Why twentyfifty commits to human flourishing
3 August 2022
At twentyfifty we commit to human flourishing. This means that we put people and their thriving at the centre of all that we do. By committing explicitly to human flourishing, we are naming what has always been at the core of our founding intention and purpose: a deep commitment to the wellbeing of people, including rightsholders, partners, clients, and employees.
This is an exciting time for us, with growing demand for our services. We have the pleasure to support long-term and new clients in transformational projects and to grow our systemic work. We are expanding at a fast rate, opening up in new markets, and evolving our international networks and strategic partnerships.
As we evolve and grow, we use our five key success factors to guide us towards our vision of a more sustainable future. Human flourishing is one of them.
Human flourishing unlocks an additional ambition level in our client work
We believe that businesses flourish when people flourish. And human rights lay the foundation for that. When they are respected, people not only survive, but have the chance to grow and thrive.
As we see an increase of mandatory legislation in human rights and sustainability, our commitment to human flourishing reminds us to help clients avoid the so-called compliance trap. This is when companies become so focused on meeting specific legislative requirements or responding to data requests from stakeholders, that they lose sight of the actual goal which is to make a positive difference to lives and livelihoods and by doing so, to de-risk and strengthen their business.
Human flourishing moves us to strive beyond risk reduction towards positive impact. While we support clients along their whole sustainability journey – including risk reduction - we also challenge them in moving towards more strategic innovation of their business practices which enable people not only to survive and grow but to flourish.
Human flourishing drives us to evolve as changemakers
“Our goal is for twentyfifty to become a company of extraordinary changemakers, with both outstanding human rights expertise and the core skills and resilience to make change happen” Luke Wilde, Founder and Managing Partner, twentyfifty.
We understand that to do our part in helping our clients reach the Sustainable Development Goals we need more than technical skills. We engage with initiatives like the Inner Development Goals, to grow the transformative skills that are needed to achieve the sustainability transformation, beyond a narrow focus on managing social and environmental business impacts.
The demands to our corporate clients are growing at a fast pace. New regulations such as the German Supply Chain Act or the proposal for an EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive are outlining the marketplace of the future, where businesses are required to manage their social and environmental impacts as part of their corporate strategy. To achieve that, clients will need to move beyond siloed sustainability work and make deep changes in organisational and leadership structures.
That is why we are building our capabilities as changemakers so that we can enable our clients to make the transformational shifts that are required of them. We develop our expertise to include not only key topics such as living wage/income, climate change and child labour but also stakeholder engagement, organisational change, leadership development, facilitation, and coaching.
Human flourishing helps us care for our community
The sustainability transformation is a long-term journey. Our commitment to human flourishing supports us in caring for ourselves and our partners. Here are a few examples of how we do that:
- As we continue to grow, we are evolving our organisational structure to ensure it supports not only our commercial success but also the flourishing of our consultants. Our Stewardship Group oversees people-related initiatives and interacts closely with our Business Leadership Team. It is the ‘structural’ heart of our company that helps to steward a culture that is both ambitious and deeply human and connected.
- We are investing not only in technical but also in personal development opportunities for our consultants, to equip them for the challenges of sustainability consulting. In 2022 we are offering workshops related to resilience, working with signature strengths and time + energy management. It is our ambition to provide a workspace where it is safe to show up authentically and with vulnerabilities. It makes us proud when we hear from new joiners, that they can bring more of themselves to work and feel comfortable to share openly when they need support.
- We are reviewing our methodologies and project design from a well-being point of view. We strive to ensure it serves client demands and respects the wellbeing of our project teams and the rightsholders that we engage with. While we are far from being perfect, we are fully dedicated to our journey of continuous improvement. Most recently, we have reviewed our approach to field research to identify what we do well and how we can enhance the positive impact we can have on local researchers, with whom we often partner in our fieldwork.
We are proud to be part of a wider movement related to human flourishing and its role in accelerating progress towards major public policy goals like the SDGs. There is an increasing scientific push, spearheaded by the Harvard Human Flourishing Programme, to understand the conditions that are needed so that people can flourish.
This feels fundamental to what we do. It unlocks a new perspective on social impact and social progress and widens the lens from narrow outcomes to the broader conditions in which humans can fulfil their potential.
From our point of view, that is one of the prerequisites of the sustainability transformation we are working towards.
* Madeleine Mauwer is now leading our Human Flourishing agenda.