Anheuser-Busch Briefing Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H St NW, Washington, D.C.
Registration and Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
The concept of abundance takes many forms.
At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the focus is naturally on the American business community. Abundance is an important topic to business leaders who relentlessly search for ways to achieve more results, increase growth and markets, and deliver broader impact.
In the Chamber’s Fall 2012 issue of Business Horizon Quarterly, I discussed the future of American abundance and laid out three levers that will drive our nation’s economic growth over the next 30 years. These levers are talent, capital, and markets. I then elaborate on the levers and show how they are transforming several different industries in a forthcoming report from the Forum for Innovation.
During my research for the report, I discovered other wellsprings of abundance that complement, contrast, and challenge a business view of what abundance means.
Beyond business, it is fitting that the concept of abundance touches numerous communities. Across these groups, abundance is discussed both as a quantity (a surplus amount) and a quality (a state of fullness or overflowing). Abundance exists as an ideal, as a practice, and as an outcome.
As environmentalist John Muir reflected on the natural world around him in 1911, he wrote a moving statement about abundance that ties multiple threads of the concept together:
“One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of Nature—inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her material is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe, and faithfully watch and wait the reappearance of everything that melts and fades and dies about us, feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.”
It is a fitting outlook on abundance for today’s business leaders, too.