The world of leadership and societal development is transforming before our eyes. Leaders either learn to cross the threshold or struggle with approaches from outdated mindsets. Over the past decades, whilst life expectancy has increased, economies have grown and technology has developed immensely, we have also witnessed rising inequality, ecological collapse and mental health crises among many other issues. Siren bells are ringing from the Earth as society calls for a new way of organizing and leading that better serves our collective flourishing. 

Most of us in the WEAll community recognise the need to create a different economic system: a wellbeing economy, that puts care of people and our Earth at its core rather than an unrestricted pursuit of profit. If we are to bring about a wellbeing economy, a way of leading our lives and businesses in harmony with ourselves and the Earth, we must first cultivate a different, regenerative source of ‘inner leadership’. The more we embody inner leadership, the greater our capacity to embed this into our organizations – into the culture, processes, structures and the metrics, into every aspect of our organizations, and then into the wider ecosystems and economy that we are also a part of.

Leading From Within

Our team of global New Zealanders, Alexander Evatt, Christopher Evatt and Shruthi Vijayakumar are committed to nurturing inner leadership to enable the systemic shift that society is calling for. Inner leadership as we call it requires us as individuals and collectives to question the way we think about ourselves, each other, the world around us, and why we are here. It recognises how interconnected we are to everything around us, and our interdependence with one another and the Earth. It invites us to look beyond the cognitive capability of the mind and cultivate our intuition, wisdom and capacity to listen and draw from the timeless, deep wisdom of life and natural world. It guides us to our inner source of strength, wisdom, peace and allows our actions to draw from this source rather than from a feeling of discontent, anxiousness, worry, guilt, fear or a host of  other emotions that can drain us.

This way of leading that may feel ‘new,’ is in fact ancient. It is found in many philosophies and wisdom traditions, spanning the East, the West and indigenous traditions which reflect values of living in harmony and respect with all life. We acknowledge and pay our respects to the many leaders who have kept this wisdom alive, which we seek to revive and live by in our efforts to support the systemic change that is needed in this time. 

In August we launched a co-creative leadership development journey, for visionary leaders; entrepreneurs, change-makers, managers, social impact leaders and consultants. To cultivate the capabilities, qualities and skills to transform the extractive models of business and economy into a regenerative model where all life can thrive and gain a community to support you and your organisation’s continued transformation. We are astounded by what’s possible when we collectively come together and deeply appreciate the insights and teachings in each of you.

Despite the difficulties and challenges we uncovered and shared from the current extractive systems, we sensed by practicing and embodying together with an open mind and heart, how we and our business can be a force for transformation.

We look forward to taking the next step in our journey of change makers in our next Masterclasses: October 4th & 5th
How to Create Regenerative Organizations and Cultures


We would love to see you there. With deep gratitude NewDirection team:
Alexander, Christopher & Shruthi



Welcome to our weekly update! As part of our work to amplify the important work in the Wellbeing Economy movement, these WEAll Weekly Update blogs will share some of the latest and greatest updates from our membership and beyond.

Please use the comment box to share any relevant updates from this week and keep the conversation going!

If you haven’t yet, join the WEAll community –become a WEAll Member & join our WEAll Citizens Platform.


WEAll Opportunity Board

Find out the latest jobs, surveys, calls for submissions, and engagement opportunities on our weekly-updated opportunities board here!


Top Picks

Lanzamiento de la Guía de Elaboración de Políticas de la Economía del Bienestar

Indigenous Resistance Against Carbon

How Informal Banking Schemes Empower Entire Communities – Post Growth Institute


Upcoming Events

*WEAll Events


WEAll Originals  

Blogs:

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From the Archives

Welcome to our weekly update! As part of our work to amplify the important work in the Wellbeing Economy movement, these WEAll Weekly Update blogs will share some of the latest and greatest updates from our membership and beyond.

Please use the comment box to share any relevant updates from this week and keep the conversation going!

If you haven’t yet, join the WEAll community –become a WEAll Member & join our WEAll Citizens Platform.

WEAll Opportunity Board

Find out the latest jobs, surveys, calls for submissions, and engagement opportunities on our weekly-updated opportunities board here!

Top Picks

Delivering Wellbeing and Doughnut Economics

Revisiting Community Control of Land and Housing – Democracy Collaborative

Book Releases!

We Call Her Ina BaiLiyang Network

Net Positive – Paul Polman & Andrew Winston

Upcoming Events

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WEAll Originals  

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Publications:

From the Archives

It’s been a busy few months for the team here at WEAll Scotland.

From organising online events and putting the finishing touches on reports to kickstarting some exciting new partnerships—the list goes on. We asked some of our core team members to share with you what they’ve been working on lately.

If you want to learn more about any of these updates, please get in touch! We’re always looking to listen and learn about new ideas, opportunities, and examples of the wellbeing economy in action.

Jimmy Paul, WEAll Scotland Director

I’m delighted to share a snippet of what we’ve been up to here at WEAll Scotland!

Our project with the Cairngorms National Park is now underway. We are taking a Wellbeing Economy Stocktake, co-creating cornerstone indicators and taking forward work around the Wellbeing Economy and business. All with a view of delivering social justice on a healthy planet; starting in the Cairngorms. 

Another project is to build a children’s wellbeing budget in a local authority area. After interest from local authorities all across Scotland, we agreed to partner with Perth and Kinross! Our delivery team, the brilliant Kelly and Sarah, are now in place and starting their work. This project will co-create locality based, wellbeing services focused on prevention, early intervention and which build personal and community resilience. This is such an important an exciting project which, like the Cairngorms project, is all about shifting the power base and working with communities to deliver a Wellbeing Economy. 

As well as the above, WEAll Scotland now holds the secretariat for a cross party group on a Wellbeing Economy. Being a non-political organisation, the principles that underpin a Wellbeing Economy appeal across the political spectrum and we have the involvement of MSPs which reflects this. We have our first meeting on the 22nd September.

We’re continuing to grow our fantastic network of Allies, sitting now at 32! Watch this space; in autumn we will put together a programme of events and sessions for Allies to connect with each other more than ever before, accelerating our individual and collective impact.

