Rebuilding the foundations of learning

We are incredibly happy and excited to present the creative portfolio of our first learner.

Visual Artist
Visual Artist
An up-and-coming pixel & digital artist with a unique perspective.
A budding programmer with a passion for calm games and deep logic.
A curious learner with exceptional work ethic and dedication.
A thoughtful teacher with a knack for explaining complex ideas.


Learning to make
Mon Jul 03 2023

What does it take to empower learners?

Teaching to fish is not as easy as it sounds
Learning to improve
Mon Sep 04 2023

What does it take to empower craftsmen?

Honing a craft is learning to persevere.
Learning to be
Mon Mar 25 2024

What does it take to preserve authenticity & nurture ingenuity?

Free spaces, deep work and strong will are key ingredients to preserve and cultivate authentic humans


  1. Refined Goodhart’s Law

    Any system with a test of effectiveness will optimize for better testing rather than better effectiveness.

    The very act of measurement undoes the effectiveness of the system. The most recent example for this phenomenon is Volkswagen cheating on their emission test.

    This is also evident in education. By having an endless series of tests that span the most creative, productive and formative stages of the human life, we significantly reduce the possibility of producing exceptional humans ready to take on challenges larger than themselves.

    We take free humans, force them into a box during most of their prime and then complain about their inability to think outside that very same box.

    By focusing on creative / living portfolios for assessments, emphasizing production and creation as markers of learning, we push young humans to care deeply about their work, cultivate a sense of pride, exceptional work ethic and well rounded integrity by respecting their ability to be creators.

  2. Industrial Age is over

    We need polymaths. A large, growing number of them.

    With advanced reasoning machines in the vicinity and high-precision robotics that can be driven by those machines a definitive outcome, an education system optimized for specialized labor force is obsolete. We need to make it possible for pre-industrial-revolution level of polymaths to emerge.

    It is time for the next generation Da Vincis, Leibnizes, Bharathis and Tagores. They are not going to spring up by themselves and definitely not as a product of a system that is intentionally designed for trivial specializations.

    We need rich environments where experimentation is the default, innovation is common place and failures are colorful feathers to collect. With Puthir we have envisioned and executed on such an environment, crafting, producing and thriving.

  3. Standardized Humans are AI fodder

    We need to enable intellectual mutation, empower divergence.

    Every standard human thought will be replicated by machines faster and better. All is not lost, though. We have been intellectually crippling humans by holding them to suffocating standards.

    It is time to remove the shackles. Let them see the world with their unique set of eyes and the colorful lenses they can make when judgments are reserved.

    There is an opportunity here for smaller nations and nimble economies that are fast to adapt, ready to experiment, willing to embrace systemic change. An opportunity to leap-frog the incumbent powers and jump right into extreme and rapid success.

    If you are such a nation or economy and are ready to experiment, reach out to us. We’d love to plant and nurture Puthir seeds in as many free and fertile environments as possible.

  4. Institutions must become breeding grounds of ingenuity

    In the age of intelligence, when knowledge is a commodity, the highest value is originality. The highest virtue, work ethic.

    The current assessments of educational outcomes, built for the industrial age are no longer applicable in the age of intelligence. Institutions that continue to assess and optimize for an era, now long-gone will be rendered obsolete by innovators at the blink of an eye.

    This is a good thing as institutions that are too scared to innovate and hug the cash-cows they have fed and bred are no longer useful. There is no place for those that cling to the old in the age of new intelligences and new knowledge.

  5. There is going to be a lot of fantastic work

    The rise of intelligent machines implies increased capabilities. Extraordinary opportunities and incredible possibilities.

    Those who dare to dream and those who skill to execute will shape the doors to new futures. Educational processes that imprison minds and deny dreams are no longer inefficiencies that we lethargically error-correct. They are systemic failures that will render their offshoots sterile in an environment of infinite possibilities.

    With Puthir, we have established a high-agency, high-production, high-value learning environment that has strong emphasis on nurturing strong-willed individuals that will take advantage of technological progress to reshape human trajectories.


foundations of learning

Puthir’s curriculum and pedagogy revolves around iteratively creating joyful learning experiences which allow the learner to engage, with play, purpose and contentment.

These experiences are tailored to grow with the learning cohort, provide them with agency while being malleable enough for the facilitator to adapt it to the needs of the learners.

