Love Letham is bringing people together to develop a plan to make Letham the best place it can be for children to grow up in.

The pioneering project is supporting children, young people, families, the wider community and organisations like Perth and Kinross Council to work together to create a shared local vision of what children and young people need to flourish, as well as a plan to deliver it. 

By bringing children and communities together with decision makers we’ll create a shared roadmap that captures what matters most to people. 

This innovative programme is part of a growing movement of people, organisations and businesses across Scotland who are trying to do things differently. Working together we can think through what we all need to live good lives on a healthy planet and redirect our institutions, policy and practice to work in service of our collective wellbeing.

How we’ll get there

First, we’re working with children, young people and their families to explore what wellbeing means to them and what areas of life are important for current and future wellbeing.

Children and young people’s voices and ideas are central to the Love Letham project so we want to reach as many of them as possible. We are especially keen to reach those whose voices are less often heard in policy conversations and we’ll work with children using a range of creative age appropriate formats.

From January 2022 we’ll recruit people to join the Love Letham Commission – a small working group of residents, children, young people and key professionals from decision making institutions such as the Council. The Commission will analyse the data that’s emerged from the exercises and conversations in the community and discuss recurring themes. They will use this to create a shared local vision for making Letham the best place it can be for children to grow up in, and they’ll develop a plan to make it happen. The Commission will also include a group of younger children who will meet separately so the sessions are appropriate to their age.

The inclusion of key professionals and members from the Council should allow the Commission not only to make recommendations but to take action in the Council to reorient policy and budgets to realise the community’s vision. It is envisaged that the Commission will share their plan in July 2022.


How you can get involved

Follow us on Facebook to find out the latest about the project and see how you can get involved. Email frances.scotland@weall.org to receive regular email updates. Your email address won’t be shared with any third parties and will be used exclusively for updates about this project. 

Who set up the project?

Love Letham is a collaboration between the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland and Perth and Kinross Council. It is part of the Perth and Kinross Offer – the Council’s commitment to draw on the strengths and assets of individuals and communities and work together so everyone in Perth and Kinross can live life well.

The project is supported by Northern Star and is funded by the Cattanach Trust. For further reading on the ideas that inform this approach see WEAll’s Policy Design Guide and WEAll report Being Bold: Building Budgets for Children’s Wellbeing.

For more information contact frances.scotland@weall.org.

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Written by Suzan Joy

We are all victims of various forms of injustices like domestic violence, police brutality, hunger, income inequality, sexual harassment, land conflict, death, betrayal, homelessness etc. Through these shared experiences and stories we find ourselves connected to one another. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all come from a place of deep compassion and become part of a solution that restores hope and healing

A solution that empowers those at the margins of society to step forward and become drivers of change. Where their voices are heard and amplified. This is exactly why the WEAll East African hub exists! To support grassroots movements across East Africa to be key drivers for the global movement for a wellbeing economy. 

Part of my journey in creating this hub is connecting local grassroots organisations and building a tight support network amongst them so they are able to create more impact in the communities they serve. And by connecting these organizations to all other key actors/sectors at all levels, we expect to be able to help support Alliances make more impact and influence working policies. In the end use the bottom up approach to address complexities that emerge 

Building a Wellbeing Economy means creating spaces that breeds collaborations, social innovations and strategically placing grassroots movements at the forefront of systems change. Grassroots movements  are the engine that drives societal and policy change as people who work and reside in communities are best positioned to identify what needs to change in their communities.

This week I had the privilege of interacting with Molly, a woman who dedicates her time, energy and resources to support her neighbors. She works closely with her community members to promote the welfare needs of the most vulnerable people such as women, children, youth, disabled, elderly and HIV/AIDS infected and affected persons in her community. 

Listen to our interview below

Witnessing her work was a good reminder of what it means to build a Wellbeing Economy. It means actively taking care of the needs of the people and the planet.

Molly realized that the rate of teenage pregnancies in her community is increasing daily due to schools being closed down as an effect of COVID-19. So together with her community they established support groups for teenage mothers. In these groups the mothers go through therapy or counseling sessions. And are taught various entrepreneurial skills as well. This way they can be economically independent and mentally healthy to raise their children 

Molly also realized that women were being deprived of their land rights because in most cultures here, they aren’t supposed to inherit land. But through Fountain of Life, a community based organization that she founded and directs, she organizes training sessions with these women and educates them about their land rights. Fountain of Life also facilitates reconciliation dialogues between the victims of land grabbing and the land grabbers. Mary, one of the victims, was able to get back 800 acres of land. Now uses her journey and story to build confidence and encourages other women in her community to fight for their land rights. Mary has now established a team of women and together they settle cases of land disputes in villages within Otuke district.

