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How Aristotle Inspired Symphony’s Mission Statement

Updated: May 27, 2020

At Symphony, we are extremely passionate about working with brands that are dedicated to helping humans flourish. But where did this idea come from?

During the course of her studies in ancient Greek philosophy, our founder and CEO learned about Aristotle’s concept of eudaimonia (yoo-‘die-moh-nee-ah), loosely translated as “human flourishing” or a contented state of being happy, healthy, and prosperous. Aristotle believed that humans are hard-wired to constantly evolve toward eudaimonia which is achieved through a combination of education, guided practice and good habits. He asserted that people are intrinsically motivated to close the gap between their current state of being and what they are capable of achieving, and called this continual effort: areté (are-et-‘ay). But while this process is driven by intrinsic motivation by the individual, Aristotle pointed out it is also a civic enterprise developed through social action. In other words – we need other people to help us get there.

In the mid 20th century, American psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) came along and mapped out a more detailed path to personal fulfillment with his Hierarchy of Needs. He later modified his earlier model, and added a new peak to the hierarchy known as “transcendence” – which explained that to truly flourish as a human being, one must not only achieve his or her own full potential, one must also reach out and help others achieve their potential as well. Sound familiar?

Inspired by both eudaimonia and transcendence, we want to put the power of our talents behind companies that are contributing something positive to the world and enabling people to achieve their full potential. For example, clients like Canary Health are helping people live healthier lives by giving them tools to change their diet and exercise habits, and other clients like Givsum are giving people meaning and purpose through their platform to serve others.

At the end of the day, the power of PR can exponentially amplify a company’s impact – and we want to use that power for good.

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