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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#18 The Wellbeing Economy with Stewart Wallis

Making change: What works? – IPPR Report

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The WEAll global Amp Team is recruiting for a new full-time Advocacy and Movements Co-Lead.

The Advocacy and Movements Co-Lead position offers the opportunity for a passionate individual to co-create and execute a local to global Wellbeing Economy advocacy strategy. They will focus on connecting with global movements working on issues such as climate change, sustainable development, biodiversity loss and social justice. They will work closely with colleagues to effectively advocate for the global governance, policy and cultural reforms needed to build a Wellbeing Economy.  

The position is a fantastic opportunity for someone with skills and experience in advocacy, influencing and knowledge sharing, 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 a diverse, and energised movement from across the world that is collaborating to transform the economy.

What WEAll is looking for

The focus for the role is to take the lead on WEAll’s global advocacy strategy by galvanizing and aligning with social and environmental movements. We are looking for an organised, flexible, and highly motivated individual with the vision and skills to implement a significant component of WEAll’s strategy: nurturing greater alignment of multiple social and environmental movements with the Wellbeing Economy agenda. Our new colleague will have demonstrable strategic and influencing skills, and a passion for economic system change and working collaboratively to deliver it.      

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 to support the movement. We are seeking someone with particular experience and skill in driving successful partnerships between societal movements and impacting multilateral decision-making spaces, with understanding of how different audiences respond to different approaches. 

WEAll recognizes the need for greater diversity in our team and the economic systems change movement more broadly and is committed to addressing it. If you believe you would bring greater diversity to our team, we’re particularly keen to hear from you.

What WEAll is offering

An an opportunity to work with a highly motivated team (WEAll’s core ‘amplification’ or ‘Amp’ team) committed to accelerating economic system change and who hold fast to a set of dedicated values: Togetherness, Care, Honesty, Equality, and Passion, through a flat organizational structure. 

Start date: As soon as possible after 1 February 2022 

Remuneration: £45,000-52,000 per annum (dependent on experience) for a full-time role 

Hours of work: The nature of this role is that flexibility in hours is required (for example, there will be some evening and weekend work, plus travel). Equally, WEAll offers flexibility. The contracted hours will be 35 hours per week, which can be worked on a flexible basis. Please note that WEAll does not officially operate on Fridays. 

Location: Our team is global and we very much encourage and welcome applications from anywhere in the world (working from home). We support      and remunerate team members to work in co-working spaces. 

Applications close at 23:59 UK time on Sunday 2 January 2022. Interviews will be held during the week beginning 10 January 2022. To find out more about the role and how to apply, download the recruitment pack here.

A compass is a device that indicates direction. It helps us take decisions and is probably the most important instrument for navigating chaos and uncertainty. But what if the needle leads us astray? Can we fix it once we veered off the route we want to take?

The GDP is such a compass, used by our societies and decision-makers to see if we are on the right path. Given today’s challenges such as climate change and inequality, it is evident that this major political instrument is no longer fit for purpose. Designed about 90 years ago to lead the way out of the Great Depression, it is incapable of guiding us onto a sustainable path for humanity to thrive. GDP growth is little more than an aggregation of market transactions measured in monetary terms, such as the production and sale of t-shirts or weapons, regardless of whether they contribute to – or harm – human and planetary wellbeing. 

A new compass is needed, that helps us track progress in areas such as climate security, ecological regeneration, health, poverty alleviation or equality. The “Common Good Product“ (CGP) is such an innovative measure that can be used by policymakers and societies to measure success and incentivize economic activity that contributes to the common good. 

An alliance of leading voices of sustainable business and future-fit economics promotes the idea of the Common Good Product and recently formulated an open letter to the G20 Heads of State and Government, asking them to rebalance our economies by enabling the development and roll-out of a Common Good Product, at national, regional and local levels. Christian Felber, co-founder of the global grassroots movement “Economy for the Common Good” put it this way: “The Common Good Product shifts the focus of success measurement from the means (money and capital) to the goals (wellbeing or common good).” Among the supporters are renown environmental economists, entrepreneurs and sociologists, musicians and artists, and even a famous German football club. 

Kate Raworth, author of “Doughnut Economics”, comments: “In order to create economies that thrive, nations need to be guided by metrics that reflect the Common Good. I look forward to seeing the results of this innovative initiative – crowdsourcing a new approach to assessing the health of the future economy.”

Mike Bronner, president of organic movement pioneer Dr. Bronners: “As a company dedicated to using business to do good, we are committed to measuring our social and environmental performance according to an independent third party standard. Why should governments not do so as well?”

The idea of moving beyond GDP is not new and there is an impressive body of research. According to the initiators of the Common Good Product, the parameters for defining it are not a universal blueprint but should be individually co-developed either by the national parliament or the sovereign citizens in representative assemblies or other innovative participatory processes that strengthen our democracies. 