This is just one example of the many initiatives that exist to address local issues via local, grassroot solutions. We hope you continue to follow the journey of the East Africa Hub and if you have any questions or would like to get involved, please reach out to me, Suzan Joy using this email address:  

COP26 is over – the agreement, which builds on the Paris agreement of 2015, has been reached, and the city of Glasgow has returned to normality.

During the two weeks of COP, the city was a hive of activity – within the official “blue” and “green” zones of the conference, and across the Glasgow. What did WEAll do during COP, what does our team make of the outcomes, and was it all worth it?

Image: Cameron Brisbane photography

Common Ground Festival

WEAll’s primary goal during COP was to use it as an opportunity to engage new audiences with Wellbeing Economy ideas – making the link between the climate crisis and the need for economic system change.

This meant that we focused our efforts outside the formal conference, on the delivery of the first Common Ground Festival, in partnership with WEAll members fiis (Festival Internacional de Innovacion Social).

Over 1200 people attended Common Ground at the Queen Margaret Union on Saturday 6 November, listening to artists including the Fratellis, Colonel Mustard and the Dijon Five, The Twilight Sad, Kitti and many more. They also participated in workshops and listened to leaders from around the world, bringing the Wellbeing Economy to life and inspiring hope about what is possible.

This short video features some of the highlights of Common Ground – and shows the energy, passion and optimism shared by all who attended. Fuller videos of the panel discussions will be available soon.

Connecting with WEAll members

COP meant that many WEAll members from around the world were coming to Glasgow – and given that some of the WEAll Amp team, and of course the WEAll Scotland team, are based in the city, this was a rare and exciting opportunity to connect face-to-face with our network.

We hosted an informal gathering at one of Glasgow’s oldest pubs on Friday 5 November. Over 40 WEAll members and friends spent the evening together, building relationships, sharing ideas and enjoying the feeling of being with the “WEAll family” that for so long has been confined to the world of Zoom! 

WEAll team members also had the chance to catch up with some of our members in longer meetings while they visited Glasgow, and it was a reminder of the importance of “real life” connection, with many seeds being sown and relationships strengthened.

Spreading the message

WEAll was invited to participate in many events connected to COP, and we took up as many offers as possible in order to spread Wellbeing Economy ideas and make connections for diverse audiences. Katherine Trebeck spoke inside the official conference “blue zone” (once for our friends the Club of Rome and for Face the Future – plus held several meetings while there). Katherine and other team members represented WEAll at many online and offline events throughout COP – too many to list!

The WEAll team reflects on their COP experience 

Sarah Deas, WEAll Scotland trustee

“During COP, I mainly participated in online events – of which there were many! I was a speaker at Remade Network’s launch event, sharing my thoughts on the contribution of remakeries to a wellbeing economy. The events that I attended ranged from discussions on the need for systems change to the benefits of a circular economy, decoupling growth from consumption and the role of communities in achieving net zero.

“Business was very present at COP (more so than ever before). There was positive engagement – pushing for the right things, trying to increase ambition. The announcement of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero was a positive move, holding the financial community accountable for its pivotal role in addressing climate change.

“It was also good to see the level of activism on the streets. And, the breadth of fringe events (both face-to-face and online). However the outcomes were disappointing on many fronts. The push to get national ambitions as high as possible fell short of the mark. Current pledges don’t go far enough – they will lead to between 1.8 & 2.4 degrees of warming, with catastrophic implications.  And, worryingly, many of the new net-zero targets lack implementation plans.

“We must celebrate progress though: this was made across a range of initiatives. Successes include developments in how Article 6 will be governed (carbon accounting and trading), the methane reduction pledge, ending deforestation by 2030 and the new requirement for net-zero transition plans for listed companies in the UK. Also, the greater recognition of the role of communities and indigenous peoples in addressing climate change. Most importantly there is a commitment to come back with raised ambitions every year (rather than every five years).

“There is plenty to be optimistic about after COP26 – but it is clear that there needs to be a step change in terms of urgency.”

Lisa Hough-Stewart, WEAll Organisation and Projects Co-Lead

“The COP fortnight felt like (and probably was) two years’ worth of human interaction in two weeks – which was glorious, as I’ve been craving it, and also a bit overwhelming!

