FAQs

We are looking for innovations, not companies.

No company is perfect, but many have invented products, processes, and tools that bring benefit to the world or larger society while improving their bottom line. Innovation results when ideas are applied to raise the value of products and services for customers while elevating the wellbeing of society and creating a thriving environment.

We are looking for innovations that provide mutual benefit to business, society and the supporting natural systems. We aim to go beyond philanthropy, business ethics, and traditional corporate social responsibility efforts.

While all of the mentioned efforts bring tremendous benefit to the world, we aspire to go even higher, and invite stories that balance and integrate business success and world benefit in a strategic way. We look for innovations that benefit the bottom line as well as society and/or the environment.

We seek to inspire action in others.

We are searching for innovation stories that inspire and elevate our thinking about the future of positive business, society, and the supporting natural systems.

Here is a checklist for what will make a good story for AIM2Flourish:

  1. Is it a for-profit business (including B-Corporations) or partnership? Does it demonstrate the positive role of business in making a better world?
  2. Does the innovation have a net positive impact on the business, society, and the environment? Does it represent a local, regional or global breakthrough towards a flourishing world that is moving us from doing less harm to net positive, adding and enriching our world?
  3. Is the innovation radical? Is it something that is proportional to the magnitude of the local, regional, or global issue it seeks to address?
  4. Is the innovation potentially scalable?  Is it something that can be magnified, amplified, or spread to wider applications or audiences? It is something another company could replicate?
  5. Does the innovation support “Full-Spectrum Flourishing?” Does it show evidence of care for employees in ways that enable them to bring their whole selves to work; creating a culture that supports individual and collective flourishing? Does it enable the other living systems and the natural systems in the surrounding areas to thrive?
  6. Does the innovation support one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals? 

Finally, in order for your story to qualify to be published on AIM2Flourish.com you must conduct an in-person or Skype interview of a business leader at the company, and include quotes in your story.

We seek innovations aimed at promoting and sustaining a flourishing world. We are inspired by the United Nations' Global Goals for a world where everyone flourishes side by side. We do not expect or assume that every innovation story will address all or even multiple Goals. Rather, we hope that each innovation story intends and demonstrates promise to help us move toward one or more of these aspirations.

Goal 1 End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Goal 5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Goal 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal 10 Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*

Goal 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

We encourage you to look in your community to discover stories of business innovations that are uplifting humanity and solving the world’s biggest challenges. Talk to your friends, family, and professors. You can find inspiration in the AIM2Flourish Student Support Network Facebook group or on the B Corporation's "Find a B Corp" page. 

It may also be helpful to learn about and search some of the following terms and phrases: UN Global Compact, Global Goals, Business for Good, social innovation, social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, B Corps, Business as an Agent of World Benefit, Appreciative Inquiry, Conscious Capitalism, Conscious Business, net positive, cradle-to-cradle, zero waste, sustainability, sustainable business, bottom of the pyramid, best companies to work for listings, sustainable value, flourishing, flourishing enterprise, and many more.

It depends. We encourage students to look deeper into companies that are exploring radical innovations, and find one initiative within the organization that is innovative, services a real need, and is profitable. We understand that philanthropy is inspiring and can be a good example of a company doing good in the world. We try to draw a line between a CSR initiative of a good, profitable company, and "green-washing" - an organization that is not socially and environmentally responsible trying to present themselves as such.  

Ultimately, AIM2Flourish is mostly about exploration, discovery, and what happens on the journey when students have a close, personal experience with a business innovator. The learning happens even in the task of contacting a company, presenting themselves to the company, explaining the purpose of the interview, writing clearly, and practicing having a conversation with a business leader.

The general guideline is the business has maintained profitability for at least two years with the innovation in effect.

Yes. AIM2Flourish does not impose any requirements about where the business innovation is located. 

Yes. There is an untold story waiting to be shared that only an Appreciative Inquiry interview between you and a business leader can create. Also, multiple students can interview and write AIM2Flourish stories about the same company. (Although we encourage you to find one that's hasn't been used before.)

Yes. We do accept multiple submissions about a company as each Appreciative Inquiry interview between students and a business leader creates a unique story. (Although we encourage you to find one that's hasn't been used before.)

Non-profit organizations by themselves are not eligible for publishing on AIM2Flourish. However, you can write a story about business innovations being done through a private-public partnership. For instance, many civic good projects are done this way. These projects would be eligible for AIM2Flourish because a for-profit company is involved.

We certainly recognize that there are many individuals, organizations, and communities who demonstrate "caring" for others, the natural world, and future generations. However, at the core of AIM2Flourish is the idea that businesses generate the initial capital that supports non-profits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), philanthropic agencies, governments, individuals, and communities around the world. If these capital generating entities (businesses) are aligned to do good and care, then in time the world will be transformed. We want to engage societies at what we believe to be the highest leverage point: business. Striving for pure profit has created today’s world, which is not sustainable. Adding a design characteristic of doing good can reverse the negative trend and create the flourishing world we all want.

Yes. We encourage students from undergraduate and graduate programs to discover and learn together in teams, as well as individually.

If you are planning to submit an AIM2Flourish story as part of a course assignment, please refer to your professor's assigned deadline.

All stories submitted during a calendar year (January 1-December 31) will be eligible for the next year's Flourish Prizes. If you are interesting in potentially winning a Flourish Prize please make sure your story is published by December 31. 

All stories that have been in the workflow for over 6 months will be archived. 

Students with a supporting professor can submit a story of a business innovation to be considered for recognition and celebration. We encourage students, from all over the globe, in every country, to discover positive and profitable innovations that benefit humanity and the natural world to submit AIM2Flourish stories for publication. 

As of now, we only have the capacity to accept and promote stories in English. We plan to introduce other languages when we have the resources. You can submit a PDF of your story in its original language and we will add a hyperlink to your story to that PDF. If you would like to submit a PDF of your story in your local language, please email Megan Buchter, AIM2Flourish Operations Manager, at [email protected] 

In order to submit a story, you will need to create an AIM2Flourish profile. You must also be in a class with a professor who is offering the AIM2Flourish assignment. Before submitting your story, be sure to check out the AIM2Flourish Story Checklist. Once you have all the information needed, log on to AIM2Flourish.com and click on the 'Innovations' menu. From there, click on Create New Submission.

Each student needs to create a profile on AIM2Flourish.com. One student on the team will create the story and list his/her teammates as co-authors.

No. You can save your innovation story as a draft and access it another time by clicking on the 'Innovations' tab at the top and then 'Innovations Dashboard' below the top banner.

Our editorial team reviews all AIM2Flourish submissions. We will keep professors and students informed about the progress of their stories and will let you both know how to improve a story should that be needed. Our editorial board will review and provide feedback as quickly as possible. Stories that meet the criteria will be published on the platform. Stories that do not meet the criteria will be archived. 

Two (2) photos are required with your submission of your AIM2Flourish story. You may take these photos yourself or ask the company to supply them for you. Please include the following photos: (1) Business logo (2) Story innovation photo (something that helps tell and explain what your story is about). You may submit additional photos. For example, we recommend a photo of yourself with the person you interviewed. For examples of what photos to include, please browse the Innovation stories that are already published on AIM2Flourish.

Videos are optional but encouraged. Upload your videos to YouTube or Vimeo and then add the link(s) to your story. 

Currently, AIM2Flourish is meant to be a professor-facilitated assignment as part of higher-education class. However, we are piloting new ways of making the AIM2Flourish experience available to more people. 

If you are interested in writing an AIM2Flourish story, please contact AIM2Flourish Director Claire Sommer at [email protected]