The Prosperity Flower

A Holistic Nation Building Framework

The Prosperity Flower

The Prosperity Flower represents our strong conviction in the multi-dimensional nature of true prosperity. It provides a holistic framework for nation building.

The Prosperity Flower is a Nation-Building Framework

Prosperity is a product of leadership and governance, values, human capital, social capital, institutional capital, and economic capital. The Prosperity Flower’s petals are interconnected and co-dependent. Effort directed towards one petal will impact other petals.

The Prosperity Flower is designed to be a tool for leaders who aspire to greatness. It is descriptive in that it identifies features that are common to all prosperous societies, historically and today. It is diagnostic and provides criteria for measuring progress. The Flower is prescriptive in that it provides guidelines for designing environments in which creativity can thrive.

There are numerous global ranking tables listing the relative performance of the world’s countries using various development indicators. We do not seek to add yet another. Rather, the Prosperity Flower uses a carefully selected matrix to frame our guiding philosophy and values concerning national development in concrete, measurable terms. Though no single project on its own can be a panacea for prosperity, wisely allocated capital can enable people to lead lives of spiritual, material, and personal fulfilment.

Prosperity is Multi-Dimensional

We believe that prosperity should be defined in more than just material terms. Many make the mistake of equating national prosperity with GDP, or personal well-being with a high salary. While wealth is certainly a component of prosperity, economic metrics provide an incomplete picture of what being truly prosperous means. Just as a human being is composed of body, mind, and spirit, so prosperity has multiple parts. Each part works together, yet plays a distinct role. No single factor – not even leadership – can fully encapsulate prosperity.

The growing acceptance of the multi-dimensional view of prosperity is evidenced by indicators such as the UN Human Development Index, the Millennium Development Goals, inequality- or gender-adjusted GDP, and the concept of sustainable development. Well-being, social harmony, and sound governance must be part of a fuller, holistic understanding.

Elements of the Prosperity Flower

The Prosperity Flower comprises a core which represents Cultural capital, and three rings of petals representing Human capital, Institutional capital, and Wealth and Well-Being.

Cultural Capital

  • Gender Equality
  • Acceptance of Diversity
  • Religious Freedom and Tolerance

Residing at the heart of the flower is Cultural capital. This comprises the fabric of values, systems and norms that govern interpersonal, societal and leadership behaviours (the “heart-ware”) of a nation. We look at gender equality and acceptance of diversity as proxies for Cultural capital.

In a globalised planet characterised by significant international flows of people, ideas, capital, goods and services, a country cannot flourish if it does not remain open and receptive to the wider world. This does not mean that more openness is always better, or that globalisation has no downsides. However, it does require that governments and societies adopt policies and practices that foster greater acceptance of those who are different in socially or culturally salient ways. This includes people with different religions, ethnicities, nationalities, sexual orientations and cultures from the dominant majority in any given society.

Human Capital

  • Security
  • Healthcare System
  • Healthcare Outcomes
  • Education

The collective power of a country’s intellectual and physical abilities, knowledge, skills, talents, creativity, ideas and experiences is referred to as Human capital. Its core enablers – Security, Healthcare and Education – form the foundation necessary for individuals to flourish.

Institutional Capital

  • Quality of Public Institutions
  • Corruption
  • Quality of Civil Society
  • Rule of Law

This refers to the systems (the “hardware”) of a nation that fosters entrepreneurship and empowers creativity. We look to the quality of public institutions, the presence of corruption, the quality of civil society and the rule of law as proxies for Institutional capital.

Wealth & Well-being

  • Ease of Doing Business
  • Protection of Property Rights
  • Quality of Economic Infrastructure
  • Sustainability of Public Finances
  • Household Wealth And Equity

The economic strength and social capital of a nation is referred to as Wealth and Well-Being. We look to five proxies: the ease of doing business, the protection of property rights, the quality of economic infrastructure, the sustainability of public finances, and household wealth and equity.

Usefulness of the Prosperity Flower

With the Prosperity Flower, stakeholders and decision makers within the government can easily review the progress (or decline) of indicators within each ‘petal’. This enables them to identify key areas where reform needs to take place.

Freedom to Create uses the Prosperity Flower to engage national leaders in constructive, concrete conversations on the areas of strong and weak performance (benchmarked against peer countries). We then explore avenues for partnership in the design of effective governance and leadership reforms to address these areas.