Our Mission


We believe America is indispensable to spreading peace and prosperity throughout the world by adhering to core values of freedom, equality, and opportunity. Indispensable creates content to combat the rise of nationalism and isolationism in the United States through education and civic engagement. We inspire and empower people to spread these core values across America and around the world.

Our Team

Jim Arkedis, President

When I was ten, my family moved from Cleveland, Ohio to London, England. It changed my life. My parents realized they could give me the gift of travel, and by age 14 I had visited just as many countries. I was fascinated by different cultures. That’s why I went to graduate school in international relations, worked for the military and then a think tank on foreign policy. For four years, I ran 4DPAC, a foreign policy focused political action committee, and regularly consulted with international organizations like the National Democratic Institute on democracy-building projects in North Africa.

Scott Payne, Executive Director

I grew up in Vicksburg, Mississippi. When I was 15, my soccer team traveled to Costa Rica. Staying with a local family, I saw both how privileged American life is and yet how similar their family life was to my own. That trip inspired my interest in the broader world. It led to a career focused both on valuing and protecting American values, while and seeking to expand those opportunities to more people around the world.

I’ve worked in both the House and Senate, serving as  foreign policy advisor to Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congressman John Hall. I developed progressive national security policy and messaging at Third Way and veterans outreach as national Deputy Political Director for Veterans on the Kerry 2004 Presidential campaign.

Daniel Dart, Chief Strategy Officer

Born and raised in California, I came of age in Hollywood, and appreciated the way we engage the world in a very unique way. In my 20’s, I was a musician and got to tour the globe multiple times, where I learned firsthand how America is viewed and saw the impact of our choices. As Founder of DEC Artists, I’ve built media campaigns for some of the world’s largest organizations, I see how with the right leadership and message, we really are able to shift global narratives.

Zach Schenk, Associate

While growing up in Michigan, I had the privilege to visit various parts of Europe and Israel before graduating high school. When I was 18, I moved to Israel to complete my undergraduate degree in international affairs at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. I interacted with people from all over the world while studying and socializing. This showed me the importance of the United States in the global arena, not only in a diplomatic and logistical capacity, but also as an ideal that other people looked to. I've conducted research at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, and spent time interning on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Our Goal

Our goal is simple: Break through self-selected echo-chambers and educate Americans about the dangers of nationalism and isolationism and encourage public discussion. We want to tell the stories about all the good done by America and Americans in the world. We believe that doing so will create popular understanding that will help stop unnecessary wars, expand individual freedoms and equality, and create opportunity for American workers.

That’s why Indispensable appeals directly to the public, bringing the world to kitchen tables across America. We don’t issue talking points or fight loads of Inside-The-Beltway battles. We start new conversations by using credible and local messengers to break down barriers of misunderstanding and fear. We shed light on why being engaged around the world is so important.

Our Strategy

We create content that compels people to care about America’s role in the world and do something about it.

We provide Americans with first hand knowledge—proof that’s more powerful than any talking point or tweet—that the world is an interconnected and diverse place that benefits from our role in it.

We create campaigns to show people our values in action as proof of how powerful they are. We tell stories to explain that when America supports human rights, equality of expression, and economic opportunity that we are doing good, for others and for ourselves.

Indispensable is changing the conversation about America’s role in the world from the bottom, up.

Our Method

We create content to combat rising nationalism and inspire people to act globally to affect change. The idea is to inspire Americans to realize we have an important stake in the world and how they personally can have an impact.

The Three Pillars of Indispensable’s Work:

  1. Content: We tell compelling stories and make creative points about Americans’ positive role in the world.
  2. People: We identify and support new activists, encouraging people to both spread our content and emerge as leaders that endorse and act on our values.
  3. Action: We help leaders develop projects abroad and then share their stories in the press, at events, or in future Indispensable campaigns.