Anna Chrysopoulou, Core Team Member

I’ve been on working on the launch of two reports:

Failure Demand: Counting the true costs of an unjust and unsustainable economic system

The report examines two case studies of Scotland and Alberta, Canada to demonstrate the fiscal impact of the current economic model: how much is currently deployed in response (albeit inadequately) of the way the economy harms people, communities, and the environment. The research focuses on three key interlinked sectors (paid work, the housing sector, and the environment) to illustrate that governments are caught in a cycle of paying to fix the damage that the prevailing economic system continues to create, known as ‘failure demand’. Although it is acknowledged that governments will always need to be reactive to immediate needs, the report is concerned with demands that could be avoided in a Wellbeing Economy scenario.

Tapping into a Wellbeing Economy: Lessons from Scotland’s craft breweries about the importance of local production

This research project aims to demonstrate the role of local production as a key pillar in a just transition from the current economic model to a socially fairer economy which concurrently respects planetary boundaries. To achieve this, the project uses the craft brewing sector as a lens to identify the factors that could encourage local production, the sector’s contribution to regional economic development, and the practices that could be shared with other industries. Through this process, the project seeks to deepen our understanding and advance the conversation in Scotland around transitioning to a Wellbeing Economy, one that delivers social justice on a healthy planet.

Denisha Killoh, WEAll Scotland Trustee

Although I’m currently in the middle of a transition from a WEAll Scotland core team member to a trustee, my priorities have not faltered from the need to make the communities most impacted and marginalised by the current system the architects of designing and delivering a Wellbeing Economy. I advocated for this at the ‘Women in the Wellbeing Economy’ event hosted by the WEAll Global team, and I currently represent Scotland alongside Jimmy Paul on the UK-wide Future Generations Commission, to promote this view in line with the principles of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill.

Joey Gartin, Core Team Member

Looking after comms on the WEAll Scotland core team, I’m lucky that I get to stick my nose into so many different projects. After a few months of organising some exciting events (including a webinar on business and the wellbeing economy and our recent Q&A with our director, Jimmy), I’ve spent the last few weeks writing: from newsletters and blog posts to engaging with our followers on social media. But I’m most looking forward to supporting The Poverty Alliance during Challenge Poverty Week, which takes place 4th-10th October. The campaign highlights that poverty is a problem that we can solve, and there are solutions that we can all get behind. One of the key themes this year is “redesigning our economy to reflect our shared values of justice and compassion” . . . in other words: a wellbeing economy.

Katherine Trebeck, WEAll Scotland Co-Founder

Apart from the usual suite of agenda promotion work (talks, articles, media pieces), I’ve been deep in working on two exciting upcoming projects—figuring out the details, team, and activities. One is with the Cairngorms National Park: we’ll be part of a consortium, and I’m scoping our role to bring the Wellbeing Economy thinking into valuing the work that happens in the Park, embracing the role of business, and understanding what more needs to be done. The second project is yet to be 100% confirmed so I can’t say the name, but it is with a fantastic organisation who want to work with us on their theory of change to ensure their activities and the support they provide others is aligned to the Wellbeing Economy agenda.

Linda White, Core Team Member

WEAll Scotland is an organisation which thrives on the time, skills and passion of its volunteers. The Hub’s resources are therefore highly prized. As our activities grow in response to an increasing number of time-bound projects and long-term collaborations, it’s imperative that we utilise our core team to its maximum potential. Currently I am working to identify and deploy the best option for smart resource planning to ensure appropriate scheduling, project performance, finance management, forecasting potential capacity gaps, timely decisions, and team engagement. This will complement other tools in our project management landscape delivered by me and others. I also have fingers in other pies, including contributions to the emerging strategy and organisational structure as well as impact evaluation.

Lukas Hardt, Core Team Member

I am Lukas, a core team volunteer for WEAll Scotland, and I am currently working on revising the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section for the WEAll website. The section provides brief answers to more than 50 of the questions WEAll commonly gets asked. For example, ‘What is a wellbeing economy?’ or ‘How can we make a wellbeing economy happen?’ The answers to these questions are not only useful for visitors to our website, they are also an important resource for our spokespeople, who promote the ideas of a wellbeing economy to lots of different audiences. Working on these answers also makes us at WEAll really think through the more challenging aspects of a wellbeing economy and the stories we want to tell around it.

Sarah Deas, WEAll Scotland Trustee

It’s an exciting time for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance around the world. In 2018, WEAll Scotland was the first WEAll place-based Hub to be established. The network has grown significantly over the last few years with 19 hubs now in development in countries, states, regions and cities across the world. These include Australia, Brazil, Canada,  Costa Rica, Cymru (Wales), Denmark, East Africa, Iberia, Iceland, Ireland, New Zealand, North Carolina, Trinidad and Vermont. I represent the Hubs on WEAll’s Global Council and helps facilitate bimonthly meetings designed to strengthen the network.

Welcome to our weekly update! As part of our work to amplify the important work in the Wellbeing Economy movement, these WEAll Weekly Update blogs will share some of the latest and greatest updates from our membership and beyond.

Please use the comment box to share any relevant updates from this week and keep the conversation going!

If you haven’t yet, join the WEAll community –become a WEAll Member & join our WEAll Citizens Platform.

WEAll Opportunity Board

Find out the latest jobs, surveys, calls for submissions, and engagement opportunities on our weekly-updated opportunities board here!

Top Picks

Women in the Wellbeing Economy Event Recap

Why We Need Common Language for Wellbeing Economy

Decolonize the Commons – Debate! A Conversation with Franklin Obeng-Odoom

Upcoming Events

*WEAll Events

WEAll Originals  

Blogs:

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From the Archives

By Lisa Hough-Stewart

What could economic system transformation mean for women and non-binary people? 

This was the question at the heart of the discussion convened on September 7 by WEAll, Caroline Lucas’ office and Kat Davis of Flip Finance.

WEAll has been working since May with Caroline Lucas’ team to promote the ongoing petition urging the UK Government to prioritise Wellbeing Economy approaches and ideas. We wanted to use the petition campaign to explore different aspects of what a Wellbeing Economy means in greater depth. This event was our mechanism to do so in relation to gender.

