New ‘purposeful’ employee training program from Coursera, Kumanu

ANN ARBOR—As companies around the globe adapt to a new normal, future-forward organizations are putting employees first. Coursera, an Ann Arbor-based online education platform, announced the launch of Purposeful by Kumanu to help their employees stay more connected and focused on what matters most in life and at work.

Kumanu was founded by Victor Strecher, a professor of health behavior and health education at the University of Michigan. With the university, Strecher founded HealthMedia Inc. in 1998, an Ann Arbor-based company that develops and disseminates award-winning tailored health interventions to millions of users. In 2008 HealthMedia Inc. was purchased by Johnson & Johnson. Kumanu was founded in 2015.

“Coursera and Kumanu are both committed to developing technology that builds bigger lives, stronger organizations, and healthier communities,” Strecher said. “Our collaboration aims to help Courserians bring their best selves to work and life each day, so online learners everywhere can be their best in return.”

Purposeful is a groundbreaking mobile app designed to dramatically simplify the process of defining one’s purpose in life, and to connect that purpose to daily actions, building a more meaningful rhythm into each day. A growing body of scientific research demonstrates the positive impact of purpose on resilience, openness to change, and the ability to achieve post-traumatic growth rather than post-traumatic stress. Recent analyses of Purposeful users—against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic—find positive trends in strength of purpose in life and at work, resilience in the face of adversity, and in daily purposeful behaviors.

“Our employees see a clear connection between our work and Coursera’s mission of transforming lives through learning. We’re strong believers in the power of purpose,” said Rich Jacquet, Coursera’s Chief People Officer. “We’re pleased to partner with Kumanu to provide the Purposeful app to all of our employees to help them build a healthier rhythm into their daily routines and boost their well-being.”

The science of purpose is also the focus of a new course on Coursera, Finding Purpose and Meaning in Life, offered by the University of Michigan, led by Strecher.

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