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Flourishing Enterprise Model

Flourishing Enterprise Institute logo
Flourishing business model canvas

Peter Jones and Antony Upward

The RSD3 paper, Caring for the Future: The Systemic Design of Flourishing Enterprises proposes “a modelling practice for stakeholder design of strongly sustainable enterprises for the intention of whole system flourishing across living ecosystems and organized social systems” and introduces the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas” (SSBMC). The SSBM ontology was introduced in the 2016 paper An ontology for strongly sustainable business models: Defining an enterprise framework compatible with natural and social science.

The Flourishing Enterprise Model represents the work of a core group, the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group, now the Flourishing Enterprise Institute (FEI). Initiated by the Toronto academic and business community and beginning January 2012, the group has promoted the science, tools, and movement for strong sustainability, flourishing businesses, and public organizations. FEI’s purpose 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.

FEI supports the aim that sustainability leadership ensures that living beings on earth will thrive in evolutionary fitness. Organizations, public and private, and 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 flourishing values. Flourishing also attends to social sustainability, the systemic integration of net-positive human, individual, social, and cultural evolution through the praxis of care appropriate in each domain. It is part of the movement that is advancing the transformation of the social practices of businesses to serve as organizations of social prosperity and significant contributors to social flourishing.

The FEI operates out of OCAD University and partners with the Viessmann Centre for Engagement and Research in Sustainability (VERiS), located at Wilfred Laurier University.

The Flourishing Enterprise Model

In 2014, Antony Upward built on Alexander Osterwalder’s business model canvas, central to the book, Business Model Generation. Upward’s research resulted in a business model design tool, the SSBMC.

… like Alex’s earlier work, it [is] powered by a rigorously defined and academically evaluated “Strongly Sustainable Business Model Ontology” (SSBMO). By meeting these three goals, the use of the SSBMC increases the likelihood that high quality strongly sustainable business models can be more easily created, i.e. using the tool will consistently create business models that, once instantiated, will reliably and effectively produce flourishing. Further, the ease of use and reliability should enable strongly sustainable business models to be efficiently developed and implemented at scale.
Upward, blog post

The SSBMC is embedded in the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Toolkit. The Toolkit also includes methods for the SSBMC’s effective and efficient use, diagnostic tools, case studies, and patterns of strongly sustainable organizational designs.