Christian Felber: “The CGP at this stage of development is neither a fully defined scientific model nor bound to its name. There are currently many concepts of this idea growing all over the world such as Gross National Happiness in Bhutan, OECD’s Better Life Index or today’s relaunched Happy Planet Index. It does not matter what you call it. What matters is the fundamental shift in mindset and involving the people. We cannot leave it up to consumers to save the world. We must urge leaders of the most powerful countries to change the parameters of our economies on a larger scale.” 

The compass of the Common Good Product could be a powerful lever for transformation, showing ways to increase the wellbeing and thriving of people and nature, rather than endless growth on a limited planet.

The Economy for the Common Good, who is leading the initiative, will continue advocating the model and aims to bring it up to the highest levels of global governance. Supporters of the idea of the Common Good Product can sign a petition on www.commongoodproduct.org which will be handed over at next year’s G20 summit. 


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

WEAll is recruiting for an Advocacy and Movements Co-Lead

A Good Life For All Within Planetary Boundaries

Common Good Product Now – Global initiative proposes future-fit alternative to GDP

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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

The New Economics Zine: “Is a Greener World Possible?”

To the moon and back – Why WEAll Youth needed a North Star and how we found it

Neoclassical Economics is Dead. What Comes Next?

Upcoming Events

*WEAll Events

WEAll Originals  

Blogs:

Publications:


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

Business as Unusual – 8 Concepts & Frameworks to solve the worlds biggest problems

How Do We Make The Economy Cool – Event Recap

South Feminist Futures “There’s No Money??? Debunking Neoliberal Myths on Public Spending in Africa

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By: Isabel Nuesse

How do you bring people into the conversation about economic systems change? How do you make it relevant? Interesting? Or, as we called it at our event yesterday, “cool”? 

Our hypothesis was that by creating metaphors about our economic system, we could hopefully open up the conversation to a wide range of audiences- inviting more people to think critically about our current economic system and empowering them to take action to change it. 

During the 90-minute session, we crafted a few compelling metaphors for our economic system.

  1. Humanity is an organism. Right now we belong to this organism, but it’s sick. There is no solidarity, communication or support within the organism. And in order for it to move so we can flourish together, we need a new organism where every cell is cooperating with and sustaining each other. 
  2. The economy is like a game with many players involved. However some players are running in sandals, or barefeet, while others are running in Nike’s. It’s not a level playing field for all – and therefore the odds are stacked against those that don’t have Nike running sneakers. 
  3. It is typical for aliens to arrive on planets, ravage the resources of the planet and move onto the next one. We haven’t learned their technique. Instead, we ravage our planet, take all it’s resources, and still believe we can survive on it. We’re locked where we are. Unless you’re a mega-millionaire who can afford to leave the planet – and the damage behind. 
  4. The economy is like glass that is made from sand. Each sand particle represents all lives (animal, human and ecological). You can use the glass that we have now, but it’s fragile and broken. The edges are sharp and people are getting hurt drinking from it. We need to re-shape the glass from the sand, and ensure that the glass will work properly for all lives.  We need to make sure the glass is clear, and has smooth edges so everyone can sip from it. We need a glass that can be passed on for generations to come; one that is resilient. 

It was beautiful to see the many different metaphors that came from each group- and the vast differences in each of them. One participant made a comment, however, that broad metaphors lack a stickiness that’s needed. 

This shifted the conversation toward identifying what exactly is needed. Many agreed that a major obstacle to ensuring the Wellbeing Economy flourishes, is shifting the stuck thinking of “well that’s just how the world works.” Many people are attached to the ‘normal’ so much so, that they cannot possibly imagine an alternative way of being. 

So how can we ensure that our metaphors inspire audiences to think bigger, whilst also disentangling them from the current narrative that is so pervasive?

One key element here is to make sure that our metaphors are contextualized locally. We don’t need to universalize our metaphors – but rather create targeted metaphors for specific locations – that speak directly to the audiences they’re intended to resonate with.  This emphasizes the importance of the audience, most importantly those that don’t have the conscious space to think of these things as more pressing issues take priority, such as putting food on the table. 

Next time we run this session, we hope to invite artists and other visual thinkers that can illustrate our verbal metaphors into pieces of art that can visually convey the messages. We hope you’ll stay tuned for the next session – as this last session was such a fantastic way for our network to co-create something together. 

Lastly, at the end of the session, we asked the participants to share one of their key takeaways, you can read the list below. 