Recognising that the power structures of the current economic system often play out in how we engage with each other, the event was structured carefully to distribute power and space as evenly as possible.

After an introduction to Wellbeing Economy ideas from Dr Katherine Trebeck, the audience heard from four UK-based speakers who are actively working to bring about economic system change. Beautifully led by Kat Davis, there was an emphasis on the lived experiences of women and non-binary people throughout the discussion. 

Dr Milena Buchs (University of Leeds) shared her experiences as an academic, reflecting on the fact that academic funding and priorities increasingly mirror the economic system. Work is prioritised based on monetary value rather than societal value. She also advised that women need to challenge and avoid adopting the sorts of masculine behaviours endemic in the current system.

Denisha Killoh (WEAll Scotland and Includem) said that “this system is dominated by the pale, male and stale – it has been designed by them to serve them”. She emphasised the need to build a Wellbeing Economy that is meaningfully designed by and for those communities most impacted and marginalised by the current system.

Anna Fielding (Economic Change Unit) was open about her personal experiences being marginalised by the economic and healthcare systems, whilst also reflecting on her relative privilege as a white cisgendered woman. She said: “Wellbeing Economics is an idea and a movement that means the elite could no longer monopolise resources and power at the expense of everyone else. That makes it a dangerous idea, which is why I love it.”

Nonhlanhla Makuyan (Decolonising Economics) reflected on the original definition of “economy” as “the management of home” – and how we associate home (but not currently economics) with safety, comfort, relationships and feelings. She challenged: “What else can we expect this system to do other than extract” when it was built on exploitation and slavery in the first place?

Audience members were then able to share their own stories of how the current economic system has interacted with gender to impact them. Some of the themes that emerged were:

  • The struggle to balance caring responsibilities with work, and the lack of value placed on care roles
  • Being made to feel that economics was nothing to do with them
  • Credibility being brought into question, with views invalidated if they don’t conform to the norms of the system
  • Unequal pay and opportunities along gender lines
  • The intersection of existing inequalities with the pandemic has intensified challenges.

They also shared their hopes for what could be different in a Wellbeing Economy, imagining that it would mean:

  • True equality
  • Valuing care and embedding caring values
  • Everyone is meaningfully listened to
  • A system that is designed with a gender lens from the start, rather than treating intersectionality as an add-on
  • Female and non-binary leadership.

Finally, two “Keynote Listeners” reflected on everything they’d heard and possible ways forward.

Caroline Lucas MP praised the privileging of lived experience in the event, noting that the challenges of gender, race and disability shared by the speakers are interconnected symptoms of the extractive, exploitative economic system. She said: “The Wellbeing Economy gets at the causes of problems rather than symptoms, this binds together so many of the causes we’re involved in.”

Mandu Reid (leader of the Women’s Equality Party) said: “When I look at what slavishly following GDP has done, it’s a betrayal, particularly of younger generations. The economy neglects, overlooks, undervalues and ignores the contributions of women and non-binary people.” However, she is hopeful that we have the potential to correct our course and build a caring, Wellbeing Economy.

This is just a flavour of the powerful discussion – you can watch the full event on YouTube here or just hit play below:

If you are a UK resident, sign the petition – it needs to reach 100,000 signatures before 26 September to force a debate about the Wellbeing Economy in Parliament.

Whether you are in the UK or not, share it with your friends who live there!

Thank you to the incredible contributors and to the audience for sharing their stories so openly. The discussion was energising and uplifting, but it also laid bare just how deep the damage of the current economic system goes when you view it through a gender lens. The good news is, we can and must redesign this system so that it works for everyone – and the ideas shared in this discussion provide a place to start.

Michael Birkjær, Alexander Gamerdinger

The Happiness Research Institute

“All constitutions of government are valued only in proportion as they tend to promote the happiness of those who live under them. This is their sole use and end.” – These were Adam Smith’s words in 1790, but it appears that same view is still widely held today. According to a new cross-national survey conducted by the Nordic Council of Ministers, 70% of people in the Nordic nations agree that the promotion of human wellbeing is a better measure for a successful government than economic growth. But, perhaps more importantly, scientific evidence reveals that increased wellbeing is a better predictor of government re-election than economic growth.

As a result, governments appear to have every reason to place more emphasis on improving people’s well-being. And so they do.

Today, governments around the globe, from New Zealand to Finland, are progressively adopting the notion of the Wellbeing Economy to solve some of society’s most looming issues. In essence, a Wellbeing Economy is about using wellbeing data to inform both national strategies and greater social impact of public policies. Yet, looking across the various initiatives governments have undertaken, it can prove very difficult to detect clear similarities on goals and methodologies. 

By disentangling the various practical shapes a Wellbeing Economy might take, and the many theoretical foundations it can rely on, we propose a ‘common language’ for the Wellbeing Economy with our new report, ‘Towards a Nordic Wellbeing Economy.’ In addition, this report also initiates a discussion on how the Nordic countries might accept and use the concept of the Wellbeing Economy to help achieve their ‘Vision 2030′.

The report was commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers and written by the Happiness Research Institute, a Danish think tank whose mission is to inform decision makers of causes and effects of human wellbeing and make subjective wellbeing part of the public policy debate.

What is certain about the Wellbeing Economy?

The wide consensus on increasing the gross domestic product (GDP) is what currently guides policymaking and business decisions in almost all countries on the globe. A Wellbeing Economy is certain about going ‘beyond GDP’, and to complement – or even replace – the metric with a broader set of social and environmental indicators fed by the ever-growing amount of publicly available data on wellbeing. This is what enables the Wellbeing Economy to tackle some of society’s most looming issues such as loneliness and mental health problems, as well as complex climate and environmental challenges.

