Purpose and Values

Our purpose is to promote human well-being in a sustainable world through education and action.

Education is a defining characteristic of the human condition; it is a key to human progress and well-being. However, formal, discipline-based education has generally neglected the higher aims of fostering wisdom, compassion and understanding of human nature. It has become increasingly specialised and focused on promoting individual and group privilege at the expense of serving humanity now and into the future.

This is the primary reason we established EWF. We aim to fill the gap between specialised knowledge and skills for short term, immediate objectives and the broader, interdisciplinary knowledge, understanding and wisdom needed to help meet 21st Century challenges and opportunities.  We have created a community where students (that means everyone) can collaborate to:

  • Explore what it means to be human
  • Examine the big issues facing humanity in the 21st Century
  • Apply theory to practice with the clear goal of enhancing human well-being in a sustainable world.

We provide:

  • Online courses that explore the nature and future of humankind and promote action for helping to shape human and world futures.
  • Open access educational resources.
  • Support for a like-minded community concerned for human and world futures and who wish to collaborate to make a difference.

Some core values, beliefs and approaches:

Our starting point is that humans are an amazing species, the most intelligent, powerful and potentially the most successful and benevolent on this planet and perhaps the universe and cosmos. Our purpose is to allow humans and humanity to flourish into the future.

Humans have evolved to a level where we are not just passive products of our genetics and environment but individually and collectively have a degree of free will.  This means that we can chose to act to the betterment of ourselves and the environment we are part of, now and into the future. We believe that our greatest responsibility is to do just that.

Recent massive advances in science, technology, economics and government have greatly improved the quality of life for many but also led to grievous global inequalities, environmental degradation, and existential threats such as nuclear war and genetic manipulation of our own species.  The world we have created is one of increasingly rapid change.  It is crucial that we are prepared (educated) to direct that change for the betterment of humankind and our biosphere.

Humans share many fundamental qualities but also display a great diversity of beliefs and world views. EWF respects and encourages understanding of all such beliefs and world views where they positively promote universal human well-being.

We can understand humanity and human well-being best when we go beyond traditional discipline boundaries and integrate the sciences (that touch on mechanisms), humanities (that explore meaning) and applied disciplines (that offer means to effect human well-being).  We also believe that experiential, reflective, collaborative and emotional learning are crucial ingredients in this process.