  • Metaphors can open up possibilities for individual engagement & action
  • We haven’t asked what metaphors ‘ordinary people  might use 
  • We need to break out of old toxic paradigms 
  • We need more events like this with many many artists to be in them!!!  🙂
  • Community is important to create a healthy earth system
  • It is hard to keep a metaphor inclusive 
  • The big interest in thinking about the economy
  • The economy can be many things, depending on whom you ask 
  • The power of a metaphor is one thing, but to discuss metaphors in a group is even more inspiring than I thought…
  • The economy surrounds us
  • Some people are playing to play and some are playing to survive
  • We had a very wide-ranging conversion which was quite free-wheeling and creative. That was a good reminder of the value of multiple viewpoints from all around the world. 
  • There’s so many different ways you can spin a metaphor- a great group helps with that!
  • I’m thinking lots on how to get ourselves out of the spaceships and land and connect with the planet and the rest of humanity 
  • We have become aliens living in spaceships and need to land on earth and become human again
  • The economy is a metaphor itself for the way all beings relate
  • TO keep taking the metaphor economy to the next generation
  • Cultural context matters! We’re often too biased. 
  • We are the economy

By: Rabia Abrar

On October 25, we held a launch event for the Happy Planet Index 2021, the 5th edition of an index that ranks countries based on how efficiently they use our limited ecological resources to live long, happy lives. 

Watch the full launch event here.

What is the Happy Planet Index?

Nic Marks kicked things off by explaining why the Happy Planet Index (HPI) was created: to address the tension with sustainability around good lives now and good lives in the future. 

We all want good lives. The way we create them today, though, often comes at the expense of the planet. 

The HPI gives us an idea of whether or not a country’s wellbeing is ‘sustainable’, by looking at how much of the fundamental ‘input’ – ecological footprint (the pressure we put on the planet) – is used to create the ultimate ‘output’ we’re looking for – long, happy lives. 

The key takeaway: We can still have good lives – we just need to create them more ‘efficiently’.

The Happy Planet Index is by no means a ‘complete’ or ‘perfect’ metric – it simply aims to act as a compass that points towards a new vision of progress for the economy.

Letting the data speak

Saamah Abdallah walked us through the sometimes surprising data insights from the Happy Planet Index, using the maps, rankings, comparison feature, and trend charts over 15 years on the interactive website

The Happy Planet Index World Map offers individual views for life expectancy, wellbeing, ecological footprint, and overall HPI score

Life expectancy (from the UN):

A good score is 75+ years. As you might expect, wealthy countries have the highest life expectancies – but there are some surprises. 

  • Chile and Costa Rica have life expectancy rates over 80 years – and Lebanon’s 79 year life expectancy is higher than the USA. 
  • Other countries with 75+ years have much lower GDPs – Ecuador, Algeria, and Vietnam.

Subjective wellbeing (from the Gallup World Poll):

  • The top scorer was Finland, with a score of 7.8/10. 
  • The high life expectancy in East Asia doesn’t translate into high wellbeing.
  • Subjective wellbeing doesn’t correlate with GDP. Costa Rica and Vanuatu both have a score of 7/10 – higher than the USA – even with considerably lower GDPs than the USA.
  • India has the 4th lowest subjective wellbeing score in the world in 2019.

Ecological footprint (from the Global Footprint Network):

When looking at the same world map for ecological footprint – the outcomes flipped. On the whole, countries in the ‘green’ turned ‘red’ and vice versa, showing a tension between wellbeing and life expectancy and ecological footprint.

  • Africa and South Asia, with lower rates of wellbeing, have ecological footprints within the Earth’s biocapacity 
  • 3 countries that stayed ‘green’ were Ecuador, Armenia, and Sri Lanka – each had high life expectancy with low (sustainable) ecological footprints
  • Only 27% of countries have a per capita footprint that is lower than earth’s biocapacity.

Putting it all together: the Happy Planet Index score

If you’re used to looking at more traditional measures of development – the HPI results will be surprising.

The Happy Planet Index rankings, based on 2019 data
  • Latin America is mostly in the green – the best performing world region on the HPI – outperforming wealthier countries like in North America.
  • A lot of European countries also came up green – mainly due to declines in ecological footprint – with Switzerland rising to the top 5!
  • While its ecological footprint has declined, the USA is still performing ‘inefficiently’ at 122nd place. It still uses over 5 planets worth of resources. 

Key trends over time: pre & post pandemic

  • Some world regions saw HPI scores rise – Western Europe, due to declining ecological footprints and Africa due to rapidly rising life expectancy without the same kind of rise in ecological footprint.   
  • The index increased by 3 points in 2019 since 2016 – meaning that we are becoming more efficient at delivering longer, happier lives with fewer environmental resources
  • While much of the data from 2020 was estimated, it still provided interesting lessons from the pandemic: ecological footprint has dropped by 6.5% globally – and 15% in wealthier countries. Meanwhile, wellbeing didn’t fall in all countries – and actually rose in some (per data from the Gallup World Poll, Eurobarometer, and national statistics agencies, like in Italy). 

This is a potentially positive story: It is possible to reduce our ecological footprints while maintaining a good quality of life.  

Overall, what is the Happy Planet Index telling us? 

Countries like Costa Rica show its possible to have high life expectancy and wellbeing with much lower ecological footprints than wealthier countries. In other words:

But, no country delivers high levels of happy life years with a low ecological footprint yet.

While we’ve made some progress – we’re not getting there fast enough to address challenges like the climate and biodiversity crises.

That needs to change.

