Dark Horse

The Dark Horse Project is a long-term investigation of human excellence and fulfillment. It is conducted in the Laboratory for the Science of Individuality at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is sponsored by the Center for Individual Opportunity. We are attempting to understand how women and men attain success even though their journey to achievement might not fit conventional notions of learning, training, and professional development.

The Dark Horse Project relies on the methodologies of the science of individuality. While most research on talent and expertise employs collective statistics to fashion models of “normal” development (an approach sometimes described as “aggregate, then analyze”), we attempt to understand each participant on his or her own terms, according to their individual nature, then look for useful lessons that can be derived from their collective experiences (“analyze, then aggregate”).

The ultimate goal of the Dark Horse Project is to provide everyone from youthful novices to experienced professionals with practical information to help them get better at the things that matter most to them, on their own terms, according to their individual nature. Put simply, we are trying to make fulfillment actionable.

We are always looking for new experts to speak with. Our participants come from in a diverse range of expertise, including athletics, science, mathematics, engineering, cooking, comedy, music, art, magic, chess, architecture, carpentry, politics, movie production, fashion design, wine tasting, perfume making, mycology, astronomy, dog training, poker, puppetry, and many others—and we are always looking for new domains to explore. Please let us know if there is someone we should be interviewing!

Contact Information
For more information about the project, or to nominate a dark horse, please contact project head Dr. Ogi Ogas (ogi_ogas@gse.harvard.edu).