Our Mission

The Arcist Foundation is established to cultivate a community of learning and intellectual discourse beyond the span of the traditional academic system.

Our mission is to:

  • Support a community of lifelong learners.
  • Preserve a culture of curiosity and inquiry and an archive of its collective knowledge.
  • Advance society through a more educated populace.

To this end, Arcist facilitates regular meetings where members can teach and learn from each other, access archived educational resources, and remain exposed to a diverse academic environment.

Beyond Academia

Learning should be a lifelong endeavour. It needs to go beyond traditional academia, both in breadth and duration.

Our current education system excels at producing workers with expertise in their field to funnel into the job market. As students progress, each higher level requires more and more specialization. While this specialization is key to technological advancement, a healthy economy, and societal progress as a whole, we also lose some of the curiosity that comes from exposure to a larger diversity of topics.

Furthermore, when formal education ends, there is often little incentive or ability to continue learning in topics not directly related to a career. While there are abundant resources for continuing education, they are often self-driven, solitary activities that can lead to increased isolation for those devoting time to them. We need communities built around lifelong learning, where everyone involved can find a sense of belonging based on a passion for curiosity.

The Big Problems

Unfortunately, the most supportive and engaging communities can also be those least devoted to logic and inquiry, leading to a narrow worldview, lack of a growth mindset, distrust of experts, and susceptibility to the influence of propaganda and disinformation.

The most formidable and existential threats to our survival as a species are generally attributable to a general lack of education diversity and big picture thinking in the populace. Efforts to counter fascism, global climate change, biodiversity collapse, pandemics, discrimination, or extreme poverty are continually set back by a culture too dismissive of scientific consensus and too quick to succumb to tribalism.

The most effective and efficient long-term strategy for addressing the big problems of humanity is to foster a culture of lifelong, multidisciplinary learning. Regardless of education, background, or occupation, anyone can become a more informed decision maker through increased exposure to a diverse academic environment if built on a foundation of logic and scientific inquiry.