Our panel on making the Happy Planet Index practical and actionable

Next, we jumped into our panel discussion, which kicked off a flurry of comments and questions in the chat.

The panelists discussed the key challenge for metrics like the Happy Planet Index:

“How do we go beyond it being a metric to compare and to see how we’re doing, to being a framework that is used to determine what policies that governments and others take forward.”  

Sophie

I can’t take credit for this – but someone told me that this was the best panel discussion they’ve attended this entire year. Thanks Liz, Lorenzo, Sophie, and Tim for inspiring hope and challenging our thinking!

Key highlights from the panel discussion and Q&A session:

How is the HPI helpful for creating a new vision for an economy and for helping us work towards it?

Values are guiding principles in how we make decisions in life. Standard measures of progress like the Dow Jones, GDP, etc value financial success, economic growth, making as much money as possible. The values that drive those measures and are reinforced when those measures go up.

The real promise of HPI and other sorts of measures like it is to reorient citizens, politicians, and organisations, towards a different set of values than those which have been traditionally by purely economic indicators.

How do we make this a reality?

Indicators like HPI have to be taken as seriously as our current indicators are. Imagine a world in which you hear in the news and from political leaders at all levels and from friends – just as much info about how wellbeing in nation is doing right now, or how many bird species have gone extinct as we hear about stock indicators, gdp, etc. 

With more exposure of indicators telling us how well we’re doing on delivering these intrinsic values, people will start to think they are important and put pressure on their politicians to make institutional policy decisions to maximise those values – just like right now, they are putting pressure on politicians to maximise other economic outcomes. 

Some of this is happening at city, state, and regional  levels – but we need to ramp this up to really have success. This is what needs to happen with an indicator like the HPI. 

Tim

How is Wales leading the way to a Wellbeing Economy?

Wales is the only country in the world that has legislated to protect the interests of future generations through the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, which focuses on achieving seven national wellbeing goals. This legislation has been driving a different approach to decision making. In developing Wales’ new ‘Beyond Recycling’ strategy, the government made the connections between zero waste and community wellbeing and tackling loneliness and isolation. What has zero waste got to do with that?

To achieve multiple of the seven national wellbeing goals – ecological resilience, inequality, community cohesion, etc – the Zero Waste initiative is doing things like establishing community libraries, library of things, repair cafes – which bring those two things together. It’s bringing people together to reduce waste and also build relationships in their communities.

I’m proud of the Welsh government’s economic strategy — which doesn’t mention GDP. What it does say – right up front – is that improving the wellbeing of everyone in Wales is the government’s economic mission. 

Sophie

Why are decision-makers not already making this shift to prioritising the wellbeing of people and planet? How can we address these barriers to change and get political traction?

One of the reasons is that the status quo is much easier. We live in a world where there is a huge amount invested in the current economic world working. So, anyone trying to push against that is pushing against a big machine.

In terms of that shift – we are really reliant on courageous pioneers – but there aren’t enough of those at the national level! We can’t wait for those few national leaders … we need this to happen fast and at scale.

We need to start supporting local place based change — cities, regions, local areas that can start creating that momentum. 

The big barrier is the sense that it’s not possible. But, even without endless financial resources or legislation – a lot of this is mindset, about how you’re making those decisions, what you’re prioritising, what compass you’re using.

Local places can start doing that tomorrow: they can start saying, in our area – a tiny town or big city or region – we’re going to make our decisions based on this compass, not a compass that has gotten us into this unbelievable mess in the first place.

Liz

There’s no easy answer to it, but it’s a good start to do it bit by bit. For example, in Wales, one intervention was in stopping a motorway from going ahead because it couldn’t demonstrate how that was in line with our Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. This has now led to transformation in the whole approach to transportation planning.

But if we started with trying to change the whole transportation planning system, it would have been too big and difficult. You’ve got to start somewhere and start building a movement around challenging and speaking out when decisions are being taken that are not in line with delivering wellbeing and happiness. 

Sophie

Who are the actors that need to be involved in shifting priorities of economic decision making, and how can they use a tool like the HPI to effect change?

At least two actors are fundamental – but are not usually engaged: business and media.

Not everyone understands the value of this immediately – and it’s our job to create the demand for new indicators. It’s not enough to publish it – we need to be active scientists – we need to tell a story – we need to make sure that an entrepreneur sees that the HPI is useful to showcase what he or she does. 

It’s not enough to have one “heroic person: that tries to push this agenda — it can’t be isolated. Around that story, we need to build lots of other stories that amplify the impact. 

Lorenzo

What other tools or stories does the HPI story need to work with to gain traction overall?

The HPI has to work with all the subjective wellbeing indicators – the alternative GDP movement, everything that is moving in that direction – they may not be the same thing but they are telling a very similar story. 

It’s crucial to showcase all these indicators as ways of doing economics better – about living better and doing better.

We need to have a better story to sell. “Doing better” if we prioritise a wellbeing approach to decision making, is a good story. This will give us a competitive edge over the captivating and competitive story of “doing more”, which is what the current economic system is promoting. 

