Everyone in the AIM2Flourish process benefits. Student authors are recognized for their published stories, as well as the Professor who assigned the AIM2Flourish assignment. All of the businesses profiled in AIM2Flourish stories receive the benefit of having an appreciative story written about the organization. Our annual Flourish Prizes winners receive additional recognition for their world-benefiting innovations that help achieve the UN Global Goals.
AIM2Flourish was founded and is hosted by the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at the Weatherhead School of Management-Case Western Reserve University. Co-founders include the UN PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) and the Global Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI). Together, the combined academic networks of our partners reach over 2,100 business schools. We are immensely grateful to our funders for their support and to our technology partner The Refinery.
AIM2Flourish is inspired by the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit’s collaboration that resulted in a 2014 book called “Flourishing Enterprise: The New Spirit of Business,” in which the authors says: “If the term sustainability has run out of steam … the right word is much more ambitious: flourishing.” The authors are: Chris Laszlo and Judy Sorum Brown with John R. Ehrenfeld, Mary Gorham, Ilma Barros Pose, Linda Robson, Roger Saillant, Dave Sherman, and Paul Werder.
AIM2Flourish has its roots in conversations about the power of business to unite with governments and society to solve the world’s greatest challenges. In 1999, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan addressed business executives at a World Economic Forum meeting, and called on them to “unite the strengths of markets with the power of a universal ideal” for the benefit of humanity. David Cooperrider, Professor at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, said that this inquiry started for him in a 2003 conversation with Peter Drucker. Then a year later, in 2004, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan brought in 700 business leaders to the UN to create the UN Global Compact. At that meeting, Ericsson’s CEO stated, “We should have a Nobel Prize for businesses being agents of world benefit.”
In October 2014 at the Third Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit, Professor David Cooperrider and Nadya Zhexembayeva co-facilitated an Appreciative Inquiry mini-Design Summit to build a prototype for "Showcasing Business as an Agent of World Benefit." AIM2Flourish Founding Director Roberta Baskin, PRME Secretariat Head Jonas Haertle, and current AIM2Flourish Director Claire Sommer were among the approximately 70 people who co-created the AIM2Flourish prototype over 2 days.
The first AIM2Flourish.com platform launched in June 2015 at the PRME Global Forum in New York City.
Simply put, Business as an Agent of World Benefit means that business can and should prosper by providing processes and products that create a flourishing future for all.
In 2002, the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio launched an initiative called the “World Inquiry into Business as an Agent of World Benefit” led by Professors David Cooperrider and Ron Fry.
Faculty and students created a repository to discover and showcase profitable business innovation in the arena of environmental sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Nearly 300 profiled stories of innovations (from over 3000 submitted) demonstrated that business can be an agent of world benefit.
AIM2Flourish expands this work beyond the Weatherhead School. In partnership with the UN’s PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) initiative and other partners, AIM2Flourish invites participation from students, faculty, businesses, customers, and media around the world.
We are inspired by John Ehrenfeld, a friend to the Fowler Center, who wrote: "Growth is, ultimately, a measure of quantity; we suggest instead a measure of quality. For us, that something is flourishing — a measure of the fullness of life, not some material metric. Flourishing, as our book of the same title proposes, comes when one can say that life’s cares are being attended to — when every human being is successfully caring for themselves, other humans, and the non-human world that is vital to our maintenance. This concept of sustainability as the creation and maintenance of flourishing would require the corporate world to think of its businesses in a fundamentally different way. In this model of economic interactions, business’s primary role would be to enable people to flourish — that is, create conditions wherein the whole system flourishes."
AIM2Flourish is the world's first higher-education curriculum, prize, and story platform for the UN Global Goals and business' role in achieving them.
The AIM2Flourish.com story platform is where all the stories are submitted, shared, improved, and then published to serve as inspiration for others. AIM2Flourish is hosted at the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at the Weatherhead School of Management - Case Western Reserve University.
After you submit a story, it will be reviewed by our Editorial Board. We’ll let you know if the story can be published on AIM2Flourish or where it needs improvement. All AIM2Flourish stories published before December 31 of each year will be considered for recognition and celebration of the next year's Flourish Prizes.
Students get the benefit of an experiential learning opportunity, working on real cases, connecting with businesses in their community and establishing relationships that may open doors for them in the future.
If you are a student, you can submit stories ideas for other students in the AIM2Flourish Student Support Network Facebook group. Anyone else can send story ideas to Megan Buchter, AIM2Flourish Operations Manager, at [email protected] to be shared with our students.
We also welcome your suggestions via social media using the hashtag #AIM2Flourish.
Thank you so much for asking! There are lots of ways you can support AIM2Flourish.
Join us on social media and share with your networks: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and our Medium site.
If you are a student...Ask your professor to offer the AIM2Flourish assignment in your class.
If you are a professor...Offer AIM2Flourish as a class assignment and recommend it to your colleagues.
If you are a citizen or business leader...Volunteer to review stories before publication as one of our AIM2Flourish Story Stewards. Connect us with philanthropically minded individuals and organizations.
Please scroll down on the Professor Resources page to see sample curricula from several AIM2Flourish Professors.
We would be very happy to schedule a Zoom video call with you and your colleagues. Our Operations Manager, Megan Buchter, can walk you through all the steps. We are always available to answer questions as they arise. Some of our professors find the online materials sufficient. It would up to you.
There are no costs involved for Professors to use AIM2Flourish in their classes. We have usual and customary Terms and Conditions for anyone using the AIM2Flourish website. This link can be found at the bottom of each page.
In order for students to participate in the AIM2Flourish assignment they need to have a "Professor" review their stories. As long as you are willing to be their Professor for the assignment they can absolutely interview a business leader and write up a mini-case study about the experience.
Besides being used as a class assignment, AIM2Flourish has also been used as an extra-credit assignment, as well as a extra-curricular assignment in different student organizations.