International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleNo beginning, no end: an ecology of human flourishing
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sBrendan McCormack and Angie Titchen
ReferenceVolume 4, Issue 2, Article 2
Date of PublicationNovember 2014
Keywordsaction-orientated research, critical creativity, human flourishing, person-centredness, practice development

In this paper we explore ‘human flourishing’, a concept that we articulate through embodied creative methods of inquiry. In contemporary organisations, the recognition that persons need to exist in contexts that enable their potential to be maximised and realised has promoted a greater focus on identifying conditions that can help people to flourish in the workplace. In helping relationships in a variety of health and social care organisations, we seek to create the conditions for human flourishing. We do this work in our transformational research, development and facilitated learning practices, which are located in a critical creativity worldview. For the past eight years, we have been exploring this worldview philosophically, theoretically and methodologically. In addition, we have been helping others to utilise methods that are consistent with a critically creative methodology and to reflect on the experiences of doing so. The goal of critical creativity is ‘human flourishing’ and so in this paper we present the results of an embodied and creative exploration of that concept. We set out the methods we used, the metaphors that have emerged through our creative inquiry and the meaning of these metaphors in the context of contemporary literature and perspectives. The paper is framed through a poem and photographs that, together with dialogue, offer an holistic and symbolic perspective of human flourishing. Each section of the paper explores a particular verse of the poem in order to unfold what we describe as an ecology of human flourishing with no beginning and no end. As an outcome of our inquiry so far, we offer a definition of human flourishing and invite readers to engage in inquiries of their own flourishing at work.

This article by Brendan McCormack and Angie Titchen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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