Lorenzo

How might we apply a “restorative climate justice” lens to making this shift? 

When we talk about restorative climate justice – we are looking at past, current, and future generational justice issues – huge past injustices that hugely affect lives of current generations. When we take on this new kind of legislation / way of thinking / compass, we need to really start to challenge these inequalities that came from the past and look at the future and make sure what we do is sustainable.

Liz

Can ‘wellbeing’ act as a competitive advantage? 

Just like New Zealand has done such a good job at attracting rich people from other countries to live in New Zealand – that’s the kind of tool we need to give to all countries and say to them, “use this – you are going to create better jobs, people will live longer, you’ll reduce crime, and get a lot of investment from overseas, and rich people will want to come live here. Why? Because you pollute less, you live longer, you have better wellbeing outcomes than anywhere else.” 

As a national policymaker, that’s what I would want to have, because I want to be better than the others, I want to compete.

That’s how you make an indicator powerful. Once it gets catchy, it gets picked up by different countries. Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo) countries will hopefully do this – become a reference point for the rest of the world. You get competitive and others will want to be like you. That’s the edge I want to see coming out of this discussion. 

Lorenzo

What’s not to love about a sustainable wellbeing focused approach? The world is kind of moving on. Our young generations want entirely different things – they don’t want work-life balance – they want life-work balance. If we’re going to attract those quality young people to come and work in our country, then we need to recognise that. And that plays into the wellbeing and happiness agenda. 

Sophie

These are all lessons that the Happy Planet Index, and other similar metrics, must apply in order to move the needle in decision making at all levels. As Lorenzo put it, “the power of an indicator is defined by the ability that it has to transform the political system where it is applied”.

Are you inspired to work with us towards creating sustainable wellbeing?

There are lots of ways to get involved: 

  • Join WEAll’s global network of organisations, movements, individuals, and policymakers who are working towards a Wellbeing Economy – one designed to serve people and planet.

Together, let’s create a world we all want, where good lives don’t cost the earth. 

Watch the full recording of the event here.

For those who didn’t get a chance to have their questions answered during the event, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page. We’re updating it regularly as more questions come in!

Want to get in touch? Email us at: happyplanet@weall.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.

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

Read the event recap for the Happy Planet Index 2021 launch event

Check out the latest Happy Planet Index rankings

Wellbeing economy: An effective paradigm to mainstream post-growth policies? –

Lorenzo Fioramonti, Luca Coscieme, Robert Costanza, Ida Kubiszewski, Katherine Trebeck, Stewart Wallis, Debra Roberts, Lars F. Mortensen, Kate E. Pickett, Richard. Wilkinson, Kristín Vala Ragnarsdottír, Jacqueline McGlade, Hunter Lovins, RobertoDe Vogli

What If Progress Meant Well-Being for All? – RAND

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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.

Share the Happy Planet Index

Use our promotion pack to start the conversation: “How can we live good lives that don’t cost the Earth?”

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

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!


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Happy Planet Index 2021 Launch Event – October 25th!!

The Outgrowths Video Recording with Katherine Trebeck

Building for Mental Wellness – report from Masawa

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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

New Report: Failure Demand

Systems Change at Youth4Climate – a report back from Milan

Turning Point: The pandemic as an opportunity for change

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From the Archives

By: Albin Wilson 

On September 28- 30, 380 youth from 190 countries gathered in Milan, Italy for the Pre-COP 26, Youth4Climate summit. As one of the two Swedish representatives, I was excited to meet the many global representatives, and understand how my peers were demanding for   governments to act on climate. 

It is reassuring that  systems change is finally being included in the conversation as it relates to climate, even though no concrete actions are being taken. However, the shift in the conversation allows the discussion to move beyond growth or even green growth, and poke at the conventional understanding of how to address the climate crisis. 

So how can we go about changing the system that we’re so deeply wedded to?

In Greta Thunberg’s speech, she said there is too much ‘blah blah blah’ amongst the leaders who can actually make the radical changes needed. I found it unique to this summit that as youth, we don’t have politics to play. Therefore, we didn’t hold back in the honesty of our experiences or calls to action.

In fact, we were encouraged to speak our minds, express our concerns and push hard for the changes that we want to see in the world – all without being withheld by a political agenda. 

However, there was tension amongst the attendees. Some of us have grandiose ideas for the future, while others are focused on what can get done today. Both of course are important – but for some, including myself, it felt the proposals being given may not be achievable in our lifetime.

Which gives me pause because if I feel this way, I can foresee leaders in high positions of power throwing out some of the proposed ideas if they seem too impractical in their eyes. This surfaces another tension – how can youth continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible (as it’s our futures that are most threatened), without pushing the boundaries so far that our proposals are considered impractical? 

