Project Renaissance

by Win Wenger, Ph.D.

Project Renaissance began in 1970 with a group of people wishing to establish a university for the purpose of developing systems of accelerated learning and intelligence enhancement. A not-for-profit organization, MCM, Inc. was formed, with Win Wenger as president. In 1977 Win created Project Renaissance as a division of the organization and, in 1995, Win made Project Renaissance the official name of the entire organization.

Project Renaissance published over 80 books, monographs, and other special educational resources.

Project Renaissance focused its educational and research work into five main areas:

  • creative problem-solving and creativity/innovation/invention, and the arts
  • improving creative productivity in science
  • better methods of teaching and learning
  • actualizing and improving human potential
  • general/societal, where they contributed or offered solutions to major problems

Project Renaissance’s extraordinary development of more effective methods for creative problem-solving, for accelerated learning, and for increasing intelligence, is central to its efforts to empower people at large. In support of this goal, Project Renaissance is giving away, especially on its website, immensely valuable procedures laid out, one after another, for anyone anywhere in the world to pick up and use in his or her own situation.

Project Renaissance offered a number of workshops and training courses at a nominal cost where you could attend in person to learn and practice these techniques and even learn to become a trainer yourself.

An annual conference — The Double Festival of Creative Problem-Solving Methods and Accelerated/Enhanced Learning Techniques — was originally founded to celebrate the previously undiscovered 95% overlap between these two fields. It was held in the Washington, DC, area each year for more than 20 years, ending in 2014.


  • Many books, including Discovering the Obvious and Beyond Teaching and Learning.
  • An electronic newsletter, The Stream (formerly Capital Ideasmiths).
  • The Winsights monthly column.
  • Features and up-to-the-minute developments throughout this, the official Project Renaissance website.

Renaissance University

Project Renaissance’s development of accelerated and enhanced learning methods was part of a mission to reform education, directly and by example. We hoped to contact schools and universities which are interested in meaningfully improving their educational outcomes.

Renaissance University, if we had to create that separately instead of improving an existing institution, would be a multi-centered, international, liberal arts institution, intended to quickly become the very best teaching university in the world.

By the year 2015, a substantial portion of the salary of its faculty and staff would have depended upon the gains made by their students, across a broad range of measures. Such incentives are important toward achieving our goals since we wish the origins and control of Renaissance University to be as broadly based as possible, reflecting many programs and viewpoints besides our own. To advance these purposes, we warmly will welcome partners with their own well-developed and well-thought-out educational ideas and objectives.

Renaissance University was to have been dedicated to enabling ordinary students to become truly Renaissance men and women. Its main liberal arts program should have each student originally and meaningfully published in several professional fields by the time of their graduation. Renaissance University will also work to foster a renaissance in the arts and in the sciences.

Our techniques were equal to this task, but not our staff or resource base. Meanwhile, these techniques and some other invaluable resources are now yours, as you find some of them throughout this website.

The core beliefs of Project Renaissance

  • More often than not, the win of one of us is something of a win for many, most, or all of us.
  • As more of us become abler to solve the problems we variously encounter, at least some of the problems solved will bear on the common well-being, not only on the well-being of the solver.
  • Most problems, however they may seem intractable, can nonetheless be solved. And by you!
  • Given the useful techniques, any of us can find the ingenious answers with which to solve those and other problems.
  • You are brighter than you think!

The core mission of Project Renaissance

  • To enable as many human beings as possible to become more than a match for the situations, opportunities and problems or difficulties that they find around them, and
  • To enjoy a richer quality of life and experience.

Core Messages of Project Renaissance

You are brighter than you think! — Far brighter……

Each of us has stock responses, most of them trivial but not all of them so, to almost every situation and stimulus. These stock responses are based upon what we think we know, and based upon our partial inattention.

Every one of us has exquisitely more sensitive perceptions about each of those same situations or stimuli, if only we could get them forth into our full attention. Every one of us has within us much that is exquisitely worthy to be drawn forth into full attention.

Life is a positive-sum game. Play accordingly. Life features much, much more win/win (and lose/lose) than it does win/lose, though it has all of these, and we have to deal with all of these. (In dealing with these, psychology’s Law of Effect pertains:  you get more of what you reinforce.)

Above and beyond raw, meager subsistence Stone Age survival:  many or most of the accumulated benefits of civilization and culture are leftovers from the win/win elements of earlier transactions. One of the biggest win/wins is to draw one another out in the manner of Socrates, on your respective subtlest perceptions, thoughts and awarenesses — to get each other and yourself past your initial stock answers and perceptual short-cuts, to where your real power resides.

Draw forth in depth, from each other — and from yourself via tape recorder or journal — your richer, more meaningful perceptions and thoughts, and the bounty of the entire wondrous universe awaits you.

  • For a beautiful example of how to draw one-another out, see the Winsights column, “Mutual Lives”.
  • For one of many sets of ways to give everyone, even in the largest groups or classes, enough Socratic air time to be drawn out in depth and to draw one-another out into quality insights, please see Dynamic Format.
  • For the most sensitive, Einsteinian Discovery Technique, ways to work with and draw out your richest, most intelligent, wisest and most meaningful perceptions, please proceed to the online free book of the title, You Are Brighter Than You Think.
  • Also please note the problem-solving techniques — Over-the-Wall and High Thinktank.
  • See also the adventurously exploratory, discovering and inventing techniques: — Beachhead and Toolbuilder.
  • Check the richly and deeply accelerative learning technique, Borrowed Genius.

These free tools work readily for nearly everyone who tries them. Ultimately, who can do it for you but you? It’s up to your choice and your action as to what you want to do for yourself, and do for those whom you care about, and do generally — and when.

Win published Core Messages for specific audiences. Click the links below to view them.