Human Flourishing

The conversations featured in this series illuminate the connection human flourishing has to strong social relationships and a sense of community.

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By Dr. Andrew Serazin, President, Templeton World Charity Foundation

What is Human Flourishing? What does it mean? How can we understand how humans can flourish under adverse conditions? Can science examine a concept as diverse and broad as flourishing? What innovations for humanity are possible if we truly understand the concept of flourishing?

With this 15-minute video, journalist Richard Sergay kicks off his latest documentary series on the subject of Human Flourishing, and what it means to an array of global luminaries in fields including psychology, medicine, spirituality, and the arts. Throughout the course of this series, we will hear from leaders like jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, University of Pennsylvania Character Lab’s director Angela Duckworth, Harvard’s director of Human Flourishing Professor Tyler VanderWeele, co-inventor of the Internet Dr. Vint Cerf, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Emerita Director Judith Jamison.

There is a rich historical discussion on what constitutes flourishing and the good life. Today flourishing encompasses domains of strong relationships, meaning and purpose, happiness and life satisfaction, as well as good physical and mental health. Across traditions, social scientists, researchers, spiritual leaders, and other thinkers agree: flourishing goes beyond individual happiness to encompass a life-view with a broader context — including considering humanity’s place and purpose in the universe. 

The conversations featured in this series illuminate the connection human flourishing has to strong social relationships and a sense of community; to listening well to each other; to imagination, curiosity, and the sublime; to connecting to a higher purpose. We’ll learn how flourishing isn’t static, but is a practice of growth, cultivating character-building traits and virtues. We’ll hear how leading purposeful lives, rich with love of learning, empathy for others, spiritual bravery, and meaningful work is leading us in the direction of flourishing, towards collective creativity, expanding innovation, and improving the world we all share.The roster of luminaries featured in the upcoming videos will include those mentioned above as well as African human rights activist Hafsat Abiola, Harvard social scientist professor Arthur Brooks, founder of The Chopra Foundation Dr. Deepak Chopra, Bishop of Oxford Rt Revd Dr. Steven Croft, AGRA President Dr. Agnes Kalibata, first woman president of Ireland and chair of The Elders Mary Robinson, Yale University cognitive scientist Professor Laurie Santos, and OECD education leader Andreas Schleicher.

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