Francesco Temperini

About the author: Francesco Temperini is a 24-year old MSc graduate in Environmental and Development Economics and a member of WEAll Youth, located in Rome, Italy

I joined WEAll Youth because I think that sharing ideas between people moved by the same interests could lead to a new shape of economic thinking: with Multidimensional Wellbeing as a focal point around which all people and institutions converge.

From my academic experience, I developed a passion for and interest in multidimensional analysis of wellbeing, which I applied in an empirical study in the city I live in, Rome.

Often, economic indicators are synonymous with quality of life, and many times the development of a country is taken into account to measure the wellbeing of that country. 

Multi-dimensional analysis speaks to the importance of reshaping the way we measure quality of life and can promote economic thinking centred on how people feel about their lives and how much they are satisfied with it.

Having studied Rome divided in its 15 municipalities and having chosen a representative sample for each municipality, there are lots of inequalities between municipalities for any dimension of wellbeing such as the multidimensional index. This is the aggregation of 9 different dimensions (including: safety, environment, housing, education, satisfactory work, enjoying free time, health, social engagement, travel mobility).

The interesting findings are shown in the image below: in the richest municipalities (highest level of income) there weren’t the highest levels of wellbeing (multidimensional wellbeing indicator). Firstly I was surprised by this result, but then I realised this outcome confirmed my research thesis: profit is merely a tool to reach the state of wellbeing.

The findings can be seen in these two maps: the left one is the level of income maps for municipalities (the darkest colour represents highest values of wellbeing); and the right one is the multidimensional well being map, showing the aggregation of all the nine dimensions I found in my research (the darker colour are higher values of wellbeing).

How can you understand multi-dimensional wellbeing where you are?

For anyone interested in measuring wellbeing in his/her neighbourhood, city, region or country, here is a summary of the measurement process.

First step: take a sample of the population you are interested in to measure the wellbeing. It’s difficult to interview all the population, so it could be good to take a representative sample, divided by age, gender or professional status.

The sampling processes are different, you can choose which one you prefer for example from the this book’s chapter nine. In Rome, used sampling by quota.

Second step:  create qualitative research with your sample using a focus group investigation method (group interview composed of a moderator and 6-8 people). In these groups, it’s important to study the aspects of individuals’ life values (the subjective and objective ones). It is crucial to make a group analysis to understand how people interact in the same dimensions of their wellbeing, as well as to underline the individuals’ different points of view and the minority groups’ ideas.

These steps were necessary in my case study because it’s helpful to see how people that live in the same city interact and express the same concerns but different issues related to living in an urban area, as I found in my research, different municipalities have different levels of wellbeing.

Third step: After all this qualitative research, there is an evaluation with all the outcomes of the focus group. The reader will summarise the same issues on a singular dimension and then measure it with more than one indicator( as an example of a dimension: “safety in Rome” is composed of two indicators, a subjective one and an objective one).

Fourth step: Following this process line, it’s time to create a survey based on the focus group’s outcomes, with the survey you can measure the achievement of any wellbeing dimension of the people interviewed.

Fifth step: Then, the sampling population fills out the questionnaires for your city, region or country.

Sixth step: Finally, when you have collected enough data (survey could be filled out either physically or online) of the sample that you choose as representative, you can analyse and aggregate the answers.

Remember that the wellbeing of an individual is currently a much-debated issue. Over time, an attempt has been made to define and measure it at a national as well as an individual level, and even today, no common solution has been found: it clearly is a definition that encompasses several dimensions within it, as well as the approach of human development.

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!

Weekly Reads

Pathways out of Capitalism: Building Forward, New and Radical

“Anti-capitalist organising must be rooted in a commitment to see the world for what it is but at the same time push forward with unrelenting hope that another world, a better one, is possible.”

Better Business Act

“We’re joining the coalition because we believe that now is the right time to raise the bar for British business across the board, it’s time for broader accountability to be a legal requirement for the many, not just a moral imperative for the few.” – Arlo Brady, Freuds

The Principles of Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice demands that public policy be based on mutual respect and justice for all peoples, free from any form of discrimination or bias.”

Community Currencies as Crisis Response: Results from a Randomized Control Trial in Kenya

“This paper presents the results of what may be the world’s first randomized control trial on community currencies. In 2020, Grassroots Economics’ Community Inclusion Currency (CIC) model was adopted by the Kenya Red Cross as a humanitarian response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Wellbeing Transition – Eloi Laurent

“The purpose is to advance the understanding and undertaking of the well-being transition away from growth and toward resilience and sustainability, at a time when this progress has become a vital necessity”

Inclusive and sustainable economies: leaving no one behind (executive summary)

“There is a social gradient in health: the lower an individual’s socioeconomic position, as defined by their job, qualifications, income, wealth, and where they live, the worse their health. It has been estimated that, between 1 January 2003 and 31 December 2018, over a third of deaths in England were attributable to socioeconomic inequality. Such avoidable inequalities are unjust, and there is both a moral and economic argument for acting at scale to reduce health inequalities.”

