Napanee native launches A.I. powered Next Knowledge to make learning accessible to all

Desirée DeCoste
Beaver Staff

After two years of development, Next Knowledge has officially launched to the market as a learning company dedicated to enabling deep learning and purposeful writing that remains out of reach for countless learners.

The Next Knowledge firm was co-founded by Lawrence Feld and Napanee’s Stephen Straker, who came together with a mission to change the world’s relationship with learning. Feld’s method and educational expertise partnered with Straker’s technology and business background led to the inception of Next Knowledge.

Next Knowledge is a learning company working to transform the way learners learn and teachers teach. Using a method and A.I.-powered tools, the team is striving to remove barriers that prevent individuals from achieving a mastery of comprehension and retention that will benefit them in every stage of life.

“Learning is a struggle for far too many,” said Straker, chief executive officer Next Knowledge. “Issues with comprehension and retention can plague individuals for their entire lives. Learning-based challenges lead to decreased confidence, stress and chronic underachievement. And it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Today Next Knowledge is a team of individuals that have come together to create lasting social value.

The team at Next Knowledge believe that education is a right, not a privilege, and they have designed their tools to help the many, not just the few. Because they believe that quality education should be accessible to all, they are working to make that a reality. Embedded in their business model is a social mandate to help as many people as possible. Next Knowledge stands behind a “buy one, give one” model: with every paid membership, Next Knowledge will give one to someone in need.

The business model aims to partner Next Knowledge with its members to deliver lasting social value.

Feld developed the LIRN method over 30 years ago after exhausting his entire toolkit while helping a child that was struggling to pass in school in spite of an extremely high IQ. Since developing the method, LIRN has been demonstrated to work effectively on thousands of learners from a broad range of ages and abilities.

“LIRN is a series of steps any learner can take to truly comprehend, retain and ultimately reuse the material in front of them,” Feld said. “The method provides the foundation needed for individuals to keep learning successfully in all stages of life. I’ve seen it work with almost immediate effect in learners ranging from masterful to the most challenged.”

Next Knowledge’s Artificial Learning Intelligence & Comprehension Engine, Alice, is the digital delivery agent of the LIRN method. Alice was designed to be a companion on a learner’s journey, always available and ready to give a starting place in the materials at hand. Alice works with learners through reading and comprehension, and on to help them create their own writing about the topic they’ve studied.

The primary issue with jumping into new learning material is finding a starting point, understanding what the material is about, what the various subtopics and relatable material is, and how to organize it into an approachable frame for study. Using artificial intelligence paired with a traditional proven methodology, Alice creates suggestions around topics, relevant highlights and more, providing a starting point for the reader. Once they understand the material, Alice helps them to organize their ideas into thoughtful, well-informed original writing.

Alice is designed to help any learner. The key is the companion nature of Alice, she stays with the learner while they are working with the material, making suggestions and helping them through the steps of reading and writing. Alice is equally effective for both the high-functioning learner with excellent study habits and the lower-functioning learner with fractured study and learning habits, and everyone in between.

“We’ve worked hard to create a product offering that can fundamentally change people’s lives,” Straker told The Beaver. “Our launch means that we’re that much closer to making that a reality. It’s thrilling, really. Perhaps, starting this business means that we have an opportunity to help a tremendous amount of people. That’s pretty incredible. We’re very eager and excited to ramp up.”

For more information on Alice and Next Knowledge visit

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