Welcome Address by Andrew Serazin at The Global Scientific Conference on Human Flourishing
What can science teach us about how to help more people flourish amid the compounding crises of the 21st century?
Which breakthrough innovations will support us to grow, be resilient, and adapt in the face of adversity?
How does flourishing differ by culture, and what can we learn from each other to flourish together?
These are the kind of questions that have inspired Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF) to convene researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to examine what's possible for the future of human flourishing at the inaugural Global Scientific Conference on Human Flourishing, held virtually and in conjunction with in-person workshops around the world in late November 2022.
In his introduction to the event, Dr. Andrew Serazin, President, Templeton World Charity Foundation, describes the journey towards flourishing as a driver of progress. "The breakthroughs that we need to solve our current global challenges — to transform our energy usage, to prevent the next pandemic, to live peaceably together in democracies — will come from people working and living together cooperatively, not just from technical wizardry or top-down legal dictates."
"Flourishing as a societal aspiration has deep roots in our culture and history," says Serazin, "but it is only recently that scientists have demonstrated it is possible to empirically measure and study flourishing in different dimensions." Although the desire to thrive is universal, the path to achieving this aspiration requires what Serazin calls a "fundamental rethink," and cites science as an effective lens for this reassessment.
"Science is one of the most powerful gifts we have, not only to understand our experience, but to reimagine it for the better." -Andrew Serazin
To date, most research on the science of human flourishing has been conducted in Western, English-speaking, higher-income countries, leaving out the majority of the world. One of the aims of this 'rethink' is also to acknowledge and begin to correct this gap. The conference drew 4,000 registrants from more than 100 countries. The featured speakers and plenaries represent a diversity of viewpoints, experiences, and geographies, "but our ultimate goal is to translate different aspects of the science of flourishing into real concrete action together," says Serazin. "I know that is why I'm here: to motivate action in the real world."
A new Request for Proposals through TWCF's 20 million USD Listening and Learning in a Polarized World initiative was announced during Serazin's speech. "Polarization is a critical obstacle for solving existential problems like climate change war and famine. TWCF will fund a series of research efforts to take a systematic look at what are the underlying mechanisms and models behind polarization."
Play the above video to hear the Welcome Address at The First Global Scientific Conference on Human Flourishing, organized by Templeton World Charity Foundation.
Dr. Andrew Serazin, President, Templeton World Charity Foundation
Redi Tlhabi, Broadcasting Journalist
Visit HumanFlourishing.org to learn more.