Good Lives for All in Greater Manchester

Nothing we describe in this vision for the city-region is impractical or unachievable. Good things might be already happening somewhere, but they need to be happening everywhere.

The Green Central Banking Scorecard – Positive Money

“While some institutions have taken concrete action to assess environmental risks and incentivise green investments, all are shying away from policies that disincentivise or restrict financial flows to environmentally harmful activities.”

OECD: Beyond Growth

“At the core of the report is recognition of the sociality of human beings and their embeddedness in social instituions, an idea with profound implications for our understandings of both economic theory and policy.”

Careless Finance—Operational and economic fragility in adult social care

Adult social care across the OECD is in crisis. Covid-19 has exposed deep fragilities which have combined to place unprecedented strain on social care organisations. Principal amongst these is the process of marketisation and financialisation of the social care sector. In this paper, we take a critical perspective on this process

DAWN Informs on PPPs

Together they compose a panorama of the state of PPPs today, filled with analysis and critique, looking at effects and consequences to women’s lives and communities’ wellbeing, all in the name of so-called development.

Why systems change requires shadow work

 I argue that for us to move forward and truly create root and branch change, we each of us have to do the dirty work, and acknowledge all the things denied about ourselves and our cultures. So, allow me to be the first to hold up my hand and own my culture’s stuff

WEAll Policy Design Guidebook

“This guide has been co-created by the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) to support visionary policy makers, to build more just and sustainable economies for people and planet.”

Being Bold: Building Budgets for Children’s Wellbeing – Dr. Katherine Trebeck

“The report argues that the Scottish Government’s stated aims of improving wellbeing across society and addressing the fact that one quarter of children live in relative poverty cannot be met unless we create conditions for our youngest children to be healthy and supported from the outset.”

Chasing Carbon Markets: The Deception of Carbon Markets and “Net Zero”

“Net zero” is a smokescreen, a conveniently invented concept that is both dangerous and problematic because of how effectively it hides inaction. We have to unpack “net zero” strategies and pledges to see which are real and which are fake. Fake zero strategies rely on offsets, rather than real emission reductions. Real zero strategies require emissions to really go to zero, or as close to zero as possible

Job Openings & Opportunities

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From the Archives

Reposted from 36×36 Website

By Isabel Nuesse, WEAll Engagement and Content lead and member of 36×36 project team

Have you been curious about the #36×36 project? We’ve engaged an incredible cohort of womxn in a programme to design the architecture of a new economic future for the world. While inevitably a very tough ask, these womxn have dove right in. 

During an early “meet and greet” call where the womxn were getting to know each other – we asked the question, “If you were an economy tsarista, what policy would you put in place?” Below are some of the ideas that came up in our discussion. From gender parity, to binding codes of conduct for Multi-National Corporations – the visions of these womxn are vast, radical and with enough power, entirely possible.  

Gender

  • Pay adequate wages for care labor and data labor in order to reduce inequality 
  • Reinforce the mechanisms that ensure gender parity in decision making

Education

  • Invest a larger portion of money into transforming education systems to incorporate topics such as climate change and gender equality 

Financials 

  • Institute Universal Basic Income (UBI) 
  • Defund militarism and redirect funds towards other more impactful sectors such as education, health and agriculture 
  • Change our metrics of prosperity from GDP to Gross Ecosystem Product (GEP)
  • Greater transparency of financial flows to see what’s happening so countries can align actions with values – and put participatory budgeting at all levels 
  • Global debt jubilee for the Global South
  • Get rid of taxes as a whole – and find more creative ways to make up for it – i.e. using non-profit models.
  • Close down tax havens. Make sure the taxes are spent in local areas where they were created.  
  •  Write off all the loans that are owed to the World Bank 

Process/ Collaboration

  • Facilitate a global dialogue around the world to discuss and collaborate on our collective wants and needs 
  • Fewer bureaucratic processes to ensure greater efficiency when dealing with paperwork 
  • Create a structure that supports grassroots community initiatives

Production of Resources

  • Binding code of conduct for multi-national corporation (MNCs) 
  • Make prices reflect the true costs of products and services  to actually reflect the environmental and social externalities 
  • Withdraw subsidies and tax cuts from the largest transnational corporations and use that money for seed funding for not-for-profit businesses

Wellbeing 

  • Take care of wellbeing surrounding the self- and allow that to ripple out across the world. Meaning, the energy of wellbeing to transform from person to person. 
  • Make indigenous wisdom the default
  • Ask the question of what behaviours do we want to encourage?

These  ambitious ideas are some of the seeds from which the 36×36 network will grow. The womxn are now participating in learning modules, thematic exchanges and peer-led sessions to deepen their collaboration. We are so excited to be on this journey with them.

If you’d like to keep up to date with the project and be the first to hear about ways to engage further with 36×36, sign up to our newsletter below.

On March 18 WEAll launched the much-anticipated WEAll Policy Design Guide. We were so amazed by the level of interest in the event. It was the largest online gathering WEAll has ever hosted! There were some people that weren’t able to access the meeting as our Zoom account capped the room. Please read this recap as a quick overview of what happened – and see the end of the post for avenues for further engagement.

