We are an energetic group that decided to package their knowledge to help others. We are passionate about what we do and we look forward to helping you RISE.

Our Valuable Team Members

Dr. John Vervaeke
Dr. John VervaekeChief Scientist

Dr. John Vervaeke has been teaching at the University of Toronto since 1994. He currently lectures in the Cognitive Science program, the Psychology department, and the Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health program and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards. Dr. Vervaeke also teaches Tai Chi and mindfulness meditation. His research interests include relevance realization, insight problem solving, general intelligence, consciousness, mindfulness, rationality, and wisdom.

His most recent publications include:

    • Relevance Realization the Emerging Framework in Cognitive Science (2012) with Tim Lillicrap and Blake Richards

    • a chapter in The Scientific Study of Personal Wisdom entitled Relevance, Meaning, and the Cognitive Science of Wisdom (2012) with Leonardo Ferraro

    • a chapter in SmartData: Privacy meet evolutionary robotics with Leonardo Ferraro entitled Relevance Realization and the Neurodynamics and Neuroconnectivity of General Intelligence (2013)

    • and a forthcoming chapter in Hypnosis and meditation: Towards an integrative science of conscious planes entitled Reformulating the Mindfulness Construct: the Cognitive Processes at work in Mindfulness, Hypnosis, and Mystical States.

In his spare time, he likes to read, travel, and walk his dog Bauer (otherwise known as Superglue).

Leonardo Ferraro
Leonardo FerraroSenior Consultant

Leonardo Ferraro is a life-long educator, having begun teaching high-school while finishing his undergraduate degree. He has taught at every level from elementary to graduate school, most recently training Teacher Candidates in the B.Ed. program at OISE. He has taught mathematics, sciences (including senior biology), physical education, psychology, and pedagogy. Consistently, across all levels of education, Leonardo has strived to empower learning, to teach his students not just subject-specific course-content, but how to hone their own learning.

More recently, Leonardo has been focusing on psychometric and psychoeducational work, helping assess learning exceptionalities and working with students, teachers, and parents in the project of constructing optimal learning strategies, as well as working with exceptional students in remediation and enrichment. This work is central to one of his main passions: the accessibility of education and helping every student maximize their growth and development.

Educated in Cognitive Science, Leonardo has long brought his work with Dr. John Vervaeke to bear in his educational and psychoeducational practice, also drawing on his graduate work, which focused on Developmental Neuroscience. Together with Peter Kozar, Dr. John Vervaeke, and Anderson Todd, Leonardo has helped build and develop the Sophia Framework.

Anderson Todd
Anderson ToddSenior Consultant

Anderson Todd is the Assistant Director of U of T’s Wisdom and Consciousness Lab. Following his training in Cognitive Science under Dr. Vervaeke, his current research interests include intelligence amplification, attentional neurofeedback, lucid dreaming, and practical psychotechnology. He is the founder and head organiser of the acclaimed Mind Matters series of conferences at U of T. In addition to his capacity as a teaching assistant, he consults as an enrichment education specialist for several private schools, teaching essential skills to enable gifted students of all ages from grade school to grad school. He is currently training towards his certification as a Registered Psychotherapist. He is also a three time shortlister entrant of the International 3-Day Novel Writing Contest, which he has participated in annually since 1999. He loves coffee, motorcycles, improv acting, and reading absolutely everything he can get his hands on.

Peter Kozar
Peter KozarPresident & CEO

Peter Kozar is the entrepreneur and visionary behind Sophia Group and the Sophia Framework. Since childhood, Peter has cut his own path, always choosing to challenge himself and the status quo. Peter began IT consulting in high school, and started his first company before university. During the 2009 global economic crisis he saw an untapped opportunity and founded Sophia Group to meet the shifting needs of organizations through business process management consulting. As he helped companies strive towards continuous improvement, it became clear that transforming organizational culture was about more than process – it was about people and potential. By bringing together a team of seasoned business professionals and academic scientists, Peter has spearheaded the development of the Sophia Framework to meet the competitive challenges of the 21st Century global marketplace. In his spare time, Peter enjoys international travel, bodybuilding, skiing, rock climbing, and exotic cars.