Grokkist™ is a self-funded social enterprise that aims to help intensely curious, resourceful and collaborative adults who resist having their souls flattened by uncaring systems – ‘grokkists’ – to manage their psychology, self-actualise and connect into a world of educational and career opportunities designed to fit and unlock their way of being.
Grokkist was founded in 2022 by Danu Poyner, a lifelong grokkist whose career is squigglier than a Norwegian fjord and who eventually realised that starting a company to deal with this phenomenon is the only way he's ever going to get any peace.
Is this for me?
There is power in naming things. I wanted a name that encapsulates the positive qualities of people who are constantly absorbing new understanding, whose minds and hearts refuse to be tamed, and whose tolerance for bullshit is low.
I also wanted a name that acknowledges the sense of alienation we regularly experience when we live this way, which often begins at school and then continues into the workplace. And I wanted a name that reminds you that friend, it's them, not you.
So I am creating a home for grokkists. A place you can turn up to as you are, without the need to compensate for that feeling that you're always somehow doing things the wrong way, even though your way works and has got you this far with your soul relatively intact.
A place to rest, recharge and remind yourself who you are.
It's also a place for those who have grokkist friends, family members and colleagues who they love and admire but also sometimes struggle to understand and communicate with.
What happens here?
Grokkist is built upon three pillars of action:
- Articulate what it means to be a grokkist. Help self-identified grokkists manage their psychology, self-actualise and achieve their potential through greater self-understanding.
- Connect grokkists to each other and into a world of external learning, work and social experiences and opportunities that respect and reflect their way of being.
- Partner with grokkists to co-create grokkist-first learning, work and social experiences designed set the soul on fire. We call them grokkables.
It's still very early days, but the vision extends a long way. Right now, the focus is on creating a thick membrane of community among a small band of pioneer grokkists, while building out the website resources and laying the groundwork for growing a community that creates value for grokkists at every level.
About the Founder
👋 I'm Danu Poyner – founder and chief grokkist around these parts. I'm an Australian in my late 30s living in New Zealand.
LinkedIn is where I perform the runway-ready version of my background and achievements, otherwise read on if you want to get to know me a bit better on a human level.
I'm a high school dropout from the outer suburbs and I have a masters degree in public policy, an Executive MBA and a grab-bag of weird and wonderful accreditations. I don't believe much in credentials but they sure are handy to have.
I have an abiding interest in the nature of authority and legitimacy, especially in relation to knowledge, expertise and sociopolitical systems. I wrote a thesis about this. I don't like being moulded, disciplined or directed by arbitrary power and my less-than-compromising stance on this has taken me to some interesting places.
I am a gleeful interloper across disciplines and am known to hold up traffic at the intersections of many different subjects and areas of expertise.
I am ambivalent about technology as a force for good, by which I mean I have strong views on both sides.
I had a graphic design and IT training business in my early twenties, which went well up until it didn't. I ended up going bankrupt. I don't recommend it, but I learned a lot from the experience and it made me wiser and stronger.
I've usually been overemployed, underemployed or self-employed. I've had periods of money and periods of no money. Having it is better. I believe capitalism is the worst economic system except for all the others.
I believe you can tell a lot about people by their sense of humour. Beware of people who peer at the world through pursed lips.
My favourite author is Terry Pratchett. My favourite movie is Ratatouille. My favourite band is The Cat Empire. I like travel, tennis, playing piano, dogs and computer games.
Most of what I've done in my life has been about meeting people where they are and using technology and teaching to help them get somewhere they'd rather be.
For the moment Grokkist runs mostly on the fumes of my enthusiasm and the energy I get from my fellow grokkists and supporters. I've been paying my bills as an academic research performance consultant while I work towards making Grokkist my full-time gig.
If you spend time around me and my world, the one thing I can promise you is that it won't be boring.
How can I get involved?
If you support what Grokkist is about and want to help, here are some practical things you can do:
- Subscribe to the newsletter if you haven't already and subscribe to Still Curious on your favourite podcast service
- Tell your friends! Forward the newsletter, share Grokkist stuff on socials, leave a rating or review of the podcast - it all makes a big difference.
- Share your thoughts on what you love about what I'm doing here and what resonates with you
- Become a Become a Grokkist Supporter for just USD$20/yr. Your contribution gives both a financial and a symbolic boost to Grokkist's development.
- If you or your organisation are doing work on reimagining education, consider becoming a Reimagine Education member so I can highlight your work to interested grokkists. (membership page coming soon, meanwhile DM me)
- Consider contributing content to the newsletter or being a guest on the podcast
- Get in touch if you want to work with me on co-creating a grokkable.
- Put your hand up to help out with community admin, social media, content production, marketing etc, or whatever you're good at. I can use all the help I can get.
- If you're well-placed to provide more substantial financial support or investment and our values and interests are aligned, I'm happy to talk shop.