To support learners, families, and educators in creating what matters to them in their lives, through effective educational methods in alignment with principles and praxis of SelfDesign.
Under the governance of an elected Board of Directors, the SelfDesign Learning Foundation is a charitable foundation incorporated as a non-profit society under the laws of British Columbia.
SelfDesign, an educational methodology and philosophy, was founded by Brent Cameron (1947-2012) as Wondertree Learning Centre in 1983 and then as Virtual High in 1993, both under the authority of the SelfDesign Learning Foundation.
The philosophy behind SelfDesign has been the catalyst for creating the SelfDesign Learning Community and the SelfDesign Graduate Institute, both of which serve lifelong learning and foster innovations in personalized learning.
We foster engagement in the natural unfolding of interest-based learning through conversation, collaboration and co-creation, with curiosity as our lifelong pathway to transformative experiences.
We embrace heart-centred and co-inspirational relationships based on acceptance, respect, and support of one another.
We innovate and evolve our learner-centred educational programs and services based on an understanding of cutting-edge research in the fields of pedagogy, human development, neuroscience, and technology.
We live our shared values of honesty, authenticity, fairness, and openness.
We are responsible and responsive to our stakeholders, upholding our agreements to them and to one another. We assume individual self-agency and capacity while remembering we are part of the greater whole organization.
We are committed to excellence by providing first-choice educational programs and services that are inclusive, supportive and accessible to those we serve regardless of income level, personal or spiritual beliefs, or degree of need.
David Tait is a professor emeritus from the Faculty of Forestry at UBC where he teaches systems theory, computer technology, and statistics. He has been affiliated with SelfDesign for almost 25 years, first as a father to a learner in Virtual High, and then serving as a board member 20 years ago and again four years ago.
At an early age, David lucked into being attracted to the ‘aha’ experience and he nurtured this ‘addiction’ into a passion for math. He was able to capitalize the skills of abstracting, puzzle solving, and reflecting into the domain of systems analysis —which later led to his academic career at UBC. According to David, the simplest way to summarize his experience would be to describe himself is as “a grandfather” which gives him three generations of experience with ‘just growing up’.
Dr. Debora Linehan’s areas of expertise are in intercultural leadership and in business strategy. Debora is Associate Faculty at Royal Roads University. She also maintains a consulting practice focused on executive education and intercultural relations. As a scholar practitioner, her goal is to continue to advance the study and application of intercultural competencies in leadership and cultural integration in the workplace.
Debora’s career has been primarily in leadership roles within the financial industry. Most recently, she held the position of regional vice president with RBC. Her education includes a Doctor of Social Sciences and a Master of Business Administration in Executive Leadership. Debora has several industry-related certifications in addition to a Certified Management Consultant designation. She has also been active on several boards and as a community volunteer. Debora is a life-long learner and interested in the transformative power of education.
Verena was born and raised in North Vancouver, BC and feels most at home when nestled between the ocean and the mountains. In 2002, she began her work with Wondertree Learning Centre, first as an educator, then as Vice-Principal. Verena’s Masters of Arts in Integrated Studies allowed her to weave teachings from Indigenous Knowledge, self-directed learning, and living inquiry into her practice. Verena lives on Haida Gwaii with her husband and two daughters, where she is a Principal with School District 50.
Devon has a long and varied history with SelfDesign; he is an alumni of the Wondertree and Virtual High programs, predecessors to SelfDesign, and has roots in natural learning principles and practices. Devon brings 25 years of experience in software development – a curiosity first discovered at Wondertree, continuing into a career. Devon is passionate about the intensifying confluence of knowledge, technology, and culture that is opening so many directions in learning.