Today, we’re publishing our latest report, “Business and a Wellbeing Economy: Creating Thriving Businesses and a Thriving Scotland”, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and Co-operative Development Scotland.
Keep reading to see what Jimmy Paul, Director of WEAll Scotland, had to say about this report, business’s role in a wellbeing economy, and the exciting opportunities ahead of Scotland:
“The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) was created from a belief in the power of collaboration. This report gave WEAll Scotland the opportunity to work with Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), the arm of Scottish Enterprise that supports employee ownership and co-operative business models. CDS believes these inclusive business models are a fairer, stronger and more democratic way of doing business that helps create a wellbeing economy.
“My biggest drive, both personally and professionally, is to see a world where all people flourish. The Wellbeing Economy Alliance works alongside a beautifully diverse group of organisations to ensure people are at the forefront of change. This is what attracted me to apply for the role of director of WEAll Scotland, earlier this year.
“As I settle into this new role, I look forward to meeting bold businesses who are making strides to realise social justice on a healthy planet. Businesses play a vital role in building a thriving Scotland: a Scotland where all people flourish and which cherishes our natural home.
“The assumptions upon which our current economic system rests no longer hold true. Economic growth cannot be assumed to automatically deliver a decent standard of living for enough people. With scientists warning of the sixth mass extinction and catastrophic climate change, 20th century systems of production and consumption need to be transformed, and we must be impatient for change.
“In the past, greed at an individual level was the predominant motivator shaping economic policies. However, the way communities across Scotland responded to Covid-19 is one of many recent examples of societal cooperation, empathy, and solidarity.
“Back in 1942, William Beveridge wrote that ‘A revolutionary moment in the world’s history is time for revolutions, not for patching’. Covid-19 has clearly presented us with a revolutionary moment. The question is, will we harness it to work together and build an economy that better meets the needs of people and planet than the one we had going into the pandemic? We hope that this partnership will be the first of many more.”
By Tabitha Jayne
The world of sustainability is confusing. With the drive towards net-zero targets increasing and the pressure of COP26 happening in Scotland this year, it’s easy to think that business is expected to make a quantum leap.
In reality, it’s a journey that we are already on. Many businesses are already on their wellbeing journey. They just don’t know it yet because the language used creates barriers instead of connection.
WEAll Scotland has partnered with Scottish Enterprise (via the Co-operative Development Scotland service) and Remarkable to explore how businesses in Scotland are active in creating a wellbeing economy and how they can do more to contribute to fairer, more inclusive working practices in Scotland.
There are also twenty-one supporting partners helping us by sharing the survey with their networks:
- Business in the Community
- Community Enterprise in Scotland
- Development Trusts Association Scotland
- Foundation Scotland
- Institute of Directors
- Linwood Community Trust
- Mindset Experts
- Natural Change
- Net Zero Community
- North Ayrshire Council
- Remade Network
- RSA – Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturers & Commerce
- Scotland CAN B
- Scottish Council for Development & Industry
- Scottish Football Club
- Scottish Institute of Business Leaders
- Scottish Business Network
- Social Investment Scotland
- VisitScotland Business Events
This is a powerful example of collaboration for a wellbeing economy.
But why do we need a wellbeing economy?
A couple of weeks ago, my mum told me how a friend of the family had killed himself. As a farmer, he turned to renting out caravans to support himself because he couldn’t survive from what he made from the land. With Covid-19 regulations, he had no source of additional income.
Farmers have a high suicide rate, but we don’t talk about it. They are victims of an economic system designed to exploit people and nature.
Last year, my sister-in-law’s nephew found his friend dead from a drug overdose. He is 17 and has already lost two more friends to suicide. They too are victims of an economic system that doesn’t work.
When I was seven, I nearly died from an asthma attack caused by air pollution. I am a survivor of an economic system that doesn’t work. If you’re reading this, so are you.
It’s time for the economic system to change. A wellbeing economy is a way of preventing needless deaths. It puts people and nature at the heart of our economic system because we are the economy.
Business has an essential role to play in this transition. Yet too often the actions of big business pollute how we view the way business is done.
As an entrepreneur and business owner, I deeply care about those who work for me and for the community I live in. That’s where the journey of a wellbeing business starts.
And that’s why I’m working on behalf of WEAll Scotland to create a survey on business and the wellbeing economy.
If you’re a business (of any kind and structure), we’d love for you to take part.