The current economy relies on the ‘utility approach’ to wellbeing and uses data on consumer behaviour and preferences to predict and assess the value of public policies. One intrinsic weakness of such methods is to assign a value to any kind of phenomenon that is placed outside of the market. In that way, the accurate valuation of social connections, love or biodiversity loss – all of which are crucial for the wellbeing of humans and the planet – proves very difficult. A Wellbeing Economy on the other hand is capable of addressing and valuing these non-market challenges through empirical insights based on human experiences or objective measurements of social and environmental realities. In that, the Wellbeing Economy has a better chance to solve complex global challenges than conventional economic approaches. 

What is uncertain about the Wellbeing Economy?

While it is clear that the concept of Wellbeing Economy is a beyond-GDP-approach with an untapped potential to address looming social and environmental issues, the concept also suffers from one overarching issue: it proves hard to compare and benchmark Wellbeing Economy programmes and performances across countries. 

Although two Wellbeing Economies will never be identical, it is crucial that goals, performances and experiences can be compared, benchmarked and shared. What we need is to establish a ‘common language’ for the Wellbeing Economy. In the report, we argue that this necessitates shared knowledge of the many theoretical and methodological stances that a Wellbeing Economy can take, as well as a roadmap outlining what it means to transition from a conventional economy to a Wellbeing Economy. 

What kind of wellbeing? Utility vs objective wellbeing vs. subjective wellbeing?

One important point of the report relates to the goals a Wellbeing Economy should prioritize. If not GDP, what then should be the goal of policy-making? Promoting mental health and happiness, decreasing multidimensional inequalities or tackling environmental degradation and climate change? While all of these issues are important, they each demand a diverse set of – possibly conflicting – policies to address them. 

The reason why these different policy priorities (and strategies to get there) exist, can be traced back to a theoretical discussion on how wellbeing is best defined. Broadly, the report informs us about three approaches, each rooted in different understandings of wellbeing: Utility, objective wellbeing and subjective wellbeing. 

In a conventional economy, wellbeing is defined as ‘utility’ and is often expressed in terms of consumer preferences. The general idea is that economic growth, by providing people with a greater variety of choice, enables the general population to fulfil its desires, and thereby enhances wellbeing. This view has generated wide consensus among policymakers, scientists and industry.

Contrarily, a Wellbeing Economy draws on two different approaches to wellbeing: subjective or objective wellbeing. While objective wellbeing can be defined by the ‘hard facts’ of wellbeing circumstances, such as longevity, education and the absence of air pollution, subjective wellbeing is rooted in first-person subjective experience, which can be addressed by measures of life satisfaction, mental health or loneliness.


In practice, we find that governments tend to monitor and utilize utility measures, objective wellbeing measures and subjective wellbeing measures – and often at the same time. But while mixing methods may have practical benefits or even prove necessary (in the case of lacking data), it also comes with a great potential risk. 

For some welfare domains such as healthcare, wellbeing metrics based on the utility method will frequently place a larger value on certains domains of impact than those based on the subjective wellbeing approach. In practice, this means that the choice of method for eliciting wellbeing values indirectly influences the policy output through cost-benefit analyses. Or put differently: it does not only matter whether we value wellbeing or not, but also which definition of wellbeing we rely on.

When is a country a Wellbeing Economy?

Broadly, countries have engaged in three wellbeing initiatives. Some countries such as Scotland, the Netherlands and Germany have started to monitor wellbeing through national indicator sets. This development was especially driven by the 2009 Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission, which advocated for the measurement of ‘beyond GDP’ indicators. However, as pure monitoring of wellbeing indicators suggests a rather ‘passive’ use, we cannot consider these countries as Wellbeing Economies. 

Instead, the report makes the case that a country is only classified as a Wellbeing Economy if it uses wellbeing measures to actively inform governments’ wellbeing priorities, or to actively guide policy-making towards most wellbeing impact.

Actively informing wellbeing priorities can be done through wellbeing budgets or fiscal strategies that allocate money for areas of wellbeing such as climate protection or mental health policies. 

On a ‘micro level’ wellbeing indicators can be used in cost-benefit analyses to help policymakers decide for the policies with the highest wellbeing impact. Great examples of such is the work of the treasuries in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom, where subjective wellbeing metrics have been embraced as “social values” to quantify the impact of public policy.

Finding role models in odd places

Making sense of the different theoretical and practical forms of a Wellbeing Economy might be challenging for starters. However, we argue that this is a necessary first step to get familiarized with the concept and accept its diversity. The intention of this report is also not to dictate our concepts onto the global community working with the Wellbeing Economy. It is merely to ‘get started’ with a strongly needed systematic categorization of the different shapes a Wellbeing Economy can take. 

One of the reasons why conventional economic methodologies enjoy widespread acceptance around the world is because its applied measures – such as GDP – are easy to understand and can be applied to benchmark and compare performances across countries. The System of National Accounts (SNA) has globally diffused the way GDP is calculated and thereby provided policymakers and economists with the ‘grammar’ of the current economic language. 

The Wellbeing Economy needs a similar system that provides structure, transparency and comparability. However, this structure should not only exist for the indicators used, but also for wellbeing policies and new narratives that can be applied to transition into a Wellbeing Economy. In sum, what we need is a ‘common language’ and a catalogue  that enables governments to learn- and to be inspired by each other.

By Shaleen Porwal

At the start of this year, as I was navigating through the Regenerative Building Blocks of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll), I paused when I read, “People safe & healthy in their communities, rather than necessitating vast expenditures on treating, healing & fixing”. And in the definition of the health goal, it appropriately mentions, “both mental & physical.” 

Being a mental health advocate myself, this resonated so well with me. I am practising the science of Positive Psychology that focuses on what works well for people and how we can make it even better. This combination piqued my interest and paved my way to be able to contribute to the WEAll network.

The Wellbeing Economy talks about Mindsets that, “…economies should have human… wellbeing” and this encompasses the mental and emotional states besides physical safety, therefore the need permeates through all humans, irrespective of their trade and beliefs. This includes teachers.

I am focusing on teachers because they are an incredibly special group of employees who are empowered with the unique responsibility of shaping the future of a nation through their everyday interaction with young humans, who in turn will become into adults and will be taking up the responsibility of adding value to their nation, themselves, their family, and their community.

