A manifesto for flourishing
Flourishing describes the emergence of an ecological balance among people, our environments, societies and civilizations, and all beings in the biosphere. We see flourishing as a dynamic, cocreated, continual movement toward wellbeing outcomes and not a fixed destination. This is a shared vision for true sustainability – that we sustain the possibility for humans and all other life to flourish on this planet for seven generations and beyond. Indigenous knowledge teaches us that the care of people and communities is necessary to steward land, water, animal life, and cultures – that our local outcomes may have broad impacts in our communities, nations, and for many others we will never know.
Flourishing, as the goal of sustainability in enterprises emerged from the progress of the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group, which had its inaugural meeting in January 2012 and celebrated its 100th meeting on July 13, 2021. This core working group crossing the research and business community has cocreated and promoted the science, tools, and movement for strong sustainability or flourishing organisations. With the launch of the Flourishing Enterprise Institute in 2019, the investment of years of intellectual and human capital were directed toward effecting organisational, policy, and industry-wide change toward the telos of flourishing.
We envision flourishing as manifest in sustainability programs and ensuring that living beings on earth will thrive in evolutionary fitness throughout the human future, the lifespan we can be responsible for. We believe organisations, public and private, enterprises of all kinds, can contribute to the assurance of net benefit to life and habitats by adapting business models to new economic outcomes and organisational practices to preferred values of flourishing.
Flourishing also includes the systemic integration of net-positive human, individual, social, and cultural evolution through the praxis of care appropriate in each domain, attending to strong social sustainability. We say sociocultural flourishing is as critical as environmental, as people must first experience a commitment to a shared future (culture) before fully sustaining the communities and worlds in which we live.
We also see the flourishing goal as a movement that advances the necessity to transform the social practices of businesses to serve as organisations of social prosperity as significant contributors to social flourishing. We envision an audacious goal of transforming mindsets and decision-making of business leaders and entrepreneurs worldwide by 2030 to adopting flourishing, an extraordinary aim achieved through care and co-creation, not campaigns or coercion.