During the 60- minute session, we introduced The Guide as a mechanism to create wellbeing economy policies in communities around the world. Crucially, the Guide emphasises the role for all citizens to work with policy makers to envision, develop and implement such policies. It’s important to understand that we are the economy – and we all have a role to play in designing the policies that prioritise the wellbeing of people and the planet.  

During the event, Amanda Janoo gave a 30- minute presentation introducing the Guide and its various dimensions. She was supported by Paul Dalziel and Andy Turner, who alongside 70+ other WEAll members, were contributors to the Guide. The three provided unique perspectives on the Guide’s development and implementation and shared their hopes for the potential transformation that the guide can catalyze in the policy development space. 

The Guide features inspiring case-studies to showcase where policy making toward a Wellbeing Economy is already taking place. 

For example, Amanda spoke about La Paz instituting a “Barrios De Verdad” (Real Neighborhoods) programme that encouraged the community to develop budget proposals for infrastructure and development in their community. 

She highlighted the importance of participatory processes in order for governments to gather what is needed to better serve their communities’ wants and needs. 

When she spoke about measuring wellbeing, she drew on Rutger Hoekstra’s paper, “Measuring Wellbeing: How to Go Beyond GDP” as a resource for individuals and governments to explore alternative indicators  to look beyond GDP as the measurement for success. 

The Guide appreciates the need to embrace experimentation and learning for policy makers who feel like they can’t fail. The Guide isn’t going to tell policymakers what to do, but rather, how to get to their desired outcomes. 

Most importantly, Amanda emphasised that “we ourselves are policymakers. We are the trailblazers in this area. What we’re trying to learn here is something new. Therefore, we need to develop collective mechanisms for learning and reflection – and not feel so constrained by fear but to be open and brave to experiment and find new strategies to move forward.” 

In questions concerning austerity and fighting the biggest power-holders, Andy culled concerns by saying, “It’s important to notice there is progress everywhere. As a species, we’re idiots, but we’re heading in the right direction. It’ll be easier in some places than others but pretty much everywhere they’re making progress.” 

Bringing further inspiration to the conversation, Paul made an important point around accounting for diversity in building indicators, “In my own country, New Zealand, we are anxious not to look for harmonization early on in the process. There has to be room for diversity of values and experience.  For comparisons, it can be useful to have a core set of harmonized measures, eventually. But even in that system there has to be room for diversity and respect for diversity. Because we learn from each other that is how we build a strong fabric; by drawing on different perspectives.”

The energy from the event was inspiring as it’s clear that people are looking for support in developing policies that create wellbeing economies everywhere. If you missed the session, you can re-watch the recording here. If you’re a policy maker and interested in joining our policy makers network, please sign up here.

We are going to host another few events upcoming on 21 April at 10:00 Boston/ 15:00 London and 17:00 Boston/ 9:00 Auckland (22 April)

We have some exciting news to share with you all.

We’re delighted to announce that Jimmy Paul has joined WEAll Scotland as our new director.

Jimmy will lead the organisation as we continue to support Scotland’s transition to a wellbeing economy during the pandemic recovery and beyond. With leadership experience in the health and social care sectors, he will use what he has learned from these roles, as well as from his own personal experiences, to place underrepresented communities and voices at the forefront of the wellbeing economy movement.

A few weeks ago, we sat down with Jimmy for a virtual coffee and a Zoom chat about who he is, his vision for WEAll Scotland, and what’s at the top of his to-do list.

Keep reading to find out what he had to say.


Tell us about yourself!

I’m Jimmy, and I live in Scotland, where I am really enjoying building a new life for myself and my family, having recently welcomed a baby son. My biggest drive, both personally and professionally, is to see a world where all people flourish. 

I’ve worked in leadership roles across health and social care, most recently at CELCIS, which is the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection. I also had the privilege of being a co-chair on Scotland’s world-leading Independent Care Review (2017-2020). This review placed people with lived experience of the ‘care system’ at the very centre of reform and secured cross-party political support, a key part of which was the human and economic cost model work in Follow the Money, which made the economic argument for the moral argument.

I have also volunteered in a range of roles, including as a sports coach, leading volunteers at the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers initiative, and as a Board member for three charities.

My biggest drive, both personally and professionally, is to see a world where all people flourish. 

I grew up in one of the poorest parts of London and then spent a large part of my childhood in the care system.  I think gives me a unique outlook on life and a diverse set of perspectives to offer.  My passion for enabling all infants, children and young people to reach their potential, regardless of their background, stems from my own personal experiences, but also goes further to how I want to see basic human rights for all.

Why did you want to be WEAll Scotland’s director?

When I first saw the Director vacancy, I was really excited.  Reading through the job description, I felt that there was a golden thread that ran throughout the role which connects everything that I care about.  The element of social justice links to my personal experiences and my passion for all children having the best start in life.  I do not believe inequality is inevitable.  I want to see really effective, meaningful ways of delivering change and creating policy as the norm in Scotland and beyond.

I do not believe inequality is inevitable. 

