“establish the great fundamental virtues of humanity”

– Confucius

Arete (pronounced a-ruh-tay) is an Ancient Greek character-based ideal.

It can be traced back to approximately 800 BC when the poet Homer of Ancient Greece used it in relation to his assertion that the moral imperative of a noble warrior was not only to attain personal glory above all others in military exercise and speech, but to attain it at the service of the State. Arete was used to signify the union of nobility of action and nobility of mind, and an accompanying imperative of honour.

Some four centuries later the likes of Socrates, Isocrates, Plato and Aristotle expanded the term to encompass essentially all-round excellence of any kind, especially in relation to living up to one’s full potential, being all one can be, or chooses to be, in service of something larger than self. Three core values or attributes most often associated with Arete over millennia are: virtue, excellence and valour.

A person of Arete is someone who has mastered themselves and can use all their faculties: strength, skill, bravery, insight and moral purpose to achieve results.

Cultivating such enduring core qualities – with similar and complementary notions also expressed in other wisdom traditions around the world – we seek to do justice to the highest generative potentials of humanity, and of life itself.

Inspired by this ideal we are developing plans for Arete Game, a new serious “game-of-games” that will be educating, entertaining, enthralling, expanding, entrepreneurial and elevating – enabling, supporting and advancing the kinds of missions, quests, challenges and opportunities for extraordinary inner and outer “levelling-up”, inside and outside of the game. It’s “the A Game for raising your A Game and ours“, and ultimately levelling-up humanity’s “A Game” forever…

To register to play the game, each player would be requested to sign up to the Arete Charter, an inclusive living charter which incorporates a character-enriching and self-empowering set of guiding values, principles and foundational rules of the game (this could be likened to, for example, the Fundamental Principles of Olympism from the Olympic Charter).

Arete.Games on the Limitless.Games platform can also be thought of as a new kind of “Olympic Games”, challenging and celebrating the very best of humanity, as players strive to gain mastery of themselves, and continue growing their individual and collaborative capabilities to effect valuable change and stunning societal progress in their local and wider world environments.

One of the many extraordinary capacities that the game will help players cultivate is:


In 1999, two years before her untimely death in 2001 at the age of 59, pioneering environmental scientist, teacher and writer Donella Meadows published a paper called Leverage Points – Places to Intervene in a System. She is best known as lead author of the influential 1972 book The Limits to Growth, commissioned by the Club of Rome, and Thinking in Systems: a Primer. A selection of her writings can be found here. 

Meadows began her 1999 paper by saying that Leverage Points “…are places within a complex system (a corporation, an economy, a living body, a city, an ecosystem) where a small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything.” She provided a (working draft) list of Twelve Leverage Points. Her top six, shown in increasing order of effectiveness were:

6. The structure of information flows (who does and does not have access to what kinds of information);

5. The rules of the system (such as incentives, punishments, constraints);

4. The power to add, change, evolve, or self-organize system structure;

3. The goals of the system;

2. The mindset or paradigm out of which the system – its goals, structure, rules, delays, parameters – arises;

1. The power to transcend paradigms. (our emphasis)

Meadows’ number one leverage point, the power to transcend paradigms, we see as a catalytic human capacity and “superpower”, and we call this: “Transception. Going far beyond just a technological definition based on transceive(r), we view Transception through a limitless “lens”, combining elements that include:

  • Trans: meaning across; beyond; over; through; on the far side of; to go beyond;
  • -ception: (slang) a suffix combined with a noun to indicate a layering, nesting, or recursion of the thing in question. Origin: from the 2010 science fiction film Inception, in which a team of people infiltrate the subconscious mind of a man, proceeding through several layers of dreams.  
  • Perception: meaning the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses; the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted;
  • Proprioception: the unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself. In humans, these stimuli are detected by nerves within the body itself, as well as by the semi-circular canals of the inner ear.

Hence, an extended working definition of Transception is expressed here as:

Transcending and including “standard” perceptions and perspectives, for richer sensing and sense-making – expanding, enriching and elevating consciousness, connection, imagination and creativity to continually evoke and elicit more extraordinary possibilities for individual and collective flourishing and evolution.”

This notion of Transception represents what we see as a “superpower” capacity and capability that can unlock all aspects of humanity’s generative potentials to their fullest extent possible, enhancing the foundations for utterly transforming our thinking, sensing, doing, perceiving, relating, co-creating, loving, learning, performing, playing, living and being…

The term used here for Meadows’ highest systemic leverage point, and the working definition above, continues to evolve, and can go by many “names”. The “name” is not as important as what this “superhuman” capacity and capability does for our selves, each other, and all the systems in which we are embedded, from personal to planetary, and beyond…

To find out more about anything on this site, feel free to reach us at:

If you would like to get involved in Arete Game, contributing your talents and growing your rewards and positive impact as a player, developer (in the broadest sense and application of the term), investor, scientist, architect, engineer, creative (all aspects), educator, researcher, entrepreneur, exponential technologist, law maker, or any other roles across public, private and civil society sectors that “raise our game” collectively, please email or tweet us at: or @AreteGame