For seven years a core working group in the Toronto academic and business community has cocreated and promoted the science, tools, and movement for strong sustainability, or flourishing businesses and public organizations. With the SSBMG and now the Flourishing Enterprise Institute, our members have invested years of work and capitals to effect organizational, policy, and industry-wide change toward the telos of flourishing. Flourishing we see as the aim that sustainability programs are led to ensure that living beings on earth will not be prevented from thriving in evolutionary fitness throughout the span of the human future, the lifespan for which we can be responsible. We believe organizations, 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 organizational practices to preferred values of flourishing.
Flourishing also envisions the systemic integration of net-positive human, individual, social, and cultural evolution through 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 they are fully able to sustain the communities and worlds in which we live.
As indigenous perspectives have taught us, the care of our people, and our own communities is necessary if we are to steward land and water that is shared broadly by both our communities and many others we will never know. We consider flourishing a matter of emergence of an integrated ecological balance.
We also see the flourishing goal as a movement that advances the necessity to transform the social practices of businesses to serve as organizations of social prosperity, as significant contributors to social flourishing. We envision an audacious goal of the transformation of mindsets and decisionmaking of the majority of business leaders and the vast majority of entrepreneurs worldwide by 2030 adopting flourishing, an extraordinary aim achieved through care and cocreation, not campaigns or coercion.
We encourage all organizations, communities, governments and societies to adopt positive support for the possibility of their flourishing. We realize that for most organizations the goals of flourishing will be meaningfully realized over time, relative to their ability to marshal their internal movement toward strong sustainment and principled economic change.
The purpose of the Institute is to provide credible and actionable research, advisory services and design tools to accelerate the movement toward flourishing enterprises through rethinking prosperity beyond profit, responsive ecological stewardship, and pro-cultural social evolution. In this way human organizations will start to systematically remove their contributions to the root causes of the planetary crises and start to reverse its previous negative impacts on society and the environment.