I reflected a bit on my key takeaways from the conference which I’ve listed below:

  1. The proposals are still too transitional. We’re making policy proposals that are 10-20 years out. I was struck that we needed to also be thinking in terms of what we can do tomorrow. 
  2. Voices of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Indigenous communities are the most important voices in the room. Hearing the stories from these youth that are most significantly impacted by changes in climate validated the thinking that these perspectives are the most important to listen to. Not only does their entire environment shift, but their way of life shifts as well. We have a responsibility to attend to the needs of these communities, as they are often the ones who have contributed the least to climate degradation.
  3. The policy proposals that we created are not specific enough. We need more concrete actions to act on climate. However, this is the sacrifice that is made when we’re drafting policy  proposals that are inclusive of the entire world. How can we ensure everyone is included, while also ensuring that the policy is radical enough? 
  4. Climate technology must be looked at more seriously. We’re deep in our current system – and the solution cannot be just to stop everything and allow the planet to regenerate. We must use technologies that exist to support the transition. This requires us to lean into the opportunities out there – and the possibilities that technology has to offer.
  5. Financing must dramatically change. From government grants, private equity funds and venture capital firms, the financial bottom line is entirely insufficient. We cannot continue to fund growth as the end, rather than a means to the end. What’s unclear is the shared vision of the end we are aspiring to create. If we can agree, in this circumstance, that we’d like to live on a healthy planet, then the funding needs to begin to move swiftly in that direction. 

Some of the key moments are captured below:

This work is complex. It’s disheartening to listen to the perspectives of youth whose livelihoods are most impacted by our deteriorating climate. And we need to move with urgency for those people. The fact that this event even occurred proves that the narrative is changing. Never before have future generations been considered a key voice in these conversations, and now we’re leading them. This is the beginning of a culture shift which influences behavior and ultimately can change the system. I hope the proposals that we developed are taken into consideration and the leading governments stop the ‘blah blah blah’ and take the drastic changes needed to build better lives for future generations.  

To tune into the conversations from Y4C click here.

What should be the purpose of the economy, and the goal of public spending: promoting the wellbeing of people and the planet, or reacting to immediate, avoidable problems? Put this way, the answer seems obvious, yet the prevailing economic model forces governments towards the latter.

WEAll’s new report, “Failure Demand: Counting the costs of an unjust and unsustainable economic system”, written by Mark Anielski, Anna Chrysopoulou and Michael Weatherhead, examines two case studies of Scotland and Alberta, Canada to demonstrate that in pursuit of economic growth – a stated goal of almost all governments – harm is caused to people and the planet. Governments then need to spend money to respond to these harms – which in turn becomes a justification for growth.

In other words, we are caught in a cycle of paying to fix what we continue to break. This is known as ‘failure demand’.

Of course, governments will always need to be reactive to immediate needs. There will always be unavoidable demands on public spending. That is not in dispute. This report is concerned with demands that are avoidable: damages incurred through economic choices – the purpose and structure of the economy. These are damages that necessitate deployment of a government’s financial resources, but which could have been avoided in a Wellbeing Economy scenario.

The report asks the questions: is this the best we can hope for? Is it good enough just to help people survive and cope with the current system? And what about value from our taxes? Are payments that allow us to survive all that we should be using our taxes for, rather than investments and configurations that help us to thrive?

The research focuses on three key interlinked sectors that illustrate the impact on the financial resources of a state, directly and indirectly. Those sectors are: paid work, the housing sector, and the environment, with Scotland, a devolved part of the UK and the province of Alberta, Canada used as the two territories to articulate the story of failure demand. Even within just these sectors, the report considers just a small subset of the true picture and makes conservative estimates.

It finds that in Scotland:

  • Due to the existence of low pay, the state provided over £596 million in 2014/15, over £635 million in 2015/16, over £890 million in 2016/17, over £840 million in 2017/18 and over £774 million in 2018/19 in welfare payments, free-school meals and work-related ill health 
  • The total excess cost (failure demand) of healthcare for people who have ever experienced homelessness is over £900 million
  • The failure demand costs for various levels of government due to the effects of global warming in Scotland can be estimated at £771 million and £956 million due to air pollution per year.

Whilst in Alberta, Canada:

  • In 2019 an estimated 310,363 Albertans lived in poverty (or 7.1% of the population) with an estimated societal cost of poverty of $9.1 billion
  • The average cost of homelessness in Alberta is estimated at $142,500 per homeless person per annum. This suggests the societal cost of homeless in Alberta was $1.05 billion in public programmes and other supports
  • Weather related disaster costs increased by over 2,500% to approximately $9 billion with the Alberta government incurring an estimated $2.3 billion from 2010 to 2016.

Co-author Michael Weather explains: “Of course, the primary driver for changing towards a better way of doing things is the reduction of harm to people and the planet. Fiscal implications are secondary, but this report seeks to demonstrate that taking a Wellbeing Economy approach also makes financial sense, reducing avoidable demands so that public spending has a longer-term positive impact.”


