Thriving is about...

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I came across the term thriving for the very first time in my life when I read it in the title of Louise Hayes’ and Joseph Ciarrochi’s book. As a non English-speaker I started relating it to other known words to give it a meaning. And while reticulating and shifting from Italian to English and vice versa I noticed that there was no unique way to relate the term to a specific Italian word. So you need a number of terms, a network of relations, at least in Italian, to fully understand it. And because of this I fell in love with the concept (and with the book too…. I’m biased, I know) and the following is the network that emerged for me in the context of ACBS.

Thriving is about a process of growing and developing. We are a living organization that we can proudly say has grown and expanded in the four corners of the world, where this Community is developing and using Contextual Behavioral Science to alleviate human suffering.

Thriving is about participation in growth. Contributions to CBS come in many forms, from basic to clinical and other applied fields of research. Active contributions come also from participating in the mailing lists, working in projects in developing countries, and volunteering time to ACBS projects, to name a few.

Thriving is about transition. As an organization we’re moving from adolescence to adulthood and we need to adjust progressively to challenges and requests while maintaining a course informed by our unique values.

Thriving is about historical roots. Some roots are traceable in Behavior Analysis and we are exploring that Science beyond traditional limits.

Thriving is about individuals. Our Science embraces a perspective of an organism that evolves and adapts in a context. And we pay attention and care for both single persons and groups.

Thriving is about learning. There is no adaptation and evolution without learning. We have learnt a lot in these years from many sources (research, practice, debates, and errors, of course), and will continue to learn.

Thriving is about blossoms. There are a wide variety of interests in our Organization because of the breath of CBS as a Science that is not limited to clinical intervention and embraces the human condition in all its forms and context.

Thriving is about evolution. Our Science is based on the selection of adaptive behavior in the context of shared values and evolutionary thinking is part of its backbone. Sources of variation come from diversity. We grow as individuals and as an Organization, and our Science progresses when we enrich these contexts with many sources of input.

Thriving is about participation in this ever developing process. Thriving is about a live body, a live Community and a live Science. Any contribution, even as an attendee in a conference, is important.

So I encourage you to add your own personal vision of what “Thriving is about…” and bring your personal contribution to the ACBS conference in Montréal in July 2018. Please share this invitation with anyone who might be interested. We have great invited speakers, researchers, clinicians, professionals, and practitioners from many fields whose ideas are the perfect yeast for a growing community. Did I mention there is no thriving without sharing?

-Nanni Presti, ACBS Board President