“It meant so much to connect with WEAll members in person. Looking around at our gathering at Sloans, I had worked with every person there over the past few years, but there were only a handful I’d ever met in person before. I’m grateful that COP brought our community to Glasgow, and gave this opportunity to strengthen the relationships which are at the core of WEAll’s purpose. 

“I was proud of what the team pulled off at Common Ground – a genuinely world-class music festival, which brought Wellbeing Economy ideas to a new audience and communicated them in a fun way. 

“COP was a busy time for me as a musician, too. I performed with SambaYaBamba near the front of the 100,000 strong march on 6 November – we had the privilege of providing the music for the Indigenous bloc. 

“I also took part in a massed band performance of Enough is Enough, a gorgeous song created by Oi Musica, Karine Polwart and the Soundhouse Choir and which WEAll played a small part in supporting. Being on the streets in Govan, raising my voice with hundreds of others with words of hope about a better system, made me feel optimistic and truly connected to others and the planet: the essence of a Wellbeing Economy.

“So, I didn’t have time to go near the official COP and I almost forgot to check up on what was happening with the negotiations. For those of us on the streets in Glasgow, COP was a powerful moment of connection and togetherness, that I truly believe has helped galvanise the Wellbeing Economy movement.”

Amanda Janoo, WEAll Knowledge and Policy Lead 

“In March 2020, right as the COVID-19 lock-downs began sweeping the globe, I started my dream job with WEAll. Attending COP made this work feel real in a way that has been rejuvenating to my core. 

“Upon arrival into Glasgow, the wonderful Katherine Trebeck took me to a music and arts performance, with legends such as Bill Mckibbon and Patti Smith bringing awareness and hope to the climate crisis we face. 

“My first speaking event was in a room filled with fourteen year old girls. The incredible prompt for myself and the other panelists was: “when the problems are man-made, the solutions are feminist”.  Sitting alongside three remarkable women, we fielded some of the most challenging and foundational questions I’ve received in this work to date. Questions such as “why do women feel inferior to men?”, “what does indigenous mean?” and “how can I change the world”, left me humbled and inspired by the generation of leaders to come. 

“One of the highlights for my trip was getting to spend quality time with my colleagues, Lisa, Michael and Katherine. To be able to have conversations that don’t need to have any purpose or outcome, allowed me to deepen my understanding and connection with them as brilliant, kind and incredibly fun people. 

“Lisa and I designed a workshop for students at the University of Glasgow on the Wellbeing Economy. We experimented with a dialogical approach to focus on what the students already knew and their ideas: resulting in fantastic conversations. We realized in developing this workshop that what would have taken ages over zoom, took less than an hour, as the energy and flow of being in person facilitated powerfully generative discussion. 

“Common Ground and our members’ gathering made me feel so grateful to be part of a community that recognizes the transformative power of fun and joy. By bringing people together, and celebrating the gifts we bring to the world as artists, thinkers and changemakers we were able to elevate vibrations and expand our understanding of what the economy is and can be. 

“After MCing one of the festival stages and dancing for much of the night at the Common Ground Festival, I arrived a bit worse for wear to a Climate Campaigners Event but was quickly revived by the rich discussion. This was potentially the most powerful event I attended at COP. Sitting around the large table were not only representatives from organizations such as 350.org, Sunrise, Fridays for Future and many more, but critically a group of funders who genuinely wanted to understand how they could better support the movement. I became fast friends with Lina from movilizatorio and we advocated for more long-term, core funding  and asked funders to stop making us differentiate ourselves and rather support greater collaboration across the movement. I had joined this meeting because next year, WEAll aims to connect more with social and environmental movements and are in the process of hiring a Advocacy and Movements Lead to lead this work. I therefore wanted to get a sense of the aims and objectives of the movement and was very encouraged when a beautiful representative from Fridays for Future spoke and said that whilst they recognize the need for economic systems change, they do not always feel comfortable discussing issues related to the economy or finance. I offered our support and look forward to working more with these passionate, powerful and transformative change agents.

“I will end by sharing my proudest moment at COP: I got a chance to speak on a panel organized by Caroline Lucas MP and gave a speech that reflected my journey and passion for the wellbeing economy. If you’re interested you can check it out here.”

Jimmy Paul

Jimmy Paul, Director of WEAll Scotland

“I was inspired by the togetherness of people in the climate marches, the quality of speakers and the energy in events like the Common Ground Festival. I loved that COP brought people together in person (particularly so post-covid.

