Build Back Better

Beyond COVID: How can economies prioritise our wellbeing?

Published on September 02, 2020

Conventional metrics of economic success, like Gross Domestic Product, have long been criticised for their inability to capture wellbeing, inequality or environmental destruction. 

This has led to a growing interest in the different measures of progress, leading some governments, such as Iceland and New Zealand, to trial using wellbeing metrics to determine how government money is spent. 

Katherine Trebeck, WEAll’s Advocacy and Influencing Lead recently joined Benedikt Arnason, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister and Committee of Ministers of Iceland, and Andrew Simms, Co-Director, New Weather Institute, at a #BeyondCOVID event to discuss exactly this topic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted both the fragility of our economy and how this can damage our health and wellbeing. This session explored how an approach to policy that prioritises wellbeing could sit at the heart of efforts to recover from the pandemic and to realise a more resilient, sustainable and fair society. 

Watch the event here to learn more details about how Iceland is putting into practice 39 wellbeing indicators, to bring the vision of a wellbeing economy to life. These indicators cover all areas of the 5 ‘WEAll needs’ in a wellbeing economy: dignity, nature, connection, dignity, fairness and participation,  ranging from measures of work-life balance to security to air quality.

This event was part of the Beyond COVID: The Discussion Series, which brings together leading experts to explore key issues in the debates over how to recover and reform from the coronavirus crisis. The series is part of the wider Beyond COVID initiative, which helps people navigate the debate over how we build a fairer and more resilient economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

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