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

Common Ground Music Fest at COP26

November 6 | Glasgow, Scotland

1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Towards a Fair Consumption Space for All

Built for the Environment report

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From the Archives

The Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo) group now consists of five key governments: Scotland, Finland, Iceland, Wales and New Zealand. There has been such momentum from the WEGo partnership – other governments are following their lead. Below are a few updates of some of the exciting advancements in this space.

  1. Canada included a wellbeing/quality of life framework in their 2021 budget which you can see here. They have just had an election, so watch this space for any more momentum a refreshed government may bring. 
  2. Norway has just announced a new wellbeing strategy. They also have a new government- but the strategy predates it. More here
  3. ZERO, a Portuguese based member, hosted an event a few months ago with speakers from the OECD, Scotland’s chief economist and Katherine Trebeck putting collective wellbeing into policymaking. You can watch the video here:
  1. The European Environment Bureau and Oxfam Germany have recently launched a paper about the Wellbeing Economy agenda..
  2. The Club of Rome recently launched a paper about reframing economics toward wellbeing.
  3. The European Commission has been debating the agenda
  4. There was demand for a wellbeing economy in the UK through petition to Westminster (which received almost 70k signatures!) 
  5. The University of Glasgow recently hired Dr. Gerry McCartney as the Professor of Wellbeing Economy. 
  6. Katherine Trebeck wrote a great piece for the Scotsman about a new oil field off the coast of Scotland.

If you’re interested in supporting the creation of Wellbeing Economies in your community, check out our Policy Design Guidebook, Case Studies, and progress of our Hubs

Featuring Colonel Mustard and the Dijon Five, Caroline Lucas, Rou Reynolds, Sandrine Dixson-Decleve and many more…

In November, the most important conversation in the world is taking place in Glasgow.  COP26 will bring together thousands of legislators, politicians and journalists to make decisions about our collective future.  The idea behind Common Ground Festival is to create a space to include everyone in these conversations.

Together with fiis, WEAll is thrilled to bring this innovative new festival to Glasgow on Saturday 6 November during COP26: and it’s completely free.

It will be the space to hold and celebrate the conversations that involve us all in the intersection of climate action and economy to repair our planet.

We believe that art and music have the ability to effect change from the ground up and to shift the conversation.

Because we can’t talk about the climate crisis without talking about the economy.

We must advocate for a system that prioritises the health of the planet and its people above infinite growth and consumption.

We must challenge the narrative that we are separate from nature, that nature is just a resource, and that we are separate from each other to a new narrative of interconnection and wellbeing, in which we look after one another.

The line-up

Music from: Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5, The Dalmar Chorus, Kitti and Sacred Paws, with more to be announced…

Discussions and dialogue with: Caroline Lucas MP, Rou Reynolds (Enter Shikari), Sandrine Dixson-Decleve (Club of Rome), Pat Kane (Hue and Cry), Dr Katherine Trebeck (WEAll), and many, many more!

Plus a “green marketplace” where you can discover the social enterprises already transforming the economic system in and around Glasgow.

Find out more and register to attend 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.


WEAll Opportunity Board

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


Top Picks

The Happy Planet Index 2021 Launch Event

The Happy Planet Index measures what matters: sustainable wellbeing for all.
It tells us how well nations are doing at achieving long, happy, sustainable lives.
Join us for the launch of the latest rankings of the Happy Planet Index!

Register here for the launch event

(October 25th – 9 AM – 10 AM Eastern Time)


Thriving Places Index 2021 Update

What if progress meant well-being for all? – Metropolitan group

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From the Archives

By Eloi Laurent, Senior Economist and Professor at the Sciences Po Centre for Economic Research (OFCE)

There is a shattering table on page 18 of the Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report by the IPCC released last month. Its second column shows that all of the five main climate scenarios considered converge toward a 1.5 C degrees world at more or less rapid pace. Call it the column of fear.

Source: IPCC Summary for Policy Makers: Climate Change 2021 – The Physical Science Basics

In the same table, the third line shows that one climate scenario dubbed “SSP1-1.9” foresees a stabilization of global warming at 1.6 degrees between 2041–2060 before witnessing a decrease to 1.4 degrees at the end of the 21st century. Call it the line of hope. To be honest, the only thing that mattered to me when I saw this table among the thousands of pages of the IPCC Report was: what is SSP1? And how do we get there?

SSP 1 stands for “Shared Socioeconomic Pathway 1” and it’s one of the five climate narratives that the IPCC now uses to describe interactions between social dynamics and biophysical realities that will determine the climate future of human communities around the globe. These five scenarios have been detailed in a 2017 paper which has this to say about SSP 1: “The world shifts gradually, but pervasively, toward a more sustainable path, emphasizing more inclusive development that respects perceived environmental boundaries. Management of the global commons slowly improves, educational and health investments accelerate the demographic transition, and the emphasis on economic growth shifts toward a broader emphasis on human well-being. Driven by an increasing commitment to achieving development goals, inequality is reduced both across and within countries. Consumption is oriented toward low material growth and lower resource and energy intensity.” 