Every interaction that we have with another person, has the potential to bring about a notable change in our emotions. This change in emotions further leads to the development of thoughts and subsequently into action. Every day at a school, frequent communication channels are established between teachers and students, among teachers, and among student peers. These collaborations are vital for the functionality of performance and behaviour – students and teachers – for the continuity of “business as usual” i.e., a day in school. 

There are global reports on mental health that we have been made aware of and repercussions which we are observing in our local contexts as well, with a radical shift in the psychological state of children, teachers, and families, and that the World Health Organisation has fully acknowledged as follows: “…there has been increasing acknowledgement of the significant role mental health plays in achieving global development goals, as illustrated by the inclusion of mental health in the Sustainable Development Goals…”  

With the advent of the global pandemic – COVID-19 – Vulnerability, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (‘VUCA’) are adding fuel to fire. All of us, from a national level to an individual level, are struggling through it with our fair share of challenges currently. 

However, with a solution-focused approach, I want to see the silver lining of this dark ‘VUCA’ cloud.

We have surpassed the time where we put our resources to destigmatise psychological dysfunction and make efforts for it to be viewed in the light of normalcy. There are already examples of systems, companies, and collaborations that are disintegrating because they are unable to manage the emotional states of employees – after all, the organisation comprises of humans. According to a recent news report, “Mental and emotional well-being are now one of the most important topics in many companies”.

Considering a school as an employer for the teachers, most of the psychological challenges either for teachers or for students pertain to emotions and anxiety. These non-verbal cues need unique skills and methods to tackle and address and at initial stages as a proactive mechanism. We are not in a situation to imagine a scenario where we see attrition of teachers in a similar proportion and events of school dropouts due to the negligence of mental well-being.

Therefore, it calls for:

  1. Accepting this emotional ‘Vulnerability’,
  2. Creating an ‘Understanding’ for each other and the ecosystem, 
  3. All of us coming together for ‘Collaborative’ exercise with experts and within the system, and
  4. Doing what humans have historically always been best at – ‘Adaptability’, in the face of every adversity

Thereby creating a healthy and transparent environment where the teachers and students can freely speak about their psychological challenges to appropriate authorities – a psychologically safe ecosystem with the intent of finding solutions.

As a practitioner myself, below are few recommendations:

  1. Invitation by school management and principal, for teachers to participate in designing well-being policies and systems, in partnership with well-being service providers
  2. This will help in addressing the local pain points by customising the needs of the individual school cultures
  3. Create a transparent and permeable climate for open conversations around challenges in managing psychological distress – walking the talk
  4. Proactively recording and addressing instances of signs and observation by teachers of their students through this established well-being machinery
  5. Including vocabulary, integrating practices and interventions in school curriculum – this will have a double advantage, i.e., it will be an effective strategy to enhance the mental well-being of the current workforce, as well as it will equip today’s students (future workforce) with the skillset for managing well-being in their times of distress
  6. Working on changing definitions and popular beliefs around most widely misrepresented terms like success, failure, vulnerability, emotions, and the like. 
  7. Appreciating meaningful and bigger picture initiatives taken by teachers and students

We know that we are cognitive misers and implementation of a schooling system with a psychologically safe ambience might sound financially unwanted and time-consuming, the truth is that there is no quick fix to it. It will not only save time and effort in the long run but also create a healthy systemic effect for a Wellbeing Economy to function automatically with enhanced belonging to the organisation and finding deeper meaning in education – both for students and teachers – and to the nation.

As I connect the dots backwards, I figure out that this is exactly what Goal Number 3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 talks about i.e., Target 3.4 “…promote mental health and well-being

About the author

Shaleen Porwal is a Positive Parenting and Education practitioner, based in Singapore. This blog forms part of the Faces of the Wellbeing Economy series, sharing expert opinions from across the WEAll network.

References

  1. American Psychological Association. Apa dictionary of psychology. American Psychological Association. https://dictionary.apa.org/cognitive-miser. 
  2. American Psychological Association. Apa dictionary of psychology. American Psychological Association. https://dictionary.apa.org/positive-psychology. 
  3. Brown Brené. (2019). Dare to lead: Brave work, tough conversations, whole hearts. Random House Large Print Publishing. 
  4. Chuan, W. P. (2021, July 16). Commentary: The coming resignation tsunami – why many may leave their jobs in a pandemic economy. CNA. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/commentary/resign-quit-new-job-office-remote-work-employer-hr-covid-19-2052156. 
  5. Edmondson, A. C. (2019). The fearless organization: Creating psychological safety in the workplace for learning, innovation, and growth. John Wiley & Sons. 
  6. Singer, T. & Ricard, M. (2015). Caring economics. Picador. 
  7. WEAll. (2021, March 18). Home. Wellbeing Economy Alliance. https://weall.org/
  8. What vuca really means for you. Harvard Business Review. (2014, August 1). https://hbr.org/2014/01/what-vuca-really-means-for-you. 
  9. World Health Organization. (n.d.). Mental health. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/health-topics/mental-health#tab=tab_1. 

Reposted from Resilience

The campaign for ‘Footprint Justice’ is gathering momentum with a call for UN member states to investigate the legal implications of enshrining a ‘Fair Earth Share’ as a human right. The following article explains the latest developments, by Jan Juffermans of the Dutch Platform Fair and Green Economy.


We know from various calculations and reports that the rich countries use a disproportionate amount of the Earth, which has resulted in major social and ecological problems. This already started in colonial times and got more and more out of hand due to the growth of international trade. For a long time, these raw numbers were used: 20% of the people on Earth, especially in the rich countries, use about 80 to 85% of the annually traded (fossil) energy, land and raw materials.

Climate Justice

Due to the great differences in energy consumption, the term ‘Climate Justice’ has been used. The users of a lot of fossil energy, even over many years, are therefore by far the biggest causes of climate disruption. They therefore have by far the greatest responsibility to effectively combat climate disruption and to help poorer countries as much as possible. This is also recognized in the UN Climate negotiations.

