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If you're someone who insists on relating to the world with curiosity and care, you might be a grokkist.

Why do we say 'insist'?

Because insisting on curiosity and care in a world that prefers conformity and efficiency is likely to get you into trouble.

Wonderful, terrible, occasionally traumatic trouble.

If you're a grokkist, your life may well be many weird, complicated and contradictory things.

But it's never boring.

If you're a grokkist, you probably accept all this in your stride as you march on with purpose towards a vague destination.

It's exciting, confusing, and lonely, and you wouldn't trade places with anyone.

And somehow, despite all you've seen and lived through, still you love the world.

Somebody has to.

Our most sincere wish is that you may find your journey more joyful and less lonely once you have a word for the way you are.

Welcome to the grokkiverse.

“I love having a word for the way I am” - Emily

How to spot a grokkist: 5 character traits to look for

1. Insatiable Curiosity

Grokkists are naturally curious about the world around us and the people in it.

We have a deep-seated need to understand how things work and why they are the way they are. We are not content with surface-level explanations and are always seeking a deeper understanding of the world.

This curiosity drives us to explore new ideas, ask unusual or difficult questions, and seek out new experiences.

We follow our interests and we do not rush to judgment.

“Curiosity is a main thread through my life that's led me to where I am today” - Carl
"I'm quite curious in general about anything. I don't know if that comes from getting bored easily or wanting to know something new or not being able to sit still. I always want to be somewhere where others are or where I'm told not to go. I'm always looking to connect with something, someone, or some place. That is a constant driver for all the things I do.” - Grace

2. Thirst for Learning

Grokkists have a deep thirst for learning that goes beyond formal education.

We are driven by our curiosity and love to soak up knowledge and experiences from a variety of sources. We are constantly seeking out new information and insights, and are always looking for ways to expand our horizons.

Grokkists can get restless and begin to shrivel up when there is nothing left to learn in our current situation.

“To grok, which is a way to find your own path and your own education and put different pieces together, is very much something that resonates with me.” - Sam
“If there's something that I'm interested in, I will find what I can about it and I will devour it and I will absorb it and I will assimilate it so that I can communicate it as best as I can. But aside from that, it's always been very hard to shape myself into the mould of somebody else's program.” - Michaelangelo
“I started developing these skills to kind of cater to my own needs” - Travis

3. Multi-dimensional Hummingbirds

Grokkists accumulate wisdom and experience from all over the place – we are gleeful interlopers across disciplines who don't fit comfortably (or willingly) in professional boxes.

We are often like hummingbirds, flitting from flower to flower and cross-pollinating different fields of knowledge.

We thrive on exploring multiple interests and finding connections between seemingly unrelated fields. This multi-hyphenate approach allows us to bring a unique perspective to our work and our relationships.

“It can appear to people as short attention span or changing your mind and your focus. But in fact, I wouldn't be where I am today without every part of what I've built. It's like opening doors. You've got more doors open and more things that you know, and that informs the opinion that you give or the advice that you provide." - Lara
“That excitement of going ‘oh my god, that connects!’ That's so super cool” - Myles

4. Squiggly Career

Grokkists tend to have unplanned careers – we prefer to follow our curiosity.

This doesn't mean we can't be strategic, focussed and intentional about the experiences we choose to participate in – on the contrary, we can actually be pretty intense about that.

We just don't like to be bored.

The point at which we've mastered something is usually exactly the point that we start feeling the need to move on. On the flip side, we sometimes feel frustrated that we are always starting again while others are further along.

But whether we know it or not, we are continuously weaving together our accumulated experiences into a Red Thread, which we share with others as practical wisdom that enriches whatever practice we happen to be engaged in at the moment.

“If I ever had a Plan A, I have long since forgotten what it was.” - Amanda
“I've never had a very planned career. I just find things interesting and I pursue them.” - Maxine
“When you have an overview, you can see there’s a red thread going through all of it – there's a line.” - Bo

5. Change Agents

Grokkists have a strong desire to use our knowledge and experience to make the world a better place – our curiosity is not just for nourishing ourselves.

We tend to be conscious change agents, whether as reformers, radicals, or revolutionaries – in other words, a professional nuisance.

Always looking for ways to channel our grokkistry into meaningful action and system change, we can't help but bring a breath of fresh air wherever we go - in our relationships and projects, in our community, or across an entire sector.

