In the latest episode of Local Bites, a great podcast produced by WEAll member Local Futures, they chatted with Diego Isabel La Moneda, WEAll Strategy and Connections lead.

Listen here now [12 minutes].

An economist, a songwriter and a puppet designer walked into a recording studio.

What came out? An economics puppet rap battle, of course.

In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, puppet designer Emma Powell, musician Simon Panrucker, and renegade economist (and WEAll Ambassador) Kate Raworth have created a surreal musical puppet adventure to challenge the heart of outdated economic thinking.

Their 7-minute video stars puppets pitched in a rap battle with their economics professor. The project’s aim is to equip economics students and teachers with a playful but insightful critique of Rational Economic Man, the outdated depiction of humanity at the heart of mainstream economic thought.

A synopsis of the storyline:

Dissatisfied with the model of man presented in their economics lesson, three students visit their professor and embark on a rap battle to debate the very nature of humankind. While the professor argues that Economic Man – a rational, self-interested, money-driven being – serves the theory well, the students counter that a more nuanced portrait reflecting community, generosity and uncertainty is now essential. A musical puppet adventure challenging the heart of outdated economic thinking ensues.

Kate Raworth is the author of the internationally acclaimed book Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist (Penguin Random House, 2017). ‘One of the most dangerous stories at the heart of 20th century economics is the depiction of humanity as rational economic man’ she says, ‘He stands alone, with money in his hand, ego in his heart, a calculator in his head and nature at his feet. In making this video, we wanted to make clear – as playfully as possible – that this absurd portrait is deeply out of date.’

The project was funded by the Network for Social Change and the video is being disseminated widely online. A full set of the lyrics is available for teachers and students who want to bring the details of the debate to life in the classroom.

Wondering what WEAll is all about, and what we’re hoping to achieve?

Amp team members Katherine and Lisa wrote a piece for the Transforming Capitalism Lab, part of our member The Presencing Institute.

Read it here and join the discussion.

Blog by Lisa Hough-Stewart

I was thrilled to be part of the international Rethinking Economics summer gathering earlier in August.

Rethinking Economics (RE) is an international network of students, academics and professionals aiming to build better economics education and thus contribute to transformation of the economic system.  RE is a WEAll member and we headed to their gathering to explain what WEAll is doing and our vision, and make connections between the work of RE and the wider movement.

This was a really special event – by the time I arrived on day 4, the participants were clearly a really tight group. Despite having already had four intense days of strategic planning and plotting to change the world, energy and enthusiasm levels were through the roof. I reckon there are a few world changers in this group!

I supported Rowan from RE to run the opening session on day five, encouraging students to work in their national or regional groups to use power mapping tools. They each mapped out the different external stakeholders who have influence over their university curriculum and came up with strategies for working with at least one of these to create change in the new semester. The depth of strategic thinking was really impressive for a short session!

Then it was time to deliver a presentation on what WEAll is all about and I was delighted to have a packed room full of people curious to learn about us. I started by asking everyone to say what they think a wellbeing economy is or includes, and the answers were brilliant – all completely in line with WEAll’s definitions! (see the photo) It was great to get an overwhelmingly positive response to my short workshop, and a wee queue of students keen to discuss collaboration at the end.

Myself and the other presenters were swept up in the busy afternoon of workshops, and I had so much fun as part of Team Meme Machine creating memes that RE can use during the #10yearson campaign (watch this space). We were also grateful to be welcomed into the brilliant (late night!) closing party, complete with quiz and talent show. These Rethinkers know how to have fun.

It seemed there was a meaningful connection with WEAll to be made with every Rethinking Economics group, and the other presenters I spoke with to – being part of this incredible Gathering made me more sure than ever that WEAll as an alliance to connect the wellbeing economy movement is really needed. It also gave me a real boost that with the energy and talent that already exists within the movement, we really can succeed in our ambitious goals.

Katherine Trebeck, WEAll Policy and Knowledge lead, sat down with Brazilian media outlet “This is not the truth” to explore the need for a wellbeing economy and how we can get there.

Each month, the WEAll Amplification team (Amp team) shares what they’ve been working on, and their priorities for the coming month.