Creating a healthy planet is something I care hugely about too. It is the reason why I spent time leading volunteers at the Global Shapers, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, on projects focused on building a healthier world, and it is why I studied geography at university. 

It was Socrates who said, ‘The secret of change is to spend all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new’.  This is exactly the ethos of WEAll.  I love how WEAll ‘models the model’ and works alongside a really diverse group of organisations to place power in the hands of the people.  This is bold and different. 

How will you apply your experience working with children and families to the wellbeing economy movement?

I really enjoy working with people in their communities, particularly people who have lived experience.  At WEAll, we are committed to co-creating a vision for a wellbeing economy by working with groups of people we haven’t yet engaged with. This, of course, includes children and families all over Scotland.  Katherine Trebeck wrote ‘The Money’ report for the Independent Care Review, and WEAll are fully committed to realising The Promise – and this means shifting power towards children, families and communities. 

WEAll must secure cross-party political support for a wellbeing economy, as well.  I know how important a principled and relational approach is to achieving this.  My message to politicians is this: a wellbeing economy will benefit all of us, and it is going to happen here in Scotland, so let’s get ahead of the curve.

What are the biggest opportunities for Scotland and the wellbeing economy movement?

The burgeoning support for a wellbeing economy from our politicians in Scotland is encouraging.  I’d love to see this in every party manifesto in 2021.  There are plenty of bright spots, some lovely examples with people showing the way, using their influence to make a difference.  I think of of BrewDog now being carbon neutral, Orzel who produce clothes from ethical sources, and the community wealth building work in North Ayrshire.  And there are many more!

Also, a huge opportunity is the Covid recovery chance to accelerate much needed change and to build better forward.  We have to work together to make sure we don’t retrench to our old ways once lockdown begins to lift, and in order to do that, we must make significant steps towards a wellbeing economy.

What’s at the top of your to-do list right now?

I want to spend some time with the team reflecting on how we can ‘model the model’ of wellbeing economics behavior at WEAll.  A four day work week? Co-creating a participation and engagement strategy? I welcome other ideas and would love to hear from anyone who is keen to get involved.

For me, it’s all about relationships.  Getting to know people really well and also connecting with communities who may benefit from a wellbeing economy.  So, please get in touch! You can email me at jimmy@scotland.weall.org or connect on Twitter at @Jimmypaul90.

I welcome other ideas and would love to hear from anyone who is keen to get involved.

And finally, what are you most excited about right now?

I am excited to start a role where I will be looking to do myself out of a job! I want us to be so effective and successful at WEAll Scotland that Scotland has a wellbeing economy that serves our people and planet, and our organisation no longer needs to exist. We’re on our way, but there is still a lot of work to do.

I can’t wait to work with all of our Allies and to spend time with the WEGo nations, as well.  And I am mostly excited to work with new groups where we can co-create meaning in a wellbeing economy and make it a reality together.


Want to get in touch with Jimmy?

Email: jimmy@scotland.weall.org

Twitter: @Jimmypaul90

Want to learn more about the wellbeing economy movement?

Resources: http://wellbeingeconomy.org/scotland

Twitter: @weallscotland

Dr Girol Karacaoglu BA MBA Bogazici, PhD Hawaii 
Professor of Policy Practice, Victoria University of Wellington

The former Chief Economist of The Treasury in New Zealand has written a book examining the processes by which wellbeing-focused public policy objectives can be established, prioritised, funded, implemented, managed, and evaluated.

Professor Girol Karacaoglu is Head of the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington and was previously New Zealand’s Chief Economist of The Treasury. Before then, he was the Chief Executive of PSIS (then Co-operative Bank of New Zealand) for nine years. His new book asks:

HOW WOULD WE DESIGN, IMPLEMENT AND EVALUATE PUBLIC POLICY IF IT WERE BASED ON OUR LOVE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS?

For the philosopher Water Kaufman, ‘I love you’ means:

I want you to live the life that you want to live.
I will be as happy as you if you do; and as unhappy as you if you don’t.

Professor Karacaoglu said that ‘wellbeing is about the ability of individuals and communities to live the lives they value – now and in the future. This is their human right. It would be extremely unjust to prevent the enjoyment of lives centred on chosen values. Preventing such injustice across generations should be the focus of a public policy that has intergenerational wellbeing as its objective.’

‘Half of the net revenue from sales of this book will be donated to The Nest Collective, which gives baby and children’s essentials to families in need’, he said.

Tuwhiri publisher Ramsey Margolis said that ‘while humanity may well come to grips with the current pandemic in the foreseeable future, ballooning inequalities and injustice threaten to shred the fabric of our societies, and the climate emergency menaces all life forms on the planet.

‘In the face of these enduring humanity-induced catastrophes, we owe a special duty of care to future generations to overcome them, and to leave our successors with a safer, fairer world in which they may thrive. We need to express our care for coming generations in many ways, from changing own personal lifestyles, to choosing political representatives who advance cogent, long-sighted policies in aid of a better world.”