“However, I can’t help but be disappointed by the political tensions in the lead up to COP26, and ultimately disappointed by the dilution of the agreement.

“I would like to have seen international agreement and commitment to finance for adaptation, loss and damage from richer countries, acknowledging the urgency of the climate crisis on small island states, for example.”

Katherine Trebeck, WEAll Co-Founder and Strategic Advocacy Advisor

“I spent two days in the official blue zone, taking part in events for the Club of Rome and Facing the Future. 

“I was struck by the diversity – my sense is that vulnerable countries do seem to have had more space and influence this time.

“The official space however, felt very busy and airless, there was no natural light. The pavilion section felt like a trade fair!

“I attended many events over the course of the fortnight, and it struck me that fantastic events which at any other time would have had huge audiences had empty seats. With so many organisations tying events to COP, and only so much audience to go around, I can’t help but wonder: if everyone is talking, who is listening? Perhaps as a movement we need to consider the effectiveness of putting so much energy into having a presence at these large events.

“So, I feel that WEAll made the right call going for a different audience with Common Ground, and it feels like we succeeded in our mission to take the Wellbeing Economy conversation to wider audiences. 

“In terms of the COP26 agreement itself – I think both the proponents and the critics are right. It’s not good enough, and it is progress. Coal was mentioned for first time, annual check ins are an important step forward – and of course, we need to keep moving further and faster. We should be careful not to be too “us vs them” about the outcome.”

Michael Weatherhead, WEAll Organisation and Projects Co-Lead

“For much of COP26, I had my head down preparing and delivering our Common Ground music festival. Reaching a new audience with the festival was undoubtedly a highlight for me – those that came for the music and left with awareness of the need for economic systems change to sort climate change. 

“Additionally, the inspiring Macaulay lecture by Christiana Figueres, Nicola Sturgeon and two of the young women – Anuna de Wever and Julieta Martinez – who featured on a panel at Common Ground was an undoubted highlight. 

“Christiana Figueres speaks with such hope and humour, yet with the gravitas of someone that knows the reality of how progress is often made.””

This has been a week of big milestones / ‘firsts’ for the Wellbeing Economy movement – from being seriously debated in the UK Parliament to being recognised in law in the EU. Let’s dive into some of the highlights:

The UK’s first ever Parliamentary Debate on a Wellbeing Economy

On Tuesday, MP Caroline Lucas of the Green Party led the UK’s first ever Parliamentary debate on the topic of a ‘Wellbeing economy approach to meeting climate goals’. As she put it,

“The GDP figures we’re using to measure economic success also measure the rate at which we’re barrelling towards climate catastrophe.”

The debate was made possible by over 65,000 signatures from across the UK on a petition, to urge the Government and Treasury prioritise the health and wellbeing of people and planet, by pursuing a Wellbeing Economy approach.

The debate displayed strong cross-party support for the need for economic system change – and for a Wellbeing Economy approach to tackling both the climate emergency and social inequalities in the UK.

This is a big milestone in the road to making real change, because, as MP Patrick Grady put it,

“If we agree that the aim is to reduce inequality, to improve wellbeing and to meet climate goals, we can have a debate about how best to do that.”

Watch the recording of the full session here and read the full transcript here, and the briefing paper that informed the debate.

Here are some of the key highlights from the debate:

Key highlights from the ‘Wellbeing economy approach to meeting climate goals’ debate

The UK’s Environmental Audit Committee launches new inquiry into moving ‘beyond GDP’

Also this week, the UK’s Environmental Audit Committee launched a new inquiry on the case for moving beyond GDP and to explore viable alternative measures. The Committee will undertake hearings in 2022 to examine how the UK Government could incorporate environmental sustainability into its leading measures of economic success.

This is a strong opportunity to build cross-party political support for a Wellbeing Economy and practical steps that the UK Government and Treasury can take in the right direction. The call for evidence covers the UK, but also international policy and action too. Experts are requested to send in written submissions by January 7th at https://committees.parliament.uk/call-for-evidence/646/.

A Wellbeing Economy is recognised in EU law for the first time

The EU’s 8th Environment Action Programme (EAP) sets the objectives for EU environmental policy up to 2030, and lays down the conditions to achieve them.

Yesterday, after months of negotiation, a deal on the EU’s 8th EAP was made. While the agreement fell short in setting an end date for harmful subsidies, the overall result was very promising.