“Good people who know how to be curious, creative, excited, that’s what you want. What you don’t want is people who just want to tick boxes” - Peter
“It's really lovely to engage with the concept of a grokkist and feel that there's other people out there that think in a slightly abstract and different way. And it's really encouraging to look at all the positive applications, rather than just thinking that you are a tangential thinker who's a bit of a nuisance." - Lara

“It’s about going through your life where everything has a kind of preciousness and mystery” - Nathan

Can anyone be a grokkist?

It's a question we're often asked! We're not gatekeepers of anyone's language or identity, but since you asked, here's how we think about it:

Not everyone is a grokkist, but anyone could be. (yes, exactly like the 'anyone can cook' idea in the Ratatouille movie!)

Curiosity and care are natural gifts we all start with but often lose as we accumulate damage from being in the world.

A grokkist is simply someone who has made a choice – conscious or otherwise – to hold onto their curiosity and care in the face of what the world tries to tell them.

If you believe that anyone can rediscover their curiosity and care, no matter how unlikely it may seem, then anyone can be a grokkist. (yes, exactly like what happens in the Ratatouille movie!)

What's it like to be a grokkist? Exploring the grokkist lore

We think a grokkist is a great thing to be!

It can also be very confusing and overwhelming at times.

That's why a significant part of our purpose is to develop a vocabulary of concepts and a library of real-life case studies that articulate the grokkist experience and illuminate the practice of grokkistry.

We call this the grokkist lore.

The more we can make sense of our own stories and our way of being in the world, the better the story of self we can tell to others.

If you've just found out you're a grokkist and are realising there are others like you, below are some grokkist lore selections we think you will find most helpful.

Curiosity and care: the essence of being a grokkist

Curiosity and care: the essence of being a grokkist
A deeply reflective exploration of how an insistence on curiosity and care can transform our engagement with the world by re-enchanting our attention, deepening human connection, and challenging the transactional nature of modern society.

A deeply reflective exploration of how an insistence on curiosity and care can transform our engagement with the world by re-enchanting our attention, deepening human connection, and challenging the transactional nature of modern society.

The Red Thread

The Red Thread
Can you draw a line through all your many careers, projects and lived experiences? A line that runs from where and how you show up in the world to what you’re good at, what holds your interest, and what you care about most?

Ever felt that heart-pounding sensation when someone asks "so what do you do?" Do you know who you are and what lights you up most when you're not busy passing other people's tests? The red thread is a way to make sense of our squiggly stories and embrace our whole multi-dimensional self.

Still Curious Podcast

🎙 Still Curious Podcast - Grokkist
On the Still Curious Podcast, Grokkist founder Danu Poyner meets people who insist on relating to the world with curiosity and care and talks to them about the red thread that runs through their life story and which ultimately empowers them to flourish as their unrepeatable selves.

A living library of conversations with real-life grokkists. On the Still Curious Podcast, Grokkist founder Danu Poyner meets people who insist on relating to the world with curiosity and care and talks to them about the red thread that runs through their life story and which ultimately empowers them to flourish as their unrepeatable selves.

Old School School

Old School School
Redefine School: not a tool of the state, but a movement that arises from those who create. Whose mode of exchange isn’t monetary wealth, but Relationship and Wisdom as an end in itself.

When we say what we do isn't so different from what a university does, people tend to raise their eyebrows. That's because most people have allowed school to interfere with education in their imaginations. We think the systems are fine until the systems are blind to the very human beings for whom the system's designed – and we made a music video about it.

"We are all here to be mirrors for each other so we can become more accurate reflections of ourselves." – Michaelangelo

Ok so I'm a grokkist – now what?

The term 'grokkist' is our gift to you – we hope it puts a spring in your step and a twinkle in your eye.

If that's all you needed and we never see or hear from you again – go forth and grok on with our blessing.

The goal of our organisation is to make the world's most inviting home for grokkists – figuring out what that even means is at least half the fun!

If you're curious what else might be here for you or you want to be part of what makes our home inviting, we invite you to join us to see where our curiosity takes us.

Where to from here?

📥 Join our mailing list
Each edition of our free bi-weekly newsletter Scholé Supplement contains the latest from the Grokkist Press, a wrap-up of events and highlights from our community, and a care package of snackable outside links selected to nourish your curiosity.

🗓️ Come to one of our events
We host a range of free online social and knowledge-sharing events and meetups in multiple timezones where you can meet other grokkists, unearth connections, info-dump each other's passions, or just chill out and share a heart space. We also offer paid courses.

🔖 Become a member
We are a member-supported social enterprise. Our paid memberships not only unlock great benefits, they also enable us to offer our courses and services to those who need them but can't afford them through our Forget About the Price Tag policy.