Find out more and order the book via the publisher Tuwhiri

By Mkyeku Onesmo Kisanga, WEAll Youth

“Wellbeing Economy” directly translates to ‘uchumi wa ustawi’ in Swahili which is an official language in Tanzania. Tanzania is found in the Eastern part of Africa with approximately 61.5 million people with over 120 unofficial languages (tribes inclusive). Being one of the largest countries in Africa, seeking to achieve a wellbeing economy can be difficult.

Most of the citizens fall on the poverty line of the GDP of Tanzania which means approximately two thirds of the whole population this has only worsened with the current Covid19 situation. The current life expectancy in Tanzania is around 60 years which means there is a deterioration.

Why is it important?

Wellbeing economy approaches could solve the recurring precarious problems in our communities. With this, we could improve our life expectancy rate, improve our healthcare especially in remote areas, improve digital literacy and remove the huge gender gap (statistics show men have a higher literacy rate than women in Tanzania), and provide reliable employability for the youth and people of Tanzania.

Enabling people to benefit from their hard work and engagement and even during retirement, they are well taken care of. No huge gaps in their salaries reduce and bridging of the difference in salary from the rich to middle class to destitute ones. This provides collective cooperation and cohabitation.

Repairing and make reparations for the current economic situation which is crumbling down. This will shift us to a circular economy.

We envision a future where everyone is well taken care of and don’t have to endure the challenges we are facing lately.

A wellbeing economy for Tanzania would provide a coherent and yet efficient transformation of the economy in Tanzania keeping in mind that the current situation didn’t favour some classes and professions and affected everyone entirely. 

Central to the transformation required would be improving the education systems that are deteriorating and exclusive of gender, tribe and people of a certain class. Our education systems should cater for the needs of everyone collectively without being biased.

Focusing on wellbeing would help prevent all the barbarous acts of crime happening because youth are idle and lack the motivation they need and resort to committing crime to sustain their needs. Regulating the cognitive dissonance in the area prevents people from embracing opportunities and new ways of life.

Residents inclusive of aboriginals, citizens, migrants and the whole diaspora need to apply the holistic approach and multifaceted approach to a wellbeing economy. Including everyone equally will provide longevity of results that are pleasant and positive leading to freedom and less conflict.

How to achieve a wellbeing economy:

Achieving a wellbeing economy simply means treating human beings as the first top priority rather than financial and monetary needs, resulting in a sustainable realm. How does one provide inclusivity while integrating all the tribes and cities in Tanzania and promoting a sustainable economy?

  • Use of Swahili, which is not only prominent in Tanzania but the whole of East Africa . After all, Swahili is already termed as one of the leading and most frequently spoken languages in the world. This will definitely boost the country’s economy by promoting union with neighbouring and other states in Africa and globally.
  • Addressing gender equality and gender gap- making sure women and men contribute equally to the economy and their salaries and reimbursement are the same throughout. Forming policies that accommodate both genders in all professions will reduce harmful social norms and stereotypes and prejudices.
  • Health care- same health care for everyone regardless of their status.
  • Education in learning institutes- use of Swahili language and introduction of this module in every level.
  • Employability, providing enough and accessible jobs that don’t have too many requirements, quota age, experience but provides inclusion of all regardless of their qualifications and experiences. In Tanzania, farmers are the one’s who highly contribute to the country’s economy and yet are disregarded and berated because of the stereotypes in the country. Most value partisans and professions that require one working in a huge company, presented in a formal appearance. While in reality, all are contributors to the economy, thus we need to ensure equal involvement and accessibility regardless of their title and identification.
  • Having youth yarn their creativity side and use their skills to come up with innovative and new ideas in rectifying the economy and also providing them funds and support in every trajectory. This will eventually cater for all tribes and cities establishing a wellbeing economy that doesn’t favour a certain gender, class, tribe or ethnicity.

About the author

Mkyeku Onesmo Kisanga is a 26 year old Tanzanian based in Cyprus pursuing her psychology degree. She is currently looking at how to employ the wellbeing economy in her organisation, Sakonsa in Tanzania which recently started in January 2020. Sakonsa is working with SDG’s 4, 10 & 17 on a voluntary basis through youth willing to make an impact and transforming a better tomorrow. Mkyeku joined in because of her inquisitive and pragmatic nature, she wanted to explore all possibilities and what is out there that is significant and impactful. Connect with her on Linkedin here.

Learn more about WEAll Youth here.

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!

Weekly Reads

Careless Finance—Operational and economic fragility in adult social care

Adult social care across the OECD is in crisis. Covid-19 has exposed deep fragilities which have combined to place unprecedented strain on social care organisations. Principal amongst these is the process of marketisation and financialisation of the social care sector. In this paper, we take a critical perspective on this process

DAWN Informs on PPPs

Together they compose a panorama of the state of PPPs today, filled with analysis and critique, looking at effects and consequences to women’s lives and communities’ wellbeing, all in the name of so-called development.

Why systems change requires shadow work

 I argue that for us to move forward and truly create root and branch change, we each of us have to do the dirty work, and acknowledge all the things denied about ourselves and our cultures. So, allow me to be the first to hold up my hand and own my culture’s stuff

From growth to well-being: a new paradigm for EU economic governance

This policy brief criticizes the European Economic Governance system for being too narrowly focused on economic growth and competitiveness.

