OSI’s Mission and Values

 

This is a working document created by OSI’s team to guide our thinking, actions, and interactions. We reassess it regularly.

Mission

Our mission is to teach the rising generation about the importance of philosophy, the principles of Objectivism, and related ideas for living fully and advancing liberty.

Vision

Our vision is a world in which active-minded people understand and live by rational philosophy and support freedom on solid ground.

Product

Our product is philosophy for freedom and flourishing, delivered with warmth and clarity.

Customers

We have two kinds of customers: (1) active-minded young people who want to excel in life and fight for liberty; and (2) successful people who want to support OSI financially because we advance their values.

Principles and Practices

 

Superlative Customer Service

We are obsessed with serving our customers, which means: (1) helping young people to understand and live by the philosophic ideas on which freedom and flourishing depend; and, consequently, (2) advancing our supporters’ values in the most fundamental, effective way possible.

Value-Up Approach

We meet people at their life-serving values and help them to grow intellectually from there. Whether they want to think more clearly, to advance their education or career, to establish or build good relationships, to enjoy the arts more deeply, or to defend freedom more effectively—we introduce them to, and/or help them better understand, powerful ideas for achieving their goals.

Spiral Theory of Engagement

When active-minded people see that rational philosophic principles can help them to think better and live better in one aspect of life, they naturally become curious whether such principles can help them in others. On further investigation, they discover that they can and become even more curious. Over time, they integrate the ideas into an evidence-based system of life-serving principles. We invite people into this spiral and help them integrate.

Younger-Son Mindset

We constantly strive to innovate, to improve ourselves, and to increase our effectiveness at OSI. We choose to be younger sons.

Self-Management

We manage ourselves and do not need or expect others to manage us.

Conceptual Precision, Clear Communication

Because our product is observation-based, practical philosophy, and because such philosophy is fundamentally about the proper formation and precise use of concepts, we are committed to conceptual clarity in all our work: thinking, writing, speaking, teaching, podcasting, marketing, etc. We are committed to this not only with respect to ourselves and our customers (i.e., students and contributors), but also with respect to each other.

Attention to Detail and Use of Checklists

We pay attention to details, and we use and regularly refine checklists to maximize effectiveness and minimize errors.

Mutual Encouragement

We encourage each other to do our best work, take risks, level up, and deal constructively with difficulties and setbacks. We also offer constructive feedback when asked or when we see room for improvement.

Appreciation for Corrections and Suggestions

We are eager to be corrected when we err, open to suggestions for improvement, and grateful for such help when it is offered.

Timeliness and Completion

When a project or task is ours to complete, we get it done in a timely manner and meet our deadline. If we are unable to meet a deadline, we let the appropriate people know as soon as possible, and we do what we can to make up for any trouble caused by the delay.

Ownership of Errors, Apologies when Warranted

When we err, we acknowledge it (openly when appropriate), learn from it, and do our best to avoid making that same mistake in the future. If our error causes someone else trouble, we apologize and, if warranted, make amends. This keeps the “air” clear, fosters trust, and accelerates personal and professional growth.

Home-Base Strategy

OSI is not a cloistered community, monastery, or ivory tower. Rather, it’s a home-base for our intellectual and professional activities and development. It’s a place to engage with active-minded people; to brainstorm and critically discuss ideas; to get helpful feedback and editing on our work; and generally to assist each other with projects, promotions, and personal and professional advancement.

If you’d like to join us, see OSI internship opportunities here and career openings here.