Find out more about our team members here 

Ana Gomez 

What’s kept you busy in August?
  • Helping Lisa build WEAll’s new website, focusing on Member’s details, donation software, and anything she has needed. Supporting each other is a common goal for all of us!
  • Enjoying an amazing and fruitful face-to-face meeting with Lisa, Diego, Rebeca and myself to organise the coming months in terms of September event, and thinking ahead to NESI 2019
  • Working on the onboarding process to welcome new members/friends/groups into the movement. Getting to know interested organisations and individuals! 
August highlight:
  • Lisa’s visit to Malaga to work together with Diego and myself. It’s rare to have the chance to see each other in person but when it happens we get the most out of it, at working and human level. 
September priorities:
  • WEAll Scotland event. Collaborating with Ellie Logan and the whole team in WEAll Scotland to celebrate at the beginning of October the incredible debut of the Scotland Local Hub.
  • Members will be my priority. I want to get to know each other much better, listening to their ideas, proposals, questions, etc. My goal is that they feel they are an active part of the movement. I’m willing to create a closer bond and understanding among all of us in our future collaborations.
  • Creating more Local Hubs around the world to get many more people involved with WEAll at a local level with an international perspective. Super excited about this! 

Lisa Hough-Stewart 

What’s kept you busy in August?
  • Getting plans in place for our trip to New York in September, where  we’re running an event and launching some new aspects of WEAll’s work. It was great to spend some time in Malaga with Diego and Ana, planning together
  • Overseeing the completion of the website build
  • Creating the WEAll Citizens programme, which I’m very excited about

August highlight:

  • Delivering a workshop about WEAll at the Rethinking Economics Summer Gathering. The student “Rethinkers” were super inspiring, and had great ideas for linking their curriculum reform work to the wider wellbeing economy movement.

September priorities:

  • Campaigning as part of the #10yearson campaign with Change Finance in New York – watch this space!
  • Running an event in New York to soft launch WEAll and connect with the US movement
  • Launching WEAll Citizens

Diego Isabel

What’s kept you busy in August?
  • Starting to prepare the WEAll action plan and budget for 2019-2021
  • Fundraising activities for WEAll
  • Following up with contacts after our visit to the US in July 
August highlight:
  • Charging the batteries under the Spanish sun with positive energy for the coming months!
September priorities:
  • Preparing and participating in the WEAll event in New York on the 20th of September
  • Connecting with key partners for WEAll as well as for the NESI Forum 2019 where all the WEAll members will come together
  • Launching the WEAll strategy group with members and experts

Katherine Trebeck

What’s kept you busy in August?
  • Loads of meetings!! But wonderful ones, including many related to WEAll Scotland (possible partnerships & preparing for our event in October ‘The Wealth of Nations 3.0: Building the Conditions of Wellbeing’) and plenty with other WEAll partner organisations.
  • Speaking at the Edinburgh Fringe in a debate (about a 300+ report from the governing Scottish National Party about Scotland’s future being one of growth. I said I think we can do better…)
  • Submitting a chapter with the rather boring title of ‘Building a Wellbeing Economy’ to a book being edited by Open Democracy  
August highlight:
  • Besides snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef?! Seeing the final version of the cover for a book I co-authored (coming out in January). Hope you like it as much as Jeremy and I do!  
September priorities:
  • Moving ahead on actions from the research cluster (eg WEAll Wisdom Webinars), mapping priority synthesis papers, and creating the WEAll Fellows Network
  • Finalising plans for the WEAll Scotland gathering in October (including an opening talk from WEAll friend Jacquie McGlade)
  • Spending time in a cabin beside a Scottish Loch making a dent in my long reading list in order to move forward with some WEAll outputs

Stewart Wallis

Stewart has been enjoying a well-earned rest in August and September – after coming out of retirement to help set up and run WEAll, he has temporarily re-retired!

But that didn’t stop him spending a couple of days in Amsterdam building relationships on behalf of WEAll. Stewart will be working again in late September.

 

Michael Weatherhead

What’s kept you busy in August?
  •  Developing proposals to pilot the WEAllCities guide (currently being finalised).
  • Laying the ground work for the start of an exciting new employment and wellbeing economics coaching programme to up skill and assist unemployed individuals across Southern Spain
  • Developing our team’s cultural code of conduct
August highlight:
  •  Supporting one of our regional members with their strategy and how WEAll can support them
September priorities:
  • Getting the WEAll Business Cluster off the ground with a firm action plan and proposals for future initiatives
  • Establishing the formal relationship between WEAll and its first established local hub WEAll Scotland
  • Furthering the transformation journey of a leading multi-national