Innovations in Human Flourishing - Stories of Impact (video)

By Templeton Staff
September 15, 2021
Journalist Richard Sergay kicks off his documentary series on Human Flourishing and what it means to an array of global luminaries.

With this 15-minute introductory video, journalist Richard Sergay kicks off his latest documentary series on 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’ll hear from such thought leaders as 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 philosophical and theological tradition of looking at well-being and ways to understand it. The concept of human flourishing dates back to antiquity, and Aristotle’s concept of eudaimonia and the good life. The working definition of flourishing used by scholars views it as a state in which all aspects of life are good: happiness and life satisfaction are achieved, as well as good physical and mental health. Across traditions, social scientists, researchers, spiritual leaders, and other thinkers agree: human flourishing goes beyond individual happiness to encompass a life-view with a broader context. Flourishing stems from a perspective considering meaning and purpose, from a perspective considering the cosmos.

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.


Templeton World Charity Foundation’s “Stories of Impact” videos by journalist and senior media executive Richard Sergay feature human stories and critical perspectives on breakthroughs about the universe’s big questions. The inspiring narratives and observations in these award-winning videos portray the individual and societal impacts of the projects that bring to life TWCF-supported research.

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