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Human Flourishing: The True Purpose of Business?

Paul Gibbons on human flourishing and 21st century busines

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Listen to our podcast on human flourishing, and the noblest purpose of 21st-century business.

What is the meaning of life? Is it being happy, as many contemporary authors and self-help gurus will tell you? With all due respect to those who’ve made a career out of that message, there is more to it – and the big idea is called human flourishing.

Use my questionnaire (10 item) to see whether you are flourishing.

Welcome to Think Bigger, Think Better. Today’s show is an excerpt from a talk I’ve given at corporations, once in Microsoft’s Distinguished Author Program, at Google, and at Comcast. Corporate speaking engagements are one of the things I do for fun (okay, and for money)….

I want to introduce the question of whether happiness alone is a way to define the value of human life. Human flourishing is the best current translation of the Greek word Eudaimonia. I’m suggesting that human flourishing, in my opinion, is the most accurate measure for us to think about the meaning of life.

Businesses need to make money, but is business just a money-engine, or can it engender human flourishing? How can businesses challenge that energy? I’ll be discussing the three dimensions to the idea that science and philosophy can achieve a purpose-led (rather than purely cash-driven) thriving 21st-century business.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why there is more to life than happiness.
  • What human flourishing is: meaning, engagement, relationships, achievement, and positive affect.
  • How business can engender human flourishing.
  • What some businesses are doing to become purpose-led.
  • What the study of philosophy lends to our understanding of business.

I’m raffling off books every week for people who leave the podcast a review on iTunes. Let me know the title of your review to be entered to win by emailing me at

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