The notion of “sustainability,” while vitally necessary, inspires enthusiasm like a hairshirt. What we humans really want to do is thrive! The problem is that the human pursuit of thriving tends to wreak havoc — we overshoot planetary boundaries and erode social foundations. At its simplest, ThriveAbility reframes the hairshirt aura of sustainability by focusing on the positive benefits of collectively living within our means.
David Cooperrider & Christopher Johnston's insight:
This article, following the pathway of the Laszlo et.al. 2014 book Flourishing Enterprise, is part of a growing wave for aiming higher and delving deeper (in terms of consciousness) in the sustainability domain. You know, points out this article, the classic quip for our field: John: “My marriage is sustainable.” Jane: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that…” You get it: The notion of “sustainability,” while vitally necessary, inspires enthusiasm like a hairshirt. What we humans really want to do is thrive! The problem sustainability confronts is that the human pursuit of thriving (as currently enacted) wreaks havoc — we overshoot planetary boundaries and erode social foundations. The term ThriveAbility adds several more dimensions to the ESG equation. Besides the Ecological, Societal, and Governance elements, the authors argue for the organizational and cultural, including the stages of consciousness. And each level has its own interventions, tools, and outcomes. For example changes in consciousness may have profound impacts because the deeper levels have bigger impacts than the shallower levels (for example, improving a supply chain to reduce waste). While the change drivers at the first levels are return on investment and the business case, the change drivers at the second and third levels involve our story about ourselves (culture) and ultimately our consciousness (sense of self or inner development and worldview, for example, we are all connected with each other and the whole of life.).