Roots of Transformation: lessons and leverage points for sustainable living

 We acknowledge the need for drastic changes if we are to meet the 1.5 degree challenge. But how do we actually do it? 

WEAll Policy Design Guidebook

“This guide has been co-created by the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) to support visionary policy makers, to build more just and sustainable economies for people and planet.”

Being Bold: Building Budgets for Children’s Wellbeing – Dr. Katherine Trebeck

“The report argues that the Scottish Government’s stated aims of improving wellbeing across society and addressing the fact that one quarter of children live in relative poverty cannot be met unless we create conditions for our youngest children to be healthy and supported from the outset.”

Chasing Carbon Markets: The Deception of Carbon Markets and “Net Zero”

“Net zero” is a smokescreen, a conveniently invented concept that is both dangerous and problematic because of how effectively it hides inaction. We have to unpack “net zero” strategies and pledges to see which are real and which are fake. Fake zero strategies rely on offsets, rather than real emission reductions. Real zero strategies require emissions to really go to zero, or as close to zero as possible

Mindset Shifts: What are they? Why do they matter? How do they happen?

This report is intended as a resource for all those working on and funding mindset shifts.The research yields clear lessons and recommendations for how advocates, activists, funders,and other practitioners can maximize the impact of their efforts to change how we thinkabout social issues in order to change the contexts and structures that shape our experiencesand realities

SBTI … Net Zero Targets … TCFD … ESG Investment … resistance bubbles up that ‘trust us, we’re big’​ is not sufficient any longer

It is clear that ‘business as usual’ is not sufficient any longer (and hasn’t been for long), and remaining incremental ‘steps in the right direction’ are wilful predatory delay and not part of the solution. Now, do we have the tools at hand to react sufficiently and responsibly?

Devastatingly pervasive: 1 in 3 women globally experience violence

“Violence disproportionately affects women living in low- and lower-middle-income countries.  An estimated 37% of women living in the poorest countries have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their life, with some of these countries having a prevalence as high as 1 in 2.”

Health Verses Wealth?

“This briefing, by drawing attention to the longer term interactions between public health and the economy, dispels the myth that measures to protect public health are necessarily detrimental to economic well-being. Whilst difficult choices do have to be made, this ‘health versus wealth’ mentality is shown to be a false dichotomy.”

Job Openings & Opportunities

What to Watch

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Upcoming Events

WEAll Originals  

Blogs:

Publications:

From the Archives

WEAll is recruiting for a COP26 Communications Officer. This 8-month contract offers the opportunity to lead on WEAll’s presence and impact around the COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, and offers a unique opportunity to engage new audiences with the case for economic system change and a wellbeing economy. Primarily this will be done through a multi-arts festival that seeks to be engaging and informative and will be available to digital audiences as well as people in Glasgow.      

The position is a fantastic opportunity for someone with skills and experience in strategic communications: and who wants to be part of building a better system for people and 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.

Start date: May 2021

Contract type: 8-month fixed-term employment contract

Salary: The hours of work will be 21 hours per week and the salary is based on a full-time equivalent salary of up to £30,000 per annum (dependant on experience)

Hours of work: The nature of this role is that flexibility in hours is both required by the role (for example, there may be some evening and weekend work) but also offered by WEAll.

Location: Because of where COP will take place this year, our preference is to recruit for a person to be based in Glasgow [Scotland] where we can provide access to a co-working space (COVID rules permitting).

What we are looking for:

We are looking for an organised, flexible and highly motivated individual with demonstrable communications skills, and a passion for economic system change. The focus for the role is to take the lead on WEAll’s communications efforts in connection with COP26, specifically our planned COP26 music festival but also opportunities to bring together heads of government of the Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo) Partnership at the conference itself, and to advance wellbeing economy ideas by seeking out and creating opportunities for amplification related to COP26. The post holder must be adaptable, creative and – due to the nature of our small start-up organisation – willing and able to turn their hand to a range of communications tasks as required.

Download the full job description, which includes details of how to apply, below.

By Diana Ivanova1,2 and Loup Suja-Thauvin2

The problem

It is not hard to find reasons to dislike some forms of advertising. Among other things, advertising impacts communities by:

Importantly, advertising normalises overconsumption on a planet that has already been depleted and impoverished by uncapped resource extraction, waste and climate change in the aim of profits. Advertising creates desires that are disconnected from human need and true wellbeing. Ads rarely reflect functional uses of a product and usually focus on changing perceptions around what it means to be successful, beautiful, accepted and happy. Yet, we now more than ever need to reflect on what energy and consumption contributes directly to our human needs and a good life, and what does not. 

While it is widely accepted that advertising has a huge effect on how we use resources, it is very challenging to quantify those impacts. Here we estimate the electricity use of outdoors ads infrastructure in the UK. Understanding those impacts is an important step to lowering the energy demand of our communities and living well within planetary boundaries.