Learning at Puthir is facilitated but autonomous, purpose driven, and oriented towards creation. Creative learning with an abundance of humanities and technology provides a platform for a balanced, capable and well-adjusted individual to emerge.

Poetry, Math, Programming, Language, Science and Art are not disparate subjects but are simply tools to bring alive the learner’s creations.

Evidence: Our first learner’s portfolio has his meticulously handcrafted artwork and fonts, well engineered code, precisely fine-tuned animations and thoughtful writing. There is a lot more to come over the next couple of years.

gardens, not tombstones

gardens, not tombstones

gardens, not tombstones

When learning is not assessed rather facilitated and observed through creations, a new kind of individual emerges. A gardener. Someone that has planted a seed and seen things grow.

The garden becomes the learner’s playground for the rest of their life. Every plant, every rock, every pathway can be tweaked endlessly as they grow.

There is no need to ascribe a purpose to learning something as there is no need to ascribe a purpose to planting a seed. It is self-evident.

Like the devoted gardener, the learner bows down to nature, the vegetation and no one else. Facilitators help them till the soil, give a hand when the water is too heavy, but the garden belongs to the learner.

Evidence: Our first learner’s portfolio is his identity, personal website and garden. He will continue to add, improve and fine-tune his creations forever.

meaning over mechanics

meaning over mechanics

meaning over mechanics

Learning has devolved into an exercise in fine-tuning the learner’s ability to score in exams that test accumulation of facts. As a society, we have continually optimized for testing well rather than learning well. Mechanics have superseded meaning.

This is especially true when it comes to mathematics as we are carrying over the pedagogy from the time when humans were the calculators.

At Puthir, with no hurry to complete something at a specific time, focus is always on meaning. Learning one thing really well translates to an ability to learn anything well.

What applied to calculators now applies to all forms of knowledge. In a short period of time, AI programs shall digest human knowledge and produce succinct and precise answers to difficult questions. What is the role of a human then? All the mechanics are obsoleted in an instant.

Evidence: Our first learner’s portfolio has hand-coded CSS, complex, custom built animations. This is only possible after understanding how things work. Producing pixel art at his level is an exercise in rigorous understanding of visual art and in many ways more foundational than anything traditional.

His latest project plays around with “what-if” queries on foundational ideas, a fantastic way to tease your understanding. Some of his future projects will demonstrate this in other areas as well.

learning to learn

learning to learn

learning to learn

From writing to printing presses to google to Chat GPT we are now in an age where retained value of human knowledge is worthless. A productive human is one who can learn from easily available knowledge, apply it cross functionally and make things that didn’t exist before. A person who can learn by themselves, learn in a way that allows them to separate right from wrong, assimilate and apply, is ready for the upcoming age of co-intelligent partnership between humans and machines.

Evidence: Our first learner’s portfolio is produced with bare minimal instruction. All his art is a result of dedicated effort, consistent practice and learning from his selection of youtube videos. Programming is a result of studying official/semi-official documentation from MDN, React and corresponding library websites. No stack-overflow. He successfully completed an Algebra lecture series (with assessments and certificate) to ensure regular curricular material can also be assimilated.

learning to awaken

learning to awaken

learning to awaken

Contentment results from finding your purpose. Most children go through school for several years without an opportunity to discover what makes them tick, what makes them go “yes! that’s me”.

A boundless learning system where someone is free to explore, make mistakes, try their hand at many things and go deep when their heart desires is where such awakening will happen.

Evidence: Our first learner’s portfolio is filled with joyful animations and delightfully quirky art. His programming projects gave him the leeway to find and express himself by creating custom built animations for programmed effects.

His projects are styled with handcrafted pixel art including custom hand-crafted fonts. The ability to express oneself completely while learning and creating is in essence awakening a part of your identity.

learning to work

learning to work

learning to work

Work is production. Creating things that are fine on the surface and in the details. Work involves paying a lot of attention to detail. Work involves struggling with hard problems for long periods of time. Work involves understanding systems and processes.

Assignments and examinations do give the students a fair amount of exposure to “work”. How does it happen at Puthir? Well, creating things and taking them to acceptable quality is work.

