IGP Stories

To Prosperity and Beyond: Towards a Nuanced and Inclusive Understanding of Prosperity

Sam Tamayo and RP Duterte

18 December 2023

Earlier this year, we talked about starting a podcast based on our experiences as students under the MSc Prosperity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP).

We worked tirelessly and poured our heart and soul into turning this idea into reality and are delighted to have the ‘To Prosperity and Beyond’ series launched under UCL Minds and IGP’s Life of PIE podcast.

In this mini-series, we delved into the lives and experiences of changemakers tackling global prosperity challenges through transformative entrepreneurship. However, to grasp the true essence behind this practice, we needed to delve into its connection to prosperity and how it differs from conventional entrepreneurship.

In this regard, we invited Dr Nikolay Mintchev, ­­Principal Research Fellow at the IGP and core team member of PROCOL Lebanon, to be our first guest. Under the Navigating Prosperity episode, we spoke with him to understand how the understanding of prosperity is evolving. This blog outlines some of the takeaways from our conversation with him.

  • Moving Beyond Abstractions

Dr. Mintchev emphasizes the crucial shift from abstract frameworks to tangible outcomes. He underscores that theoretical concepts, when translated into concrete actions, can generate real-world impact for communities. This resonates with the PROCOLs' approach of contextualizing prosperity within specific local contexts.

Figure 1 Abstract ceiling instalment at V&A Museum
  • Listening to Diverse Voices

Acknowledging the value brought by a plurality of voices, Dr. Mintchev highlights the importance of actively listening to individual narratives. This process fosters the emergence of diverse perspectives on prosperity, ensuring it is not solely defined through a singular lens.

  • Charting the Complexities of Systemic Change

Dr. Mintchev acknowledges that it may feel overwhelming to operate within structures that are beyond our control. During times of doubt, he emphasizes that seemingly disparate initiatives are interconnected and contribute to the greater good. By tackling local challenges, we contribute to positive systemic shifts.

  • Embracing Renewal and Adaptation

As emphasized by Dr. Mintchev, prosperity is not a static endpoint. Rather, it necessitates a dynamic process of renewal and adaptation. Achieving a desired state of prosperity does not signify the end of the journey. It requires constant reflection, reevaluation, and improvement to ensure the well-being of communities remains the central focus.

Figure 2 Cherry Blossoms at Battersea Park signalling change in season
  • Engaging in Purposeful Endeavors

To cap it off, Dr. Nikolay underscores the collective effort required to achieve sustainable prosperity. He encourages individuals to contribute in whatever capacity they can - whether through personal pursuits or involvement in impactful initiatives. This shared commitment, encompassing diverse forms of participation, holds the potential to move the needle on prosperity in the long term.

By engaging with Dr. Mintchev's nuanced understanding of prosperity, professionals dedicated to social innovation and entrepreneurship can gain valuable insights to inform their work. The IGP's PROCOLs initiative provides a compelling example of how transdisciplinary research, collaborative partnerships, and a commitment to inclusivity can drive positive change.

Sam and RP are the co-hosts of To Prosperity and Beyond. To Prosperity and Beyond is a mini-series embedded in the IGP’s Life of PIE podcast. It focuses on the lives and experiences of professionals who are addressing the challenges to global prosperity through transformative entrepreneurship. You can listen to this podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and SoundCloud.

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