Footprint Justice

It is not different with raw materials and the use of agricultural land. Here, too, we see that the rich countries are irresponsibly seizing global lands and resources. For many people there is almost nothing left and that means poverty. Hardly anything is done against this unacceptable situation. To denounce that, I started using the term “Footprint Justice” a few years ago and wrote an essay about it, which was published on the Resilience site in the US.

Global footprints

To take a positive position, the starting point ‘A Fair Earth Share is a Human Right, for present and future generations’ was devised. The interesting thing is that this can be quantified today. Using the ‘Ecological Footprint’ model, the Global Footprint Network calculates the average global footprints of all countries every two years. Comparing these footprints, calculated with the same model, provide the scientific figures of the unequal distribution between countries. The project is being further developed with the support of the Platform Fair and Green Economy. The intention is to have the right to a ‘Fair Earth Share’ ultimately enshrined in international law. See a more detailed explanatory document here (in English) with the most important steps that have already been taken.

Statement of support

Contacts have been established with various persons and organizations, and the plan has been developed to request an ‘Advisory Opinion’ from the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The project has now reached the stage where a few countries are being sought, preferably a rich country and a country with a low national income, that want to put this statement on the agenda of the United Nations. After that, all countries are allowed to rule on the matter before the International Court of Justice, followed by a judgment by the judges. Important for this is the support statement issued jointly by professors Hans Opschoor, Jan Pronk and Nico Schrijver.

Wellbeing Economy Governments

The aforementioned statement now looks for countries with a new vision on the economy, such as Scotland, Iceland, New Zealand, Wales and Finland, which have started to cooperate as the Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo). Katherine Trebeck is one of the initiators of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance and founder of this new economic philosophy, which focuses on wellbeing and not just material prosperity. These countries therefore give priority to new indicators, which they consider more important than the Gross Domestic Product. WEGo has now been asked whether they want to take the initiative to apply for the aforementioned ‘Advisory Opinion’ (also republished below).

Jan Juffermans, nationally active for the Dutch Footprint Working Group and the Platform Fair and Green Economy. Boxtel, January 22, 2021. 

Original source: This is the English translation of the article which was originally published on Platform DSE.

A Fair Earth Share is a Human Right for present and future generations

Give everyone structural rights and room to thrive

Amsterdam / Glasgow, December 2020

Although in the last 40 years the wellbeing of many people has increased, and some have seen an extreme rise in their income, the living standards for many others not only have not improved but in some cases have even deteriorated. The time for a new approach is now!

According to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to ‘a decent standard of living, including food, clothing, housing, medical care and social services’ (article 25). However, until now, there is no practical reference as to how this right can be realized. Would a new approach create new possibilities?

A new approach

The UN Declaration protects everyone’s right to life, which is enshrined as well in regional human rights law (such as the European Convention on Human Rights). This right to life translates into a human right of access to the Earth’s natural resources and environmental qualities for all.

Given the inherent limits of the Earth systems to provide sustainably and safely those resources to current and future generations, it is crucial to consider how a human right to a fair Earth share could be translated in quantitative terms and recorded in an internationally agreed human rights language.

Quantifying the available ecospace

The Doughnut-model (2017) by Kate Raworth describes the space for sustainable and fair development for humanity, with the safe ecospace as a ceiling and the fair sharing of the social benefits of development as a floor. This space is to be calculated so as to leave a fair amount of resources for future generations.

The model of the global Ecological Footprint (1996) allows us to make quantitative scientific comparisons of present aggregate claims on global ecospace between continents, countries, cities, and persons. Through the concept of ‘Safe Planetary Boundaries’ (2009), the available safe ecospace can be calculated.

Following these methodologies, we can take the next step towards fair global sharing. We hope the right to a fair Earth share can be recorded in internationally agreed human rights law.

An Advisory Opinion

For this process to start, we seek from UN member countries to make a request to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for an “Advisory Opinion” on this subject by the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The request should preferably be made by a combination of two or more high-income and low-income countries.

When the International Court of Justice starts an “Advisory Opinion” with the proposition that “A Fair Earth Share is a Human Right” all member countries of the UN are invited to give their reaction. Based on all reactions, the official ‘Opinion’ will be formulated.

Our request to you

We would like to ask your support for this new approach, and to take the initiative, with one or more members of the Wellbeing Economy Governments, to make this request for an Advisory Opinion an item on the agenda of the UNGA. Should you have any questions, please find our addresses below as we would be happy to provide further clarification.

More information:

The Dutch Platform Fair and Green Economy (since 2006 – www.platformDSE.org)

The Platform Fair and Green Economy is a member of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance. A more detailed ‘two-pager’ of the present status of this project can be found here.

A recent supportive statement for Footprint Justice by the leading scientists Hans Opschoor, Jan Pronk and Nico Schrijver from the Netherlands can be found here.

An essay about Footprint Justice by Jan Juffermans was published by Resilience in June 2020.

Original references:

Opschoor J.B. (1995). “Ecospace and the Fall and Rise of Throughput Intensity”, Ecological Economics Vol. 15 (1995) No. 2: 137-141.

Raworth, K. 2017. Why it’s time for Doughnut Economics, IPPR Progressive Review, Vol. 24, issue 2:216-222.

Rockström, J. et al 2009. A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461, 472-475.

Wackernagel, M. and W. Rees, 1996. Our ecological footprint: reducing human impact on the Earth. New Society Publ., Philadelphia. See also: www.footprintnetwork.org

Welcome to our weekly update! As part of our work to amplify the important work in the Wellbeing Economy movement, these WEAll Weekly Update blogs will share some of the latest and greatest updates from our membership and beyond.

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WEAll is Recruiting! Communications Lead

August WEAll Talk: Melanie Van De Velde “Successful Sustainability Strategies”

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The WEAll global Amp Team is recruiting for a new full-time Communications Lead.

The position is a fantastic opportunity for someone with skills and experience in strategic communications and who has the energy and ideas to help WEAll build a better system for people and the planet. The successful candidate will be part of an exciting movement, working with people from all over the world who are collaborating to transform the economy. 