In other words, moving beyond economic growth and toward human well-being is a critical necessity for the future of humanity. The Wellbeing Economy Alliance is committed to doing just that. My understanding of our common commitment is that the age of “indicators” is behind us: we now need to work on well-being policies, i.e. operationalizing new visions of the economy and mainstreaming these visions into policies. More precisely, we need both new narratives and visions on the one hand and new institutions and policies on the other. It can be said indeed that transitions are about turning aspirations into institutions. 

An important resource in this perspective is the WEAll’s Policy Design Guide released last March, which has inspired me to offer a new class in my home university, Sciences Po, and more precisely within the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA). The class is called “Building well-being policies” and has been offered for its first iteration to a group of 21 students in the Master program starting in September 2021. The undeniable strength of PSIA is its global fabric, with 1500 students representing over 110 countries. In the class, 21 students representing 11 nationalities are being asked to build their own well–being vision and policy, with the WEAll’s Policy Design Guide as a compass. The main assignment for the class is a 15-pages long fully-fledged proposal of well-being policy.

After the introductory session devoted to the course’s purpose, outline and organization, the class has really started (“Part I: The Well-being Transition: Connecting Well-being to Sustainability”) with a session devoted to “Building your well-being policy: design thinking and tools” divided in two parts: a presentation/illustration of key building blocks of well-being policies (narratives; frameworks; concepts; metrics; participation; institutions) and a general discussion of the Policy Design Guide (see below).

Session 3 and Session 4 are devoted to presenting one possible well-being policy narrative and vision, the instructor’s, insisting in turn on two critical nodes in the social-ecological feedback loop: the health-sustainability nexus (of “full health” nexus) and the sustainability-justice nexus

Sessions 5 to 8 (“Part II: Understanding, measuring and improving well-being and sustainability”) will be devoted to reviewing main well-being dimensions’ theoretical underpinning and empirical evidence, from the elementary dimensions of economic well-being (employment and income), to widening the lens to human development to putting well-being in motion with resilience and sustainability.

“Part III: Building Well-being Policies around the world at all levels of governance”, with Sessions 9 to 11, is meant to show students that the well-being transition is already under way across the globe at different governance levels, from the European Union to Bhutan, New Zealand, Iceland and Finland to local initiatives such as Amsterdam City Doughnut and BrusselsDonut. The class concludes with a Well-being Policies Forum where students have 5 minutes to present their final paper in poster session format. 

To my knowledge, this class is the first to use WEAll’s Policy Design Guide and showcase the WEGo’s patient and precious work. A widespread WEALL curriculum would be a key asset to achieving the well-being shift we so direly need.

 What some PSIA students have to say about WEAll’s Policy Design Guide

Main strengths

“The Policy Design Guide was very comprehensive and helpful in gaining tangible skills to build well-being policies. Policies are not a “one-size-fits-all” so I think the inherent nature of the guide is helpful in pointing policy-makers and citizens in the right direction to create and/or lobby for well-developed, inclusive well-being policies.”

“The Design-Guide is very eye-catching which makes it interesting to read. I think it was a great idea to include definitions for key-words and phrases in the guide. This establishes greater clarity and encourages the reader to keep reading. Additionally, including the “purpose,” “how to,” and tips for each step on how to achieve the purpose is a great way to interact with the reader, keep them engaged, and, again, establish clarity.”

“In my opinion, the guide is a really useful tool to help citizens and governments to design and correctly implement well-being visions and transitions, since it is very much detailed and reports a lot of best-case practical examples.”

“I particularly liked the transition boxes from ‘Old Economic Policies’ to ‘Wellbeing Economy Policies’. They helped the transition in thought process – especially for someone who has been working/studying policies before from an ‘old economic’ perspective.”

Possible improvements

“I found it sometimes to be redundant, especially about the citizens’ co-participation- which is of course paramount for successful implementation of a well being policy, but I think it was reported too many times. Also, I would suggest to use also developing countries more often as best-practice examples of well-being initiatives, by showing that market-led economic growth is not the only possible step of development for this kind of countries. Finally, I would further suggest to show graphically, in a more accurate way, the difference between the old economic policy and the new one.”

“I think that the guide needs additional arguments, why one should implement well-being policies. I have the feeling that, e.g., Ukrainian officials or politicians thinking about a public endorsement would be reluctant to conduct a significant shift without tangible examples of why to bother (or, as may media claim, “spend tax-payers money”). So some case success stories or maybe methodology to convince conservative state systems would be an asset.”

“While the booklet did not resemble a typical guide, including ‘guide’ in the title may be slightly confusing. From my understanding, it is meant to initiate the thought process in wellbeing economy policies (transition from old to wellbeing and tips), and encourage a platform/starting point from which to work further.”

 “While speaking about building a well-being policy in a particular field, an explanation/additional info would help to understand how people may adopt strategies in specific sectors with regard to the whole socioeconomic system and its problems: how to deal with some challenges (e.g. poverty) and how (if needed) apply effects of well-being policy in one field to an entire system.”

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