The Curious Thinker Program

The program encourages a different approach to learning where scholarship and intellectual inquiry are important for reasons other than economic growth. The program is a place in which the founding principles of the earliest universities - to enhance knowledge and understanding of the physical world, human nature and all forms of human activity, to transmit and reinterpret the cultural and intellectual inheritance; to provide a space where speculative thought can be pursued, free from the obligations of financial value and give all those with enquiring minds the opportunity to be able to call on the expertise of academics, practitioners and innovators who are leaders in their respective areas of research.

A new approach means that instead of offering courses, examinations and diplomas, degrees or doctorates geared to the cultural economic axles of the status quo, the program aims to move the frame of reference on and develop a new, innovative, experimental venture, founded on the ethos of progressive learning which provides an alternative space for free thinking geared to the future as we imagine it can be. In spite of there being many centres of possible intellectual criticism and initiative, there is so much conformity, leading to universities becoming smaller models of the wider organised system; universities have become factories for the production of degreed technicians producing more and more of the same.

A new set of values with a wider focus on literature, philosophy, anthropology, music, politics and the visual arts taught by writers, philosophers, anthropologists, musicians, political scientists and visual artists encourages a more vigorous intellectual curiosity, a more experimental approach to what learning can and might be. This new model also offers a voice to theologians from diverse religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions throughout the world, to support freedom of spiritual expression for individuals and societies. Without proselytizing, theologians are able to provide knowledge, mutual understanding and respect of the beliefs and practices of their different religious faiths. Active learning through exploration, excellence and responsibility to the wider world through structures which are self directed, democratic and transparent is encouraged.

As there is no fixed curriculum, learning is based on the idea of individual autonomy with each person deciding what and how they learn in a nonlinear, flexible and collaborative process. The program inculcates a collaborative and informal spirit, experimental by nature and committed to an interdisciplinary approach, attracting leading artists, composers, poets and designers whose innovations and connections form a consciously directed, progressive institution. The ethos is the free exchange of ideas.

In a free and democratic society it is essential to provide such a space for people to be well informed and therefore, more able to change their own lives and societies for the better.

Application guidelines

Prospective candidates are invited to submit applications to the Society for Curious Thought throughout the year. There is no deadline. Applicants are asked to include one of the following -

• a letter outlining the applicants current practice

• a resume

• the names of two referees