What WEAll is looking for

We are looking for an organised, flexible, and highly motivated individual with the vision and skills to take WEAll’s global communications to the next level. They will have demonstrable strategic communications skills, and a passion for economic system change. The focus for the role is to take the lead on WEAll’s communications strategy and delivery to drive engagement with the Wellbeing Economy vision amongst the public and specialist audiences. 

The post holder must be adaptable, creative, good at self-management, and – due to the nature of our small, flat-structured charity – willing and able to turn their hand to a range of tasks and projects as required. We are seeking someone with particular experience and skill in driving successful outcomes across digital platforms, with understanding of how different audiences respond to communications approaches.

We acknowledge that people from a number of communities are underrepresented in our team, in the wider movement of those seeking systemic economic change and the charity sector in general, and we’re committed to addressing this. If you believe you would bring greater diversity to our team, we’re keen to hear from you. 

What WEAll is offering

An opportunity to work with a highly motivated team committed to accelerating economic system change. A team with a set of dedicated values: Togetherness, Care, Honesty, Equality, and Passion. This is WEAll’s core ‘amplification’ (Amp) team. 

The Communications Lead position offers the opportunity to lead on the  management and enhancement of WEAll’s communications approach and the promotion of Wellbeing Economy ideas. Amplification of our vision and the work of our members around the world is critical to our theory of change. 

Start date: As soon as possible after 1 October 2021

Fee: £40,000 per annum (dependent on experience) for a full time role

Hours of work: The nature of this role is that flexibility in hours is both required by the role (for example, there will be some evening and weekend work) but also offered by WEAll. The contracted hours will be 35 hours per week, which can be worked flexibly. Please note that WEAll does not officially operate on Fridays.

Location: Our team is global and we encourage and welcome applications from anywhere in the world (working from home). In Glasgow, Scotland, we can potentially offer access to a shared working space.

Applications close at 23:59 UK time on Sunday 19 September 2021. Interviews will be held on 28 or 30 September. To find out more and how to apply, download the recruitment pack here.

Welcome to our weekly update! As part of our work to amplify the important work in the Wellbeing Economy movement, these WEAll Weekly Update blogs will share some of the latest and greatest updates from our membership and beyond.

Please use the comment box to share any relevant updates from this week and keep the conversation going!

If you haven’t yet, join the WEAll community –become a WEAll Member & join our WEAll Citizens Platform.

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Find out the latest jobs, surveys, calls for submissions, and engagement opportunities on our weekly-updated opportunities board here!

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Norway announces new wellbeing strategy

The Norwegian government has announced that it will develop a new wellbeing strategy, which includes its approach to the economy.

In its official statement, the Government stated that its measures of success must go beyond GDP because this is an inadequate measure of what makes for a good life.

New Economy Brief

The Economic Change Unit has launched a new online resource hub offering ideas, analysis and proposals for tackling economic and societal crises. Browse the resource or sign up for one of their themed digests.

WEAll Ireland hub report from online welcome event

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The Norwegian Government has announced that it will develop a new national strategy for wellbeing.

Referencing the approach taken by WEGo member New Zealand, the announcement by the Government of Norway states that:

  • A good life is about much more than financial and material goods
  • GDP is an insufficient metric for good lives, as it does not say enough about how people feel
  • There is a need for wellbeing to become a supplementary measure of societal development.

Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie said: “Good quality of life is an important value in itself, but we also know that it strengthens our resilience in the face of stress. Therefore, we need more knowledge about the development of quality of life in different groups so that we even out social differences and create a more health-promoting and fair society.”

Statistics Norway carried out the first national wellbeing survey in 2020, and the results are being used to inform the new wellbeing strategy. Further surveys will be carried out, with the next starting in November 2021.

The Norwegian Government hopes that its new strategy will be “an inspiration for other countries and organisations”.

See the official announcement here.

Please note: this summary is based on a Google translation of the original Norwegian text. Please let us know of any inaccuracies as a result of this translation by commenting below.

Welcome to our weekly update! As part of our work to amplify the important work in the Wellbeing Economy movement, these WEAll Weekly Update blogs will share some of the latest and greatest updates from our membership and beyond.

Please use the comment box to share any relevant updates from this week and keep the conversation going!

If you haven’t yet, join the WEAll community –become a WEAll Member & join our WEAll Citizens Platform.

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Brazil Build Back Better

How can Brazil recover from the pandemic and build a wellbeing economy? An incredible team of Brazilian authors explore these questions, and outline seven principles for Brazil’s path forward, in the latest WEAll Briefing paper published this week. Available in Portuguese and English.

Register for our upcoming event on September 8th to learn more about the paper.

Global Commons Survey

Katherine Trebeck meets Sustainababble Podcast

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The “Brazil Build Back Better” policy paper is the collective effort of a small group of Brazilians, called the Legal Impact Lab, an action tank that aims to produce thoughtful reflections to inspire tangible change. 

The authors said: “The auspicious encounter with the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) and its intellectual breakthroughs provided a major disruption and possibility for the group to set its eyes on the “narratives” that our home country needs to pivot in order to start producing real regeneration wide across the national territory.

“The paper recognizes that national policies are an amalgamated construction of centuries of unconscious bias, piled up through endless struggles of politics, racial segregation, ecocide and oppression.  

“Inspired by delicate activism and systems-thinking, the paper’s intention is to understand the narrative the Brazilian people wishes to shift to, for a Wellbeing Economy will only be possible once we address directly the structural issues that maintain inequality and hinder the development of the country.”

The paper outlines 7 principles and with policy examples of the kind of economy the authors hope to inspire in Brazil. 

  1. Regenerative Development: Recognize the historic debts to the land and its people, redefine our purpose as a nation, and commit to caring for all aspects of Brazil’s identity. 

2. Climate Emergency: Recognize the social consequences of climate change and understand social inequality in Brazil, especially in peripheral communities such as in north-eastern Brazil. 

3. Racial Equality: Create an economy that builds affirmative actions to correct behavior and social barriers, anti-racism policies to repress racist manifestations, and policies that celebrate the contribution of the Afro-descendent nad indigenous communities in Brazil.

 

4. Regenerative Approach to Drug-Related Issues: Ensure the state supports public security, the prison system, social assistance in the payment of pensions, sick leave and retirement to assist victims of violence. 