The energy use behind outdoors advertising in the UK

Advertising in its various forms uses energy to spread a message. Whether it is a TV or a radio ad, a billboard or an online pop-up, ads need energy to run on various devices. We find that a single digital billboard may use as much energy as 37 UK homes. In addition, there is the energy used in the manufacturing and distribution of ad infrastructure and printed materials. There is also the energy needed to supply and use the products and services that ads encourage. In an energy world still largely reliant on fossil fuels, advertising comes at a high carbon cost.

In most UK cities, it is common to see outdoor advertising on digital billboards, bus stops and shopping centres with images of anything from fast food to automobiles. UK cities are becoming especially saturated, with more than 100,000 outdoors advertising infrastructures across the country. That includes digital and paper billboards, bus stops, phone boxes and others. Based on this estimate, we calculate that in 2020 outdoors advertising used between 84 and 451 GWh of electricity in the UK. For an average household size of 2.3 persons per household, the amount of electricity that outdoors advertising uses directly is equivalent to the home electricity use of 68,000-362,000 UK residents. For an average emission factor of 0.309 kgCO2-equivalents per kWh, this amounts to between 26 and 139 thousand tonnes of CO2-equivalents.

The following table gives an estimation for other major British cities.More about the data, assumptions and method can be found here.

CityNumber of infrastructuresConsumption (GWh/year)Home electricity use (equivalent in number of UK residents)
London14,55824 – 8419,000 – 67,000
Greater Manchester6,0424.1 – 203,300 – 16,000
Birmingham5,0623.2 – 142,600 – 12,000
Glasgow2,2621.6 – 8.01,300 – 6,500
Leeds2,0571.5 – 6.71,200 – 5,400
Bristol1,9401.2 – 5.7990 – 4,600
Cardiff1,3930.7 – 3.7576 – 2,900
Total UK107,63784- 45168,000-362,000

This only includes the electricity for the lighting and changing of images, not that embodied in the materials and infrastructure or the consumption that advertising creates. Furthermore, calculations are based on numbers from a database, which excludes a lot of the outdoors advertising in the cities.  For example, in Leeds, we find that about half of the infrastructure is missing. Therefore, we can expect that all energy figures are grossly understated, and that the true energy costs are several times higher. Even so, the calculated amount of energy that goes into running all of the ads in the UK is enormous and highlights advertising as an important area for reducing energy demand and carbon emissions. 

Where do we go from here?

The good news is that there is a lot that communities can do to reclaim public spaces with the aim of happier lives and stronger communities. We highlight several core principles that will be helpful in managing environmental impacts from advertising and increasing public engagement with our shared spaces. The principles are entirely feasible provided that there is political and social will.

  1. We need to democratise the urban landscape

The general public cannot turn off or easily escape outdoors advertising even if it so wishes. Yet, cities increasingly rely on advertising funds for the provision of basic urban infrastructure such as bus shelters, street signs and public internet access. These arrangements, while may seem beneficial, come with a myriad of hidden social and environmental costs that society pays for. Advertising displays are increasingly monopolising our public spaces at the expense of reduced non-commercial access and diversity for the locals. Some areas, particularly less wealthy ones, may suffer more from this public space monopoly, further entrenching social inequalities in the cities. 

Strategies for democratising public space could include restricting the space for corporate advertising and allowing for a proportion of non-commercial access to outdoor media or commercial community notices and public artworks. Local authorities may also tax the revenue raised through advertising, which could be used to provide public access. City planning should also explicitly consider how the capacity of different publics to access the outdoor media landscape and space changes.

  1. We need to get rid of the most harmful advertising

Not all products that are advertised are equal. Advertising of some products – such as cigarettes and fast food – is already restricted in some areas to ensure the safety of children and adults who are exposed to the messages. Banning advertising of carbon and energy intensive products and activities such as fossil fuels, SUVs and frequent flights can have a great effect on the social norms, practices and consumption patterns surrounding these activities. For example, Amsterdam wants to become the first city in the world to ban fossil fuel advertising

We need to consider the social and environmental impacts of advertising from a system perspective. How is the normalisation and encouragement of problematic practices through advertising considered? Currently planning officers may reject outdoors corporate advertising based on road safety and amenities concerns, but they do not make climate and energy considerations. They also do not necessarily consider the impacts on social equality, communities and well-being. The lawfulness of advertising should be scrutinised against these wider social and environmental concerns.

Greenwashing and spreading of miscommunication through advertising should also be a major concern as it may hamper local actions for climate neutrality and community well-being. Encouraging a public debate and transparency in advertising  will support city planners and regulators in their judgements. 

  1. We need to reduce the scale of advertising altogether

Advertising provision in the cities is self-interested and for-profit and at best only partly considers the broader social and environmental issues in the city. Prioritising the provision of information in advertising and establishing stricter criteria to allow advertising in public spaces is key to reduce growth dependence and make cities more livable and resilient. Moving away from advertising is necessary to build resilience as it will allow a shift away from damaging activities and will support the development of alternative, solidarity society and use of public space.

  1. Get involved in the movement

AdBlock Leeds, as a part of a larger Adfree Cities network in the UK, holds corporate advertising in the city accountable for the hidden costs associated with it. Our vision is one of happier lives and stronger communities and we welcome everyone who shares it. Social movements are powerful initiators of change, so if you are concerned about the amount of advertising in your city, join or start such a group.

