Elon University

The Imagining the Internet Areté Medallion

Arete Medallion AwardElon University’s Imagining the Internet Center awards the Areté Medallion to highly distinguished humanist innovators, change agents and thought leaders who have dedicated their lives to initiating and sustaining significant contributions that have positively impacted the global future.

From the ancient Greek, areté – pronounced ah-re-tay’ – is a noun used to describe people who embody goodness and excellence. Its definition has also encompassed virtue, character, dignity and distinction. People in possession of areté are people of the highest effectiveness; they use all their faculties—strength, intelligence, bravery and wit—to achieve real results of benefit to all.

In its essence, areté means excellence of the highest regard. In its earliest appearances in Greek culture, this idea of excellence was tied to the notion of the ultimate fulfillment of purpose or function, of effectiveness, the act of one living up to one’s full potential. In the Homeric legends, areté describes the highest level of performance in all of the abilities and potentialities available to humans; it is a true measure of an individual’s impact on the world.

Areté Medallion honorees

2016 – Vinton Gray Cerf

2018 – Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee

2020-2021 – Jimmy Donal Wales

About Imagining the Internet

The mission of Elon University’s  Imagining the Internet Center  is to explore and provide insights into emerging network innovations, global development, dynamics, diffusion and governance. Its research holds a mirror to humanity’s use of communications technologies, informs policy development, exposes potential futures and provides a historic record. It works to illuminate issues in order to serve the greater good, making its work public, free and open.