Flourishing Business Canvas


Flourishing Business Environment - Society/Economy - Outcomes


The Flourishing Business Canvas is a new generation of visual collaborative tool to design business models that are fit-for-the-21st Century – an ever more complex world in which enterprises must recognize their interdependencies with society, the environment and the economy.

The Flourishing Business Canvas is a tool that provides a common language in a useful visual framework to enable you to work with your stakeholders to collaboratively sketch, prototype, design, improve, understand, share, measure, diagnose, simulate and most importantly, tell stories about your enterprise’s business model. 

Business models created using the Flourishing Business Canvas describe how an enterprise defines and achieves its goals over time. These models include all the necessary and sufficient factors to enable any business models to be described – from those that only consider financial profitability, to those that fully integrate social benefits, environmental regeneration and financial viability.

The Flourishing Business Canvas takes a humanistic approach to its design, explicitly attempting to avoid colonizing or trauma based mind-sets.

For background and history of the development and extensive testing of the Flourishing Business Canvas, click here.

For background and history of the development and extensive testing of the Flourishing Business Canvas, click here.

Compatibility with Earlier Business Modelling Tools

The Flourishing Business Canvas can be considered as a major systemic upgrade to the earlier Business Model Canvas (BMC).  That canvas focuses solely on those factors believed to be important for short-term financial profitability – ignoring the full context of business: environment, society and economy.  As a result business models created using the BMC are dangerous over-simplifications in today’s ever more complex world – they ignore increasingly (financially) material risks and opportunities.

However, the BMC’s financial model has been shown through considerable practice around the world and our research to be valid for the financial aspects of a business model.  Therefore the Flourishing Business Canvas includes the 9 financial questions posed by the BMC.  These have been “upgraded” to consider the impact of the other contexts.  For example Customer Segment in the BMC has been upgraded to Stakeholder in the Flourishing Business Canvas.

This means it is possible to take a business model created using the BMC and move it onto the Flourishing Business Canvas without making any changes to any of the stickies.  All the stickies will still make sense.  However, now the business modeller will see additional factors important to their business model in the 21st Century. 


Whether you are starting a new enterprise, or developing a new strategy for an existing business, the process of business design is now known to be more useful than the old approach of business planning.  

Designing your business by creating a business model is known to be more likely to lead to a viable enterprise than the older approaches to starting a business or developing a traditional strategy.    

The Flourishing Business Canvas makes it practical and pragmatic to design businesses fit-for-the-21st Century.  It significantly enhances your ability to undertake business design efficiently, effectively, and gracefully.   

Because the Flourishing Business Canvas was designed systemically it fully captures the true context of every human enterprise: the environment that contains society, and the economy created by society.  As a result the Canvas is inclusive and supports the needs and goals of all types of stakeholders.

Business modeling using the Flourishing Business Canvas creates a range of valuable benefits:  

  • Creates a sense of urgency
  • Enables better and faster conversations and decisions
  • Inspires innovation
  • Helps see the full context of an enterprise
  • Understanding of the interconnections of our organization, its products and services with its communities and the world – socially, environmentally and economically
  • Broader, deeper and richer conversations about all aspects of value co-creation (and destruction)
  • Opens eyes to possibilities and opportunities
  • Enables strategic discussion
  • Drives effective collaboration and teamwork
  • Supports learning through exploration and experimentation
  • Clarifies and focuses thinking
  • Enables creativity based on constraints
  • Surfaces assumptions
  • Provides a new idea template
  • Helps focus quickly on best ideas
  • Helps see risks and opportunities
  • Helps tell stories to… investors, customers, suppliers, new employees
  • Allows empathy with stakeholders
  • Enables creativity
  • Allows immediate action on ideas
  • Fast to use
  • Alignment – gets everyone on the same page

In addition the Flourishing Business Canvas supports earlier practices: 

  • It includes all concepts from the earlier profit centric Business Model Canvas (BMC) – all 9 of the BMC questions still fully present
  • Lean Start-up and Customer Development

Why Now?

In a world that’s more complex than ever,  innovators need fit-for-purpose tools to help them design organizations that remain socially, environmentally and financially viable in dramatically changing circumstances. 

It is now clear that previous generations of business modeling tools are dramatically over-simplified. They only focus on short-term profitability rather than long-term viability – socially, environmentally, and economically.  They ignore the reality that the financial aspects of an enterprise are interdependent with a business’s larger contexts – society and the environment. In today’s business climate these older tools are now too risky to use.  With these older tools, innovators will systematically miss socially, environmentally and financially material risks and opportunities.  

Earlier business modelling tools ignored stakeholders other than customers; ignored the co-creation of value; ignored questions of governance and power and, worst, ignored the reality that the financial aspects of an organisation are interdependent with larger contextual systems, society and the natural environment.  

The Flourishing Business Canvas is systematically designed to help you identify and seize the emerging opportunities and avoid emerging risks as you create the business model for your enterprise.  

The Flourishing Business Canvas is a key tool in your process to develop socially, environmentally and financially viable strategies – strategies that are fit-for-the-21st Century.


As we support people to understand the concepts of flourishing, and support entrepreneurs and enterprises through a flourishing process of business modeling, we have come to realize that we have unthoughtfully promoted the use of the word “stakeholder”. We  acknowledge that the use of the word stakeholder is offensive or harmful to some.  In some historic situations stakeholders were people who drove stakes into the land to demarcate what they were occupying or stealing from Indigenous peoples.  We believe words are important, and are currently exploring what alternatives to the term stakeholder can better convey the meaning necessary for the Flourishing Business Canvas to be useful, while at the same time being accessible.  In the meantime, we acknowledge that our current choices may cause harm to some groups and for this we deeply apologize.  For more detail please see this blog post.

Learn More


We have an active programme to translate the Flourishing Business Canvas and other elements of the Flourishing Enterprise Innovation Toolkit.  Contact us to learn more.


The Flourishing Business Canvas for free to be used commercially or non-commercially under a creative commons license.  However, derivations are not permitted without permission.

Download the Canvas and accompanying Interactive Guide