“For the first time, the EU recognises the need to shift towards a Wellbeing Economy. EU institutions have committed to ensuring policy-making is guided by indicators which give a better picture of social and environmental progress than only GDP growth.”

Rebecca Humphries

Key takeaways from the deal are summarized by WWF EU here and the ZOE Institute below:

Here’s hoping these significant strides in promoting the creation of a Wellbeing Economy build stronger momentum for the movement worldwide.

This event drew an online audience of over 120.

For a few minutes prior to the official start of proceedings we were serenaded by the gentle guitar music of Paddy Flamenco (Paddy Anderson). Then our genial compere Davie Philip ( a member of  Hub steering group) introduced proceedings with a poem from fellow Cloughjordan resident, poet Mel White.

Mel’s inspiring poem was followed by a presentation from Seán Ó Conláin, also a member of the Hub steering group, on the work done to arrive at this point. He invited everyone to join the journey to create an effective alliance in Ireland on this crucial notion  of a different kind of economy. He referred to the work of NESC and the government response, namely, to create a set of national indicators, but suggested that what we need is  a transformative action programme, which we can co-create. 

Our first guest, Katherine Trebeck, Strategic Advocacy Advisor for WEAll, commented that she was pleased to see so many friends from across the globe who will able to support the new Hub. While patch and repair might be offered as a solution, as an economist she argues that we need a new model of the economy – but what should it look like? The ethos of WEAll is all around collaboration, and support for those who are doing pioneering work. Hubs represent conversations at a local level which can lead to a global vision.

Katherine was followed by Jennifer Wallace, Head of Policy at Carnegie UK, who presented their concept of how we can contribute to collective wellbeing and the work that Carnegie has carried out on the wellbeing economy in Northern Ireland, particularly on a community level. (Jennifer’s PowerPoints are here).

Then there were two brief reflections, both from other members of the hub steering group: first, Peter Doran of Queens University Belfast. He made reference to Michael D as a role model for solidarity within Ireland and Europe. He reminds us of the notion of reconciling the economy with global climate justice and the principle of listening to local conversations.

Colette Bennett of Social Justice Ireland commented that we should listen to Katherine Trebeck’s comment that we must continue to ask questions, behaving like 3-year-old children. This underpins the idea of a deliberative democracy; and understanding what community wellbeing really means. But we must avoid ‘wellbeing washing’. The key for her, was creating a transformation task-force.

We then had a second emotive and profound poem from Mel White.

Next Roisin Markham of the Irish Doughnut Economy Network (IDEN) introduced our special guest speaker, Kate Raworth. She gave an inspiring talk, based on this slide deck. Kate related the Doughnut concept to the current situation in Ireland. She asked four questions: how can the people of Ireland thrive? How can Ireland be as generous as the wildlife next door? How can Ireland respect the health of the whole planet? How can Ireland respect the wellbeing of all people? She identified elements of  the deep design of places and gave examples of city Doughnut workshops across Europe. Finally, she suggested the Doughnut Economics Action Lab as a resource that we might turn to.

Davie Philip sought two quick  reflections on Kate’s presentation. Firstly,  Caroline Whyte of FEASTA (another member of the Hub steering group) spoke about the need for Ireland to reflect on its relationship with other countries, taking as an example the prominent role of Ireland’s current Minister of Finance in the Eurogroup. She also stressed the importance of ‘upstream’ measures such as hard limits on fossil fuel production and the introduction of commons-based taxation such as land value tax, so as to help reorient the entire economy. 

Charlie Fisher of the Development Trust of Northern Ireland reiterated the point that earlier speakers had made about Ireland’s effect on the global economy, and emphasised the important role of land ownership and property assets, calling for a community rights act in Northern Ireland and a strengthening of democracy so as to deter abusive extractive industries.

Several comments followed from audience participants, referring among other subjects to Community Wealth Building, EU-level work and the need to emphasise peace and reconciliation.

Davie invited Mark Garavan of FEASTA and  the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology to provide closing remarks. Mark said, in summary:

‘ A recurring idea in all of the contributions was the posing of the question ‘how’, not why, we must move to a new ‘well-being’-centred system? We start with questions, not answers. Therefore, a key barrier to the transition that we need is imagination, as Katherine said. While we need limits to growth we need no limits to thought.

Kate’s doughnut is a visual representation of new modes of representing our social and ecological breakdown points. 

Part of the conception we need is not to limit ‘well-being’ to the human but to also include the well-being of all life – tree, river, mountain, habitat. The well-being we seek is the well-being of all.’

