The word Arete of Greek origin most closely means 'the best one can be'. It was used in association with virtue, and one possessing of Arete was said to be of the highest efficiency, and used all of their facilities: Strength, Bravery, Wit, and Deceptiveness to achieve real goals. Someone with Arete is said to possess real knowledge and to be a seaker of the highest potencial. In association with labor this means to work with the goal of becoming the best at, the model, the ideal, of one's profession. A worker practicing Arete would seek the most knowledge of, the highest efficency in, and exemplary professionalism by use of their full potential in their field of work.
The Arete civic is particularly good for players who possess an empire with a significant number of worked Mine tiles, as the Arete civic adds +1 on each Mine. In addition to this, the Arete civic has the ability to use gold to rush production (however, owing to the bonus production you receive from the +1/worked mine tile, this merely supplements rather than complements the production bonus).
The bonus Great Person Point generation in cities that have the Runes of Kilmorph religion also allows the quicker generation of Great Persons.