Legacy Project Homepage

Susan V. Bosak


Researcher, Educator, Big-Picture Thinker, Author, Speaker, and
Founder of the Legacy Project

Susan Bosak collects optical illusions. "I like optical illusions because nothing is ever as it seems. Life is a lot like that."

Susan's research and education work explores systems complexity and big-picture synthesis. She connects the dots across many broad themes – human development, life course and aging, health and wellbeing, education and lifelong learning, community building, communication, literacy, design, intergenerational, science and ecology.

As an educator, her "classroom" stretches across the continent; she works with communities and organizations throughout Canada, the United States, and globally.

With a belief in lifelong learning, she connects with all generations – children, teens, young adults, and elders. Her approach is mutual learning across generations – learning from and with each other for meaningful impact.

She founded the Legacy Project, an independent research and social innovation group, because she feels "we're stuck in little stories. The challenge of this moment in human history is that we need bigger stories to encourage more vital ways of being and doing."

The big-picture vision is what Susan describes in her TEDx Talk as a 7-Generation World.

Her 7-Generation work draws on the long-term Indigenous concept in a modern demographic context. It's based on two decades of multidisciplinary research. It empowers generations to connect the dots and create a bigger 7-Generation story of change (#ChangeTheStory) for ecopsychosocial wellbeing.

As an author, Susan believes that we are stories – and so stories become our most powerful sources of wayfinding. The stories we create and share are everything. Research in marketing, politics, and social change shows the thing is far less important than the story of the thing.

"The 7-Generation work I do," says Susan, "is about your life story in the context of lives/life on the planet in the even bigger context of lifetimes across generations."

One of Susan's favorite ways to tell a story is through picture books. She sees an illustrated story as an art form that can reach all ages on many levels.

"Words and pictures go together so deliciously," says Susan. "It's like chocolate and peanut butter. They're great on their own, but all the better when they're together!"

Susan has written several bestselling books. Dream is a story about time, legacies, and hopes and dreams across a lifetime. It's a one-of-a-kind book illustrated by 15 top illustrators from five countries. Susan not only created the vision for the book, but worked on all aspects of its development and design.

Says Susan, "Working on Dream was a once-in-a-lifetime experience with an amazingly diverse group of talented illustrators. The creative energy was unlike anything I've ever felt before. The book is narrated by a wise old star who takes the reader on a whirlwind journey through life. I dedicated the book to my mom – who loved to look up at the stars."

Susan also developed the classic science resource book Science Is..., which has been translated into ten languages and is used in schools and universities internationally. Her other bestsellers include A Little Something and How to Build the Grandma Connection. She has two upcoming new books.

Her books have received many honors, including Parents' Choice, Teachers' Choice, Children's Choice, the Joan Fassler Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Literature, two Benjamin Franklin Awards, and a Visionary Award.

Susan has a diverse background. She holds an undergraduate degree in English and Sociology from the University of Toronto, and a graduate degree from Simon Fraser University in systems work. In addition to the social sciences, she has done work in the natural sciences. She is a certified Warm Data Lab Host (accredited by the International Bateson Institute), and has been an active member of several organizations, including National Council on Family Relations (NCFR); American Society on Aging (ASA); International Reading Association (IRA); International Communication Association (ICA); International Listening Association (ILA); and International Society for General Semantics (ISGS).

Susan is an inspiring speaker. She talks from her heart and takes you on a rollercoaster ride of ideas.

Her work has been written up in many newspapers and magazines, such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Toronto Star, Chicago Sun-Times, Dallas Morning News, Reader's Digest, and Woman's Day. She has done many interviews, appearing on radio and television, including Weekend Today in New York.

Susan gets a lot of her inspiration from the trees surrounding the Legacy Project's idea studio, The Cedars, in Toronto, Canada. She has more books than fit on her shelves, an ever-expanding list of questions and, of course, her dreams.