The statements below outline Clarified’s ethos.

A line in the sand. A set of guiding principles. A reason for being.

01. Excluding nobody benefits everybody

15% of UK children are estimated to be neurodiverse.¹ 31% experience psychological trauma in childhood.² Designing for the common denominator is exclusive. Let’s start from a place that’s trauma-informed and neurodiversity-aware. Let’s drive a society that’s more integrated. More compassionate. More understanding.

02. Creativity, not conformity

Creativity is magical. It deserves a healthy seedbed. Yet classrooms normalise a world with ‘right’ answers and ‘wrong’ answers. Expressing ideas that deviate from the mainstream becomes socially risky. This cannot be right. And it isn’t.

03. Losing the love of learning

We’re born with a natural inclination to learn. We lose it through coercive teaching. It’s not fun to be forced to learn about a topic you have no interest in. In this way, children begin to demonise the very concept of learning.

04. Curiosity & Curriculum

We have the world’s knowledge at our fingertips. Following curiosity beats following a curriculum. Children should be guided to delve into topics that excite them – and digital experiences should open the door. Imagine the benefits to society if every child left school with their own unique skillset.

05. Experts aren’t islands

The digital world can transform person-to-person tuition. Instead of learning from the best person within ten miles of your home, you can learn from the best people on the planet – on any topic. Digital should be revolutionising education. But schools are teaching children the same way they have for decades.

06. Be unreasonable

Try to disrupt the status quo; you will soon hit resistance. Your impassioned belief in a better way will be cast off as ‘unreasonable’ by others. Your quest for progress will make some people defensive. Entrenched. Paranoid. Yet the status quo isn’t working. We are failing children in schools. We are failing children in care. If novel ideas are unreasonable, so be it.

07. Design for human connection

Human connection is a precursor of happiness, learning and progress. Connection should be baked into digital experience. For all of us.

08. Belonging helps us bloom

In the tribes of our forebearers, children were raised by the collective. The need to feel a sense of belonging is stitched into our social DNA – unlocking self-confidence, creativity and emotional awareness. Belonging allows our identities to bloom.

09. In praise of child’s play

Free play is fundamental to happiness. Cognitive growth. New ideas. Yet children’s time is more structured than ever before. They spend less time disappearing into unboundaried imagination. And that has been linked with reduced self-awareness, increased anxiety and depression.³

10. Environment design & behaviour design

If you change the environment, you can change the behaviour. We know this. If you are creating a platform for children, involve them in the design process. Because if a child is struggling, it’s usually the environment that needs to change. Not the child.

11. Rediscovering rest

In a knowledge economy, we are paid to think. In a creative economy, we are paid to create. A rested mind is integral to both. Yet here we are: in an epidemic of sleep deprivation. We need to rediscover the reverence of rest – and its rewards.

12. Keep connecting dots

When you are young, you rarely know what life has in store. When you are older, you can look back and join the dots from one part of life to another. It’s okay to feel stuck sometimes. Keep learning new skills. Keep nourishing the brain. Find the next dot. You can connect them later.

13. Finding balance

The digital world is going to become more immersive. Let’s create environments where the digital world and the real world enhance one another. Meaningful life experiences cannot be fully outsourced to the digital world. But the digital world can make life more accessible, equitable and educational.

  1. The University of Edinburgh: Support for neurodiversity
  2. PACEs Connection: How many children experience trauma and PTSD UK
  3. Psychology Today: The Decline of Play and Rise in Children's Mental Disorders