Davie thanked all the speakers, promised to harvest the chat from the recording and link attendees to our mailing list. On offer in Spring 2022 will be a further dialogue with Tim Jackson, ecological economist and author of books such as ‘Post Growth, life after capitalism’.

The session ended with a contribution from Irish bard, John Spillane.

WEAll Scotland is growing.

As the wellbeing economy movement becomes a bigger force for change in Scotland and the UK, we’ve expanded our team of staff and volunteers. The thing we all have in common? Belief in and passion for a wellbeing economy—in Scotland and around the world.

Keep reading to say hello to the latest additions to the WEAll Scotland team.

Dr Lukas Hardt – Policy and Engagement Lead

Lukas Hardt

I am super excited to have started my new role as Policy and Engagement Lead for WEAll Scotland! I am passionate about building a wellbeing economy because our current economic system is not working. The relentless focus on economic growth has come at a large cost to the climate and the wider environment. At the same time, millions of people are still going hungry across the world (including in Scotland).

Up to now, I mostly studied and researched wellbeing economics in an academic context. Earlier this year, I finished my PhD research on how to transform the sectoral structure of our economy towards a wellbeing economy. Academic research is extremely important for understanding how we can redesign our economic system, but it has also often felt very theoretical for my taste. In the past, I pursued different voluntary activities to apply my passion beyond academia—for example, setting up a local currency during my undergraduate degree in St Andrews, becoming an organiser of the Post-growth Economics Network, and volunteering for WEAll.

Working as Policy and Engagement Lead for WEAll opens an exciting new chapter in my life. It allows me to focus my time and energy on developing wellbeing economics not only with academics, but with the amazing people who are already making it happen on the ground. For example, I will be helping to develop cornerstone indicators with communities in the Cairngorms National Park and supporting a cross-party parliamentary group on wellbeing economics. There are so many more inspired politicians, citizens, businesses, and community projects making their mark in Scotland right now. I can’t wait to learn from them and work with them to build a wellbeing economy together. 


Frances Rayner – Communications Lead

Frances Rayner

Having spent the last decade working in comms and campaigns for a range of social and environmental causes in Scotland, I am beyond excited to bring this altogether to work towards the ultimate policy solution – a wellbeing economy.

I believe that most of us yearn for a different kind of economy and society. We long for connection. We want to know that we and our neighbours will have what we need to live with dignity and participate in our communities. And we want to protect our planet for future generations. Our challenge now is simply to bring the vision of a wellbeing economy to life. To show how we can redesign our economy so it delivers what truly matters to humanity. In the words of Toni Cade Bambara, “to make revolution irresistible.”

I am in awe of the work the WEAll team and allies have achieved to date, and I’ve been moved to see just how strongly the organisation embodies wellbeing economy values in its organisational culture and working practices.

I’m confident that together we can create an unstoppable movement.


Patrick Wiggins – Associates Lead

I am really excited to join WEALL Scotland as Associates Lead, where I will be helping to coordinate and plan projects and commissions.

I have spent my career working in economic development and regeneration – dealing with the consequences of a system that doesn’t work for so many people. It’s time to address  the systemic causes of inequalities and fractured communities rather than trying to patch them up. Wellbeing thinking helps us do that. 

I hate injustice, social and climate, and in some small way want to do something about it. The economic system prioritises individual wealth accumulation and growth, at the expense of the planet, over meeting peoples’ needs and wellbeing. People and the planet should be served by the economy, not the economy served by people and the planet.

The application of principles of the Wellbeing Economy is a route to making that shift. So joining the fantastic, and enthusiastic, team working to mainstream Wellbeing thinking in Scotland is a great way  to try and make that a reality. I’m really looking forward to it.


Denisha Killoh – Trustee

Denisha Killoh

I’m Denisha, and after an incredible 18 months as a participation volunteer, I am delighted to be appointed as a trustee, marking a new chapter in my journey at WEAll Scotland.

I first learned about the term ‘wellbeing economy’ as the Stigma Co-Chair at the Independent Care Review, where Katherine Trebeck (co-founder of WEAll Scotland) wrote our ‘The Money’ report. This work explored how much it costs Scotland to deliver the ‘failure demand’ services required to support adults with care experience as a result of them being failed by the ‘care system’ as children. This way of thinking about how to solve our social issues, arguing to invest preventatively upstream rather than reactively downstream, is why I am so passionate about building a wellbeing economy, because it can’t be done without putting marginalised communities in the driving seat.

