5 Indicators of Thriving communities

Framework for Thriving Global Communities*

Thriving communities are comprised of a diverse group of individuals who are united by a sense of purpose and desire to use their time and creative energy to serve the common good.

The following guiding indicators of thriving communities have been found to be universal across faiths, cultures, and nationalities. We use these indicators as a framework to ground our actions and guide our decisions about what and how to deliver CultureSeed’s programs and meet our mission goals. 

The five indicators of a thriving community are:


Economy and Opportunity

Education, Employment, Goods and Services, Technology, Tourism


Financial Wellbeing — Self-sufficiency and effectively managing your economic life.
Financial well-being is about having the necessary resources to not only meet our basic needs (food, water, shelter, clothes, health) but also discretionary income for other important life goals. Those that have the highest level of satisfaction in this area effectively manage their resources to achieve financial well being and security. While money doesn’t buy happiness, it is an important resource and we tend to be happier when we can manage our finances well and ensure our needs are met. Thriving communities provide resources and support to help people gain the skills necessary to sustainably support themselves and prosper.

Life purpose/Career Wellbeing — Sharing your unique talents with the world.
Our daily work shapes a large portion of our life. People with a high level of satisfaction in this area have found their purpose and wake up feeling enthusiastic about how they are going to spend their day. They are excited to influence the world in a positive way and are passionate about the work they do. Thriving communities support and empower individuals towards reaching their full authentic potential and creating a life with happiness, meaning and fulfillment.


Community Engagement

Design, Governance, Justice, Media and Communication, Politics and Policy


Community Wellbeing — Engagement with the area where you live.
People who thrive in their community life offer their strengths and passions for the betterment of others, the community, and the earth that supports all of us. Involvement through service, helping others, sharing resources, and other caring acts can result in a variety of positive impacts for community life. Thriving communities recognize our interdependence and the mutual exchange of talents and resources among diverse members. These communities provide opportunities for gaining skills and education to support community needs and readily engage and accept the contributions individuals share for the greater good of the community. Sharing and engaging with one another are essential ingredients for a thriving community.


Ecology and Place

Agriculture, Energy, Housing and Development, Food and Water, Wildlands


Timothy Beatley and Kristy Manning describe a world in which land is consumed sparingly, cities and towns are vibrant and green, local economies thrive, and citizens work together to create places of enduring value. They present a holistic and compelling approach to repairing and enhancing communities, introducing a vision of "sustainable places" that extends beyond traditional architecture and urban design to consider not just the physical layout of a development but the broad set of ways in which communities are organized and operate.


Mindbody Wellness

Exercise, Food and Nutrition, Medicine, Mindfulness, Shelter and Security


Physical and Mental Wellbeing — Health and energy to fulfill your potential on a daily basis.
People that thrive mentally and physically usually have healthy habits and a balanced lifestyle that includes exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and learning new life skills. Spirituality can also play a vital role in one’s connection to self, others and the world at large. Activities that increase our wellbeing in this area will help people feel and live better and ultimately contribute to every other area of our life. Thriving communities accept, encourage and celebrate unique development and expression for each individual with support to expand their physical and mental well-being.


Strong Social Relationships

Arts and Culture, Faith and Reverence, Leadership Development, Service and Volunteering, Social Skills


Social Wellbeing — Strong relationships and love in your life.
Our social wellbeing is highly influenced by the people around us, including our friends, co-workers, family and loved ones. People with a high level of satisfaction in this category have strong social skills that help create positive relationships and a sense of love in their life. These relationships are mutually beneficial, compassionate and strengthen our social circles and interactions with others. Thriving communities are rich in personal connections that foster feelings of belonging.


Gallup researchers found that while 66% of people are doing well in at least one of the five areas above, just 7% are thriving in all five. Only 1 in 6 adults (17 percent) worldwide were considered to be “thriving” in at least three of these five indicators of wellbeing. CultureSeed seeks to enhance the lives of individuals in these areas so we can all contribute to a thriving community.

*There have been several studies and groups researching the concept of thriving. The information here has been compiled from various resources that we find inspiring and supportive of our vision and mission: a comprehensive global study of more than 150 countries, in which Gallup explored the common elements of wellbeing that transcend countries and cultures; the Thrive Foundation; research conducted by Stanford University; and an adaption of The Five Essential Elements of Wellbeing as found in the Gallup Business Journal.