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.
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.
Our vision is a world in which active-minded people understand and live by rational philosophy and support freedom on solid ground.
Our product is philosophy for freedom and flourishing, delivered with warmth and clarity.
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, live by, and advance the philosophic ideas on which freedom and flourishing depend; and, consequently, (2) advancing our supporters’ values in the most fundamental, effective way possible.
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 in 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 such goals.
Spiral Theory of Engagement
When an active-minded people sees that rational philosophic principles can help him think better and live better in one aspect of life, he naturally becomes curious about whether such principles can help him in other respects. When he discovers that they can, he becomes even more curious. Over time, he integrates the ideas into an evidence-based system of life-serving principles. We invite people into this spiral and help them integrate.
We constantly strive to innovate, to improve ourselves, and to increase our effectiveness at OSI. We choose to be younger sons.
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.
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.
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.