Flourish and Prosper Gathering Looks Beyond Sustainability

Flourish and Prosper Gathering Looks Beyond Sustainability

by RP Siegel
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Looking beyond #sustainability: http://bit.ly/1yY6Nxf Insight from @RPSiegel on the Flourish and Prospect Conference via @Justmeans

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 4:00pm



The concept of sustainability has been a tough sell in certain quarters for a variety of reasons. Some say it’s because the idea of simply holding on to what we have now is not inspiring enough. If someone said that their marriage was sustainable, would you envy them? These were some of the thoughts that filled the air at the Flourish and Prospect Conference held at Case Western Reserve University last week. This was the third such gathering, going back to 2006, conducted under the auspices of the Business as an Agent of World Benefit (BAWB), offered by the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value, part of the Weatherhead School of Business.

The impetus behind this conference was the idea, first presented in this context by John Ehrenfeld (who was present at the event) in his eponymous book. To flourish means to thrive and prosper and in the context of what we used to talk about when we spoke of sustainability, it means to go beyond not doing harm, to actually doing good. In other words, given the state of the world today, it not would be enough, even if all of us were to suddenly become harmless, to create a flourishing world. As Michael Braungart said, in his keynote on the third and final day, “There are far too many people on this planet for each of us to just be less bad.”

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Image: Windmill on Case Western Reserve campus by RP Siegel

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. You can follow RP on Twitter, @RPSiegel.