5. Diversity and Empowerment: Empowerment of marginalized groups to ensure institutional behaviors are anti-raicst and anti-sexist. 

6. Triple Positive Impact Investments in Businesses: Strengthen change in corporate culture and use market mechanisms to resolve complex social and environmental issues in order to create inclusive, regenerative and equitable economy for people and planet. 

7. Participatory and Peaceful Societies: Build real and thoughtful dialogue to bring forth a new era of extrajudicial mediations, facilitations, reconciliations, conflict management and even, the figure of restorative justice, composing a more humanized paradigm for the judicial system. 

Over the last year, we’ve given a lot of thought about what it will mean for Brazil to ‘Build Back Better’ toward a society that prioritises human and ecological wellbeing. Read both the English and Portuguese version of the paper, and register for our upcoming event on September 8th to learn more about the paper.

Welcome to our weekly update! As part of our work to amplify the important work in the Wellbeing Economy movement, these WEAll Weekly Update blogs will share some of the latest and greatest updates from our membership and beyond.

Please use the comment box to share any relevant updates from this week and keep the conversation going!

If you haven’t yet, join the WEAll community –become a WEAll Member & join our WEAll Citizens Platform.

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The IPCC Report and the Wellbeing Economy

Urgent Need for Post-Growth Climate Mitigation Scenarios

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Written by: Isabel Nuesse 

This week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report titled: “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis”. Quick recap? Our planet is in a ‘code red’ situation and if we don’t act quickly, human survival on earth is questionable. 

It states: “Global surface temperature will continue to increase until at least the mid-century under all emissions scenarios considered. Global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded during the 21st century unless deep reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades.”

So, we need to act now. 

It’s entirely overwhelming. What does doing more look like? 

First and foremost, we cannot continue to live in an economic system where GDP growth remains the only goal of our economic system. 

What does that mean for governments? That means actively working with their citizens to re-identify the purpose of the economic system. If our purpose is to promote better lives for people, we need to develop real objectives such as improving quality of life, reducing inequality, generating meaningful jobs and restoring our natural environment. We need to create policies that reflect the needs of the people. Check out our Policy Design Guide to learn how to begin this process. 

What does that mean for business? It means creating ownership structures where employees are prioritised ahead of shareholders. No longer can we create businesses that are focused on short-term, profit-focused objectives. In a Wellbeing Economy, finance would serve and incentivise the economy which then serves society – and the environment- as part of its intrinsic purpose. Learn more in our Wellbeing Business Guide for how your business can begin to make these changes. 

Second, we cannot continue to blame the consumer for the problems of global industry. 

Are we going to hold mulit-national corporations (MNCs) responsible for their impact on our environment? In our 7 Ideas for the G7 paper, we suggest two things to harness control of the MNC’s that have grown to levels that are politically sustainable and ethically unacceptable. 

  1. Create a Binding Code of Conduct for MNCs that can create space for upholding democratig governance of economics, but also ensure more ethical production practices worldwide. 
  2. Global Competition Regulation which would ensure that no single corporation could control more than a small percentage of global production and exchange. 

Lastly, we need to be sharing success stories of what is working in our world to ensure that we’re inspiring each other to continue to push for drastic change to our economic system. 

As the Stories for LIfe tells us, it’s time to drop the horror stories and carry the #lovestories

This emphasises the importance of hope over fear – in a week where the IPCC report is generating necessary fear, I find hope in the fact that so many amazing organisations and people are already doing the work to build a Wellbeing Economy. If you haven’t seen our member list, check it out here. And if you’re interested in joining our membership you can apply here

  • A few #lovestories that I’d like to share with you today, to spread some of that hope, are: End Overshoot Day just launched this incredible initiative that offers over 100 days solutions that share how we can use existing technology to displace business as usual practices we can no longer afford. 
  • Pure Element 5 has been creating a number of incredibly creative Youtube videos that offer small insights, lessons and trends for anyone interested in building brighter futures. 
  • Common Future is launching a $800,000 character-based lending fund (CBL) that was designed from the ground up, by and for underfunded BIPOC businesses and ecosystems. 
  • The European Environmental Bureau  wrote a whole report on building a Wellbeing Economy “Towards a Wellbeing Economy that serves people and nature

The IPCC report is right: our situation is desperate and it is urgent that we act. There is hope. The action has begun – it needs to be scaled up. It will require each of us to do what we can and to continue to feel like the future is bright. If you’re looking to get involved, join our WEAll Citizens platform, become a WEAll Member, or consider developing a WEAll Hub in your community. We’re here to support the transition to a Wellbeing Economy.

Welcome to our weekly update! As part of our work to amplify the important work in the Wellbeing Economy movement, these WEAll Weekly Update blogs will share some of the latest and greatest updates from our membership and beyond.

Please use the comment box to share any relevant updates from this week and keep the conversation going!

If you haven’t yet, join the WEAll community –become a WEAll Member & join our WEAll Citizens Platform.

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Ecological Civilization From Emergency to Emergence – David Korten

Real Economy – Real Returns: The Business Case for Values-based Banking

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Welcome to our weekly update! As part of our work to amplify the important work in the Wellbeing Economy movement, these WEAll Weekly Update blogs will share some of the latest and greatest updates from our membership and beyond.

Please use the comment box to share any relevant updates from this week and keep the conversation going!

If you haven’t yet, join the WEAll community –become a WEAll Member & join our WEAll Citizens Platform.

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Water in a Wellbeing Economy – WEAll Briefing Paper

Now more than ever we need to reach out across the barricades and our ethnic and racial divides – By Kumi Naidoo

The aftermath of looting on Queen Nandi Drive, in Durban on July 14. File photo: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

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Each week WEAll posts a Weekly Update – subscribe here. These updates share the latest publications, events, and videos relevant to a Wellbeing Economy.

As a part of that update, we will share jobs and opportunities to get involved. You can use this continuously updated post to make sure you’re in the know of what new opportunities within our network are out.

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Want to get involved with the WEAll Network? Read our Engagement Guide here