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Perspectives on Prosperity

Khalid Ahmed CA

Financial Controller
New Balance Australia

Prosperity is all too often defined by financial and economic success. For me though, prosperity is my reciprocal interaction with everything around me; socially, environmentally and economically.

It is the sense of purpose I achieve through the legacy I am leaving my loved ones, my peers and my workplace. It is the environmental footprint I leave and being conscious of the consequences of my actions on a sustainable future. It is also the manner in which I accumulate wealth, and my personal choices on how I use that wealth, whether through selfish spending habits (accumulating personal wealth) or using it to further communal, social and environmental wealth (donations, sustainable lifestyle choices, etc).

As well as individuals, it is communities, institutions, companies and governments that need to encourage, support and engage in the sustainable and ethical practices that facilitate the creation and sharing of prosperity.

The digital age presents interesting possibilities for prosperity with larger and more open communities allowing the benefit of “common good” to be more widely spread. Online communities facilitate skill sharing, distribution of content and access to goods and services which were not previously possible. As a result, a prosperous mind-set needs to be instilled into those who are transacting in these digital communities where integrity, honesty and transparency are paramount in order not to game the system. This is where the importance of fundamental ethical values is really emphasised.

A strong ethical framework is not only essential in creating the right mindset, but also in supporting, encouraging and in some cases mandating practices that are vital in the creation and distribution of prosperity. This framework must have positive common values that are institutionalised through the education system, and enforced in all membership bodies.

It is important that the definition for prosperity shifts away from a traditional measure of financial wealth to one that is more inclusive of social and environmental prosperity that in turn enables a sustainable form of prosperity that is commonly achievable.