Our Strategy: Innovations for Human Flourishing
Templeton World Charity Foundation has committed $100 million to support new scientific research on human flourishing and to translate related discoveries into practical tools.
We hope that these resources will help a diverse group of researchers and innovators discover new knowledge, develop new tools, and launch new practices or interventions that make a lasting impact on human flourishing. In line with the vision of Sir John Templeton, we want our efforts to focus on dimensions of human flourishing that are often neglected.
What Is Human Flourishing?
Human flourishing is a broad concept that can include many dimensions of physical, mental, social, and spiritual wellbeing. Flourishing connotes growth, resilience, and progress.
We do not have a strict definition of human flourishing, as this may impose unnecessary constraints on new thinking.
As with other concepts such as intelligence or consciousness, we believe that human flourishing can have a range of useful definitions depending on the context. That said, when the success of a project relies on a particular definition of human flourishing or a particular definition of a subcomponent, we expect the project to adhere to the highest scholarly standards.
We plan to focus on dimensions of human flourishing that are less prominent or under-studied. We will not be able to support important topics that are well-recognized and well-funded, such as medical research or poverty alleviation.
Our Strategic Framework
Through this commitment, Templeton World Charity Foundation will support projects that will form a robust pipeline of innovations aimed at improving key aspects of human flourishing. Our strategy is not just about having good ideas or making interesting new discoveries but also about translating discoveries into new practices that can be developed using rigorous testing and launched for the benefit of individuals and communities. To that end, we plan to support a range of activities across three different stages in the pipeline for new innovations: Discovery, Development, and Launch.
When supporting scientific research, we believe it is important to make sure that it is based on a sound conceptual framework and that key information about the experiments is accessible to anyone who may benefit from it. The projects we support adhere to best practices in open research. See our Open Science Priority here, and view our Open Access Policy here.
Discovery: This stage involves rigorous and imaginative interdisciplinary research to answer key questions related to human flourishing, or research that contributes to the potential discovery of innovations that can promote human flourishing. Not all scientific discoveries can be predicted, so we remain enthusiastic about bold, high-risk projects where the benefits may not be immediately obvious.
Development: This stage involves the development of new interventions to promote one or more aspects of human flourishing. Many types of activities fit within the Development stage, including the following:
- Research and practice review, innovation design;
- Iterative prototyping and pilot testing;
- Efficacy trials or other forms of proof-of-concept testing; and
- Replication, effectiveness, or scale-up testing in real-world settings.
These various activities aim to thoroughly test innovations to the point where we know whether they work, for whom, and under which circumstances they are effective. It is important to use an iterative process to consider qualitative, practice-based evidence early on in the development process.
Launch: This phase focuses on creating resources and platforms to spread awareness of innovations. The academic setting, where many innovations are discovered and tested, does not always provide the best channel for distribution. We will facilitate partnerships with leading organizations across many sectors—such as business, government, NGOs, academia, and the media—for uptake and impact.
We will support programs across each of these phases of this framework. In most cases, however, grant activities will align with one of these phases.
Supports interdisciplinary scientific research that can promote physical, mental, social, and spiritual wellbeing.
Translates findings into practical innovations such as new practices or interventions. Later stages include testing innovations in real-world conditions.
Creates resources and platforms that spread awareness and uptake of these innovations across sectors, impacting lives worldwide.