire political integrity
Increase citizenship excellence among residents within communities

Communication and Relationship Theory/Skills

What it is: An ability to communicate effectively and the capacity for building relationships with others are critical factors in personal, business and life success.

The Octagon Goal: To provide ‘real world’ applications for communication models in the literature and to explore communication models reflecting innate principles.

How it Lives at Life: Life challenges its students to develop and utilize the skills of effective listening, empathy, interpersonal dialogue and public speaking to create clear communications and foster meaningful professional relationships with members of the public, patients, colleagues and key opinion leaders.

Societal Outcomes:

  • Create a catalogue integrating the major behavioral typing systems into one unit
  • Explore ways to eliminate multicultural communication differences in education, industry and health care
  • Write a users guide for executives to effectively communicate and manage staff from multiple generations

Philosophy of Human Existence and Health Care Policy

What it is: Health care systems evolve from health care philosophies. Although our most institutionalized systems today revolve around a mechanistic view of health, Life sees value in a vitalistic view of human function. Life is helping spearhead changes that will revolutionize our nation’s approach to health care.

The Octagon Goal: To explore the impact of the vitalistic principles on broad questions of health care, and to bring Life’s approach to health care to life in public policy to significantly and positively impact how people manage their own health care.

How it Lives at Life:
Life faculty identify key issues of vitalistic vs. mechanistic health and teach students how to evaluate new information and direct professional dialogues that will lead to new health care policy.

Societal Outcomes:

  • Develop public policy recommendations to introduce an integrated, prevention-focused health care model to the US
  • Push legislation to change the health care system, lowering costs and saving lives
  • Create meaningful partnerships with contemporary medical facilities that provide choices to patients

Leadership and Entrepreneurship

What it is: Extensive research exists today that outlines the traditional hallmarks of effective leadership, yet is fluid in addressing the changing business climate. Sources stem from academia and business and include Warren Bennis, Philip Kotler, John Kotter and Jack Welch.

The Octagon Goal:
To improve understanding of how leadership impacts performance, especially in small and new enterprises.

How it Lives at Life: Life teaches students how to apply proven leadership skills in an entrepreneurial setting to build a successful business or practice. This same body of knowledge is used by Life administrators when shaping Life’s future programs and initiatives.

Societal Outcomes:

  • Write policy papers for government on how to create favorable tax policies that benefit and foster micro-business
  • Design business strategies to help micro-businesses thrive within poor, minority population communities
  • Build new media sites for practitioners to share information
  • Change business school concepts to real-time management and experience

Belief Systems and Performance

What it is: The continual learning of new intellectual tools along with the understanding of how to effectively apply these tools in business is critical to increasing future performance.

The Octagon Goal: To research, provide real-world application and to bring to the world’s awareness the link between cognitive activity and behavioral otucomes.

How it Lives at Life: Life exposes its students to a range of contemporary intellectual approaches and technologies that will help them reach higher levels of performance and professional success. Students learn criteria by which to judge the usefulness of certain technologies and their applicability to their learning styles.

Societal Outcomes:

  • Complete a comprehensive literature review of work in this area
  • Research how belief systems (visualization, meditation, prayer, etc.) affect performance and reality
  • Develop techniques to enhance human and system performance
  • Create positive environment systems where business assist their senior workers with understanding new technology and its application


Learning Theory/Critical Thinking

What it is: Learning Theory/Critical Thinking is the process of gathering meaningful data, synthesizing new information with existing knowledge, thinking independently and searching for practical application of this knowledge.

The Octagon Goal: To bring to prominence models of thinking that express Life’s innate approach to life.

How it Lives at Life:
Life engages students to use their learning skills for innovating in business and contributing positively to their communities.

Societal Outcomes:

  • Change public school curricula to incorporate critical/intuitive thinking
  • Map generational learning behaviors and experiences
  • Design learning systems for education, industry and health care


Contemporary Scientific Paradigms

What it is: For thousands of years and especially since Sir Isaac Newton, humankind’s scientific understanding of the functioning of the universe has been based largely on a mechanistic model. Contemporary quantum physics opens the door to a much more vitalistic understanding of human dynamics.

The Octagon Goal: To provide real-life applications for contemporary notions is physics, chemistry and systems theory.

How it Lives at Life: Life exposes its students to the implications of these models, especially as they apply to research in health care.

Societal Outcomes:

  • Create a self-guide for lay people that explains the implications of contemporary physics to life and health
  • Establish an international marketing program to promote adoption of a vitalistic paradigm
  • Foster Congressional discussion on goals of basing health care on prevention, lifetime wellness behaviors and vitalism principles


Integrative Change

What it is: Because change is one of the few constants in today’s professional environments, an educated person must learn how to evaluate, plan for and effectively use the element of change to impact controlled differences in the world.

The Octagon Goal: To develop and communicate models to facilitate change at the individual, organizational and societal levels.

How it Lives at Life: Life exposes students to tested theories and concepts to help them evaluate their usefulness. Students will learn how people integrate and accept new philosophies and skills for communicating new concepts in health care.

Societal Outcomes:

  • Hold symposia on how to effectively create widespread societal change
  • Write texts that outline avenues for social change
  • Develop curricula for teaching people the processes for producing integrative change


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