What's "Cogent"?

"What's 'cogent?'", you ask.

"Project based learning", we answer.

"No, really," you say, "What's 'cogent'?"

According to the dictionary, the word cogent [ko' junt] comes from a 14th Century French word that meant "necessary, urgent." Today's English word means about the same: "convincing; appealing to the powers of reason".

Our main purpose here is not to define a word or to introduce ourselves. It is to introduce a question for you, about your organization. "What's cogent?" What is needed now to create its future? What do your people need to build its capacity and their careers, and to support others doing the same?

In the 21st Century, having a global career and a corporate future means being able to communicate, cooperate, and perform well from the start, not only within your organization, but also with outsiders, with people and organizations different than you and yours. Such learning is not academic. It is not subject matter that can be studied, it is not passing a multiple choice test, nor is it, most importantly, anything that an individual can do alone.

So, what's cogent?

Our answer to the question is this: the learning that is cogent to global careers and corporate futures is project based learning. PBL and its family – internships, apprenticeships, mentoring, STEM instruction, problem based learning, and Maker Education – all of these build both physical things that make a difference in the operating world as they build key competencies. These are the competencies that make for careers going forward: empathy, imagination, systems thinking, rigor, cooperation, and management skills. This is project know-how. This is what enables practitioners to collaborate and contribute to their organizations, wherever they are in today's complex, conflicted, and turbulent world.

At Cogent Language, our mission is to help build project know-how for global careers and for corporate futures by project based learning. Our core competence is in designing and deploying PBL opportunities for organizations, including businesses, universities, schools, and NPO's.

So, before you choose a learning path for your organization, first decide if it is "cogent". Then compare its features with ours. For that purpose, here is a handy checklist.