It is an honour to be given more responsibility to deliver this aim and shape the strategic direction of an organisation I truly love. I can’t wait to get started!


Daisy Narayanan – Trustee

Daisy Narayanan

I am an architect and urban designer. Over the last decade, my work has focussed on sustainable transport and climate action. I came to Edinburgh in 2004 to complete my master’s degree, fell in love with this incredible city and stayed.

As we respond to the climate crisis, I feel it is even more urgent to find new ways of working, to put the focus firmly on the wellbeing of people and planet. Only then can we collaboratively shape our cities and towns to be fairer, kinder, healthier and truly resilient.


Satwat Rehman – Trustee

Satwat Rehman

Structural inequalities and injustice are the root cause of the issues that I have worked and campaigned against all my life: climate change, racism, poverty, and gender inequality, to name but a few. At the heart of the matter is an economic system which values growth and wealth creation for the few. I truly believe we need to change what we value as important and move to a wellbeing economy—with people and planet at its heart. We need to have the ambition to move beyond mitigation and managing inequalities to developing a new way of thinking and doing which enables the creation of a wellbeing economy with justice and equality as its bedrock.

This is why I am so pleased to join the board of WEAll Scotland and look forward to working with the team.

To end with the words of Arundhati Roy, “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

Guest Blog from Finance Watch

As world leaders gather at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26), plans will be laid out to address climate risks and create a low-carbon economy. Yet even while this plan should be straightforward, huge new fossil fuel exploration and extraction projects are being financed across the world.

With the transition to net zero, fossil fuel assets of banks and insurers will rapidly diminish in value or become entirely worthless. Massive losses will follow for financial institutions, which could result in them requiring bailouts, paid for by the public.

In the meantime, more frequent and severe natural disasters mean that insurance companies face huge claims, and financial institutions are exposed to financial losses through assets and business operations that are destroyed.

There is a solution.

A growing number of experts are proposing a simple solution to this impending crisis: implementing one-for-one capital requirements for the financing of new fossil fuels. This is a form of financial regulation that means for each euro/dollar that finances fossil fuels, banks and insurers should have a euro/dollar of their own funds held liable for potential losses.

This basic risk management principle is already applied to other high risk exposures. For example, the Basel Committee just recommended the one-for-one be applied to some cryptocurrencies’ exposures.

Financing fossil fuels poses a far bigger threat to the entire global economy.

We believe regulators must act immediately.

A one-for-one regulatory standard for financing new fossil fuels projects would mean that banks and insurance companies are gambling with their own money, and not the public’s money.

The current capital rules ignore the risk of financing fossil fuels, making fossil fuel exposures artificially more profitable – which equates to a subsidy. This is on top of the $1.54 million in direct subsidies and tax breaks the fossil fuel industry gets from governments every single minute.

Markets are notoriously bad at self-correcting, as we discovered in 2008. Voluntary measures by financial institutions will not be sufficient, as there are limited incentives for financial institutions to change their behaviour as long as profits can be made in the short- term while ignoring climate-related risks. 

A one-for-one standard is the robust regulation needed to prevent advantages for banks and insurers to finance fossil fuels. It is a way to guide the market away from mutually assured destruction.

We’re calling on world leaders to take action now and protect us from a potential financial crisis. 

WEAll revealed the latest rankings of the Happy Planet Index (HPI) today, which compare countries by how efficiently they are creating long, happy lives using our limited environmental resources.

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is the leading global measure of ‘sustainable wellbeing’. It measures ‘efficiency’, using three indicators:

This is the fifth edition of the Happy Planet index. It was first launched in 2006, with subsequent editions published in 2009, 2012, and 2016.

The 2021 Happy Planet Index: Which countries are most ‘efficient’?

The top 10 countries by Happy Planet Index score are as follows:

  1. Costa Rica
  2. Vanuatu 
  3. Colombia 
  4. Switzerland 
  5. Ecuador 
  6. Panama 
  7. Jamaica 
  8. Guatemala 
  9. Honduras
  10. Uruguay 

Notably, Central and South America dominate the Happy Planet Index, with 8 of the top 10 highest ranking countries from the region. However, there has been a decline in wellbeing in several countries in South America, including Brazil.

Selected other countries:

11.   New Zealand

14.   United Kingdom

29.   Germany

31.   France

35.   Ireland

41.   Sweden

88.   Australia

94.   China

105. Canada

122. USA

The full Happy Planet Index rankings are available to view at www.happyplanetindex.org

How does your country measure up?