Evidence: Our first learner’s portfolio comprises of production quality art. All the programming is done by following reasonable engineering standards, git for version control, copious unit tests. His latest project is not limited to demonstrating his knowledge. He also illustrates, teaches and explores the ideas that were cultivated and assimilated during his learning process.

a never-ending journey

a never-ending journey

a never-ending journey

Our societal decision to conflate schooling, learning and the resultant rat-race has limited human potential to a great extent. When we redefine learning as a causal root for production, it results in a journey of exploration, learning and discovery that lasts a lifetime.

Evidence: Our first learner’s portfolio is not a result of strictly following a curriculum. Like how a flamenco guitar follows the dancer’s foot, the work defined what needed to be learnt. All motivation was intrinsic and/or purpose-driven. While it will take us beyond our lifetime to prove this claim to be true, cultivation of intrinsic motivation is a good indicator of learning that rarely ends.

What’s next?

We are gathering resources and collecting people to realize our vision of building the next Nalanda. We are on the lookout for people that are invested in the success of this project that can act as our conscience, guardian angels and when necessary, as our enforcers.

We are seeking a significantly large capital (not-for-profit) that will go towards building an inspiring campus, a dedicated team, and provide strong success guarantees for our first few sets of learners.

Until the larger project materializes you will find us working over here at Puthir on deep-impact-micro-scale projects and over at koodup on shallow-impact-large-scale projects, furthering our research and building up necessary learning infrastructure, team and capital.

The Solvers Club Centers and Embedded Spaces

We will be reaching out to countries and cities that are ready to seed systemic change to act as patrons in establishing large scale institutions and/or small-scale parallel schools that will have a lasting impact on the next generation.

We will also be partnering with large schools to create embedded Solvers Club spaces with or without a koodup membership.

If you want a Solvers Club space or a center in your school, city or country, reach out to us.

Reach out

If you want to throw your hat in support, a briefcase full of cash or significant clout our way please email us at [email protected].

Note that we expect your support to be non-transactional in nature. You should not expect anything in return for your support other than credit, gratitude and meticulous work from us towards accomplishing the goals of this project. You also acknowledge that you will not have any influence above and beyond a sincere listening ear.

Puthir is a mission driven project to rebuild education. Transactional relationships have a tendency to dilute / distort the mission and we’d like to make sure Puthir does not fizzle out like other noble endeavors in the past.

If you are looking for transactional engagement with us, we are open to more traditional investment models at our commercial sister venture koodup. Please email us at [email protected].

If you have questions or comments please email us at [email protected]. You can definitely expect a response as long as:

  1. You identify yourself properly. (No anonymous messages please. Any public record of your email address linked to your identity is sufficient. If that’s not possible you can decide on the best way to identify yourself.)
  2. Your message is pertinent, thoughtful and constructive. (Critical or supportive does not matter)
  3. You are not associated with any kind of divisive or supremacist agenda / ideology.

Your identity and our conversations will remain private and we request that you also value our privacy. We may post an edited version of our response here if it feels like something that will help the general audience.


  1. Is a physical campus required? Isn’t an online, internet based initiative more democratic and scales better?

    Yes. The physical campus will serve as our innovation center and deep impact initiative. Children learn better with tactile feedback, physical connection, objects and play. It cannot match the scale of impact that the internet offers. Our sister projects, koodup, focuses on that.

    Solvers Club parallel schools and embedded spaces will serve as bridges between old-world learning and new world being.

  2. Why do you have a commercial sister projects? Don’t they reduce the focus on this effort?

    Puthir aims to eventually provide employment to thousands of creative facilitators and scholarships to millions of children. Such an effort can be kick-started with generous donations, but in order for the effort to sustainably continue and thrive, it needs to be self sufficient. Koodup, Puthir and the Solvers Club will have a symbiotic relationship to sustainably accomplish and continuously deliver on the larger goal of rebuilding the foundations of learning.

  3. What is the governance model?

    For the first phase of Puthir 2.0 which will proceed until the point where a well-aligned, capable team is formed and successfully delivers the first couple of milestones, the governance will be led by an advisory board and the founding principles.

    Once the milestones are reached, the advisory board and founders shall provide visionary oversight, with the team taking over operational governance. The team will comprise of parents, facilitators and representatives from art and industry.

  4. Will the innovations at Puthir be open access to everyone?

    Digital versions of most of Puthir’s innovations shall be commercialized through Koodup. Physical versions will be commercialized through Solvers Club hubs & centers.

    Contingent on sustainability, Puthir will also offer heavy subsidies to public institutions.