The Flourishing Enterprise Institute was founded in August 2019 in Waterloo, Ontario as a knowledge creation institute to serve as the applied research network to facilitate the new movement toward flourishing-as-sustainability among organizations of all types and sectors. The Institute convenes an international group of applied and design researchers, innovating to shift organizations toward achieving transformational change. The concept of a planetary network of applied research nodes is dedicated to accelerating the development and mobilization of practical knowledge and innovative solutions that will enable all organizations and their stakeholders to progress toward a flourishing future.
The Flourishing Enterprise Institute has adopted the term and idea of flourishing, in place of sustainability, as a more ambitious, scientifically-based and ethically grounded possibility for all life on our planet to thrive.
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 their previous negative impacts on society and the environment.
About the Flourishing Enterprise Institute
Indigenous knowledge teaches us that the care of people and communities is necessary to steward land and water shared broadly by our communities and many others we will never know. Flourishing is the emergence of an integrated ecological balance and the creation of the possibility for humans and all other life to flourish on this planet for seven generations and beyond.
Flourishing emerged from the work of the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group, which had its inaugural meeting in January 2012 and celebrated its 100th meeting on July 13, 2021. The core working group in the academic and business community has co-created and promoted the science, tools, and movement for strong sustainability or flourishing organisations. With the Flourishing Enterprise Institute launch, the investment of years of intellectual and human capital are 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.
Peter Jones, PhD – Research Director, Associate Professor, OCAD University, Managing Partner, Redesign Network
Randy Sa’d – Acting Executive Director, Founder, REFOCUS
Antony Upward – Programs Director, Principal of Edward James Consulting
Eric Faith-Holmes, MIBA – Entrepreneur, Eindhoven University
Nicole Norris, MDes – Director, SENCO, Georgian College
Tim Posselt, PhD – Desklight Research, Post-doc, U of Waterloo
Kirk Weigand, PhD
Eric Faith-Kolmes, MIBA, Entrepreneur, Practitioners
Ian Pinnell, Stakeholder, Animator, Practitioner