This year, the Happy Planet Index features an interactive website, where viewers can explore the data, make comparisons between countries and regions, and view trends over time, from 2006 to 2020. You can also download the data to make your own analyses!

There is also a new ‘Personal Happy Planet Index’ test to help users see what country they are most like based on their own lifestyles – and to reflect on how they can create their own “good life that doesn’t cost the Earth.

How is the Happy Planet Index different?

Unlike other indices, such as the Quality of Life Index or World Happiness Report, the Happy Planet Index does not rank countries in terms of quality of life or happiness. Instead, it looks at which countries are best at using minimal ‘inputs’ of natural resources to create the maximum possible  ‘outputs’ of long, happy lives – thus delivering truly “sustainable wellbeing”. 

Rankings serve as a compass pointing in the overall direction in which societies should be travelling – towards higher wellbeing lifestyles with lower ecological footprints. 

The Happy Planet Index does not consider societies truly successful if they deliver “good lives” which use more resources than the earth can support OR if they consume within the Earth’s limits, but have very low levels of wellbeing or life expectancy. 

Promoting human happiness doesn’t have to be at odds with creating a sustainable future.

The Happy Planet Index turns the old world order on its head by highlighting how high-income Western nations are often inefficient at creating wellbeing for their people. 

Costa Rica has again been ranked in first place for a fourth time due to its commitment to health, education, and environmental protection. In contrast, the USA was placed as the lowest scoring G7 nation at 122nd place, ranking low on both wellbeing and ecological footprint.

Costa Rica has been ranked in first place for a fourth time due to its commitment to health, education, and environmental protection. According to the Happy Planet Index, Costa Rica has a more efficient economy than the USA.

  • Costa Rica outperforms the USA (#122) on each of life expectancy, wellbeing, and environmental sustainability.
  • Costa Rica’s GDP per capita is less than half that of the USA. Despite this, Costa Ricans have higher wellbeing, and on average live longer. 
  • Costa Rica’s per capita Ecological Footprint is just one third of the size of the USA’s.

Countries that rank highly on the Happy Planet Index show that it is possible to live long, happy lives with a much smaller ecological footprint than found in the highest-consuming nations. 

Many nations achieve green lights in each of the individual components of the Happy Planet Index – meaning that these targets are genuinely attainable. 

Stories from a ‘Happy Planet’?

Overall, the Happy Planet Index shows that we are still far from achieving sustainable wellbeing: only a third of nations (representing 38% of the global population) consume within environmental limits and no country scores successfully across the three goals of high life expectancy for all, high experienced wellbeing for all, and living within environmental limits. 

Still, the Happy Planet Index rankings highlight many success stories that demonstrate the possibility of living good lives without costing the Earth – and we’re making progress towards this goal.

Environmental progress made in Western Europe – but more must be done.

  • Switzerland jumps to 4th place out of 152 countries on the Happy Planet Index, becoming the top ranking European country on the Index – and the only one in the top 10.
  • The UK rises to 14th place; now the highest scoring G7 country. 
  • Other Western European countries rank fairly well on the index: the Netherlands (#18), Germany (#29), Spain (#30), France (#31).

Mixed results among high-income countries.

  • North America falls in the bottom third of rankings of 152 countries: USA (#122) is the lowest ranking G7 country; Canada (#105) and Australia (#88) are not much further ahead.
  • In contrast, New Zealand is now in 11th  place,  becoming the second highest Western country in the rankings. 
  • South Asia and the Middle East dropped in the rankings; India dropped to 128th place out of 152 countries due to significant decline in wellbeing since 2006, but also a rising ecological footprint.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa’s scores are rising due to rapid increases in life expectancy.

The Impact of the Pandemic

Data from 2020 shows that despite the largest pandemic in living memory and a complete re-organisation of the world economy, people’s wellbeing had, at least in 2020, on average, remained surprisingly stable.

This demonstrates that our wellbeing is not inevitably linked to the fast-paced economic system that we have become used to – and suggests that it is possible to sustain good lives with a lower impact on the Earth.

To effectively address the climate crisis, positive changes we see on the Happy Planet Index need to be much more rapid. To do that, we need to rethink how our global economic system is designed. All signs point to a Wellbeing Economy.

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For further information or to speak to the founder of the Happy Planet Index, Nic Marks, please contact: Rabia Abrar at happyplanet@weall.org