Together, let’s reclaim our public spaces!

This piece was updated on 5 April 2021 to make minor corrections to figures

1 School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds

2 AdBlock Leeds, https://adblockleeds.wordpress.com/

Dr. Katherine Trebeck

A major report published this week calls for the Scottish Government to introduce wellbeing budgeting to improve lives for children as part of a radical systems change in the wake of the coronavirus.

The new report, Being Bold: Building Budgets for Children’s Wellbeing, by WEAll Advocacy and Influencing lead Dr Katherine Trebeck, with Amy Baker, was commissioned by national charity Children in Scotland, early years funder Cattanach and the Carnegie UK Trust.

Click here to download and read the report

It makes a series of bold calls focused on redirecting finances to tackling root causes of inequality and poverty as Scotland emerges from Covid. Key recommendations include:

  • A post-Covid spending review, with all spend proposals assessed against evidence of impact on children’s wellbeing
  • Training of the civil service to ensure effective budget development and analysis, and moving to multi-year budgeting aligned with wellbeing goals
  • Establishing an independent agency, modeled on the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, to support activity and scrutinise effectiveness of delivery of wellbeing budgeting by the government
  • An overarching change to the ways of working in the Scottish Government budget process to ingrain greater transparency; cross-departmental working; and a participatory approach involving the public and the diversity of children’s voices.

The report argues that the Scottish Government’s stated aims of improving wellbeing across society and addressing the fact that one quarter of children live in relative poverty cannot be met unless we create conditions for our youngest children to be healthy and supported from the outset.

To do this, it makes the case for directing funds at root causes that diminish child wellbeing, rather than targeting symptoms ‘downstream’, which is inefficient, stifles implementation of policy and legislation, and slows ambitions for societal change.

First steps towards wellbeing budgets would involve holding a conversation with the public about budget-setting to absorb lived experience; interrogating data to ‘map’ the distribution of wellbeing in Scotland; and ensuring policy development was properly connected to evidence on what would actually change outcomes for children and addressing the root causes of what undermines their wellbeing.

The report’s lead author, Dr Katherine Trebeck, said:

“If the Scottish budget is to be a mechanism that brings about change, we need to create a context where children can flourish in Scotland. Then we need to think about a few fundamentals. The budget needs to be holistic, human, outcomes-oriented, and rights-based. It needs to be long-term, upstream, preventative and precautionary. Finally, a bold budget for children’s wellbeing needs to be participatory – children’s voices in all their diversity need to be at the heart of setting the budget agenda.”

Katherine speaks about the report in more detail in this short video:

Sophie Flemig, Chief Executive of Cattanach, said:

“This report shows why it is necessary to set out a high-level vision for wellbeing outcomes and hardwire it into government processes. Countries need to acknowledge that the economy is in service of wellbeing goals, not a goal in and of itself. Meaningful public involvement is key. Ministerial responsibility for wellbeing outcomes drives progress. And cross-departmental work is essential for success.”

Jennifer Wallace, Head of Policy at Carnegie UK Trust, said:

“This project has focused on one important lever of change – the finance system, the way that we think about money and spend in Scotland, asking: what is value for money when we’re talking about our children’s lives? We know it’s not a silver bullet, but we do think it’s important that we consider how we spend that money if we’re going to begin improving outcomes for children and putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to children’s wellbeing.”

As the election campaign approaches, and following Tuesday’s vote to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law, the report’s calls and the case for wellbeing budgeting informs Children in Scotland’s manifesto for 2021-26, backed by organisations across the children’s sector.

The report is published as Scotland takes stock of the damage the pandemic has done to individuals, families, communities, and the macroeconomy, and an increasing number of people recognise that we must not revert to pre-Covid ways of working.

Jackie Brock, Chief Executive of Children in Scotland, said:

“Now is the time for us to reset our economy and the way in which we prioritise our budgets. Katherine’s work gives us a real manifesto for how we will secure children’s rights and wellbeing. We call on you to read the report, particularly the section which identifies what the crucial next steps are. We don’t need any more research or evidence – we need to work together to put a budget for Scotland’s children into place, this year, and we look forward to working with you to make that happen.”

This content is reposted from Children in Scotland

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!

Weekly Reads

WEAll Policy Design Guidebook

“This guide has been co-created by the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) to support visionary policy makers, to build more just and sustainable economies for people and planet.”

Being Bold: Building Budgets for Children’s Wellbeing – Dr. Katherine Trebeck

“The report argues that the Scottish Government’s stated aims of improving wellbeing across society and addressing the fact that one quarter of children live in relative poverty cannot be met unless we create conditions for our youngest children to be healthy and supported from the outset.”

Chasing Carbon Markets: The Deception of Carbon Markets and “Net Zero”

“Net zero” is a smokescreen, a conveniently invented concept that is both dangerous and problematic because of how effectively it hides inaction. We have to unpack “net zero” strategies and pledges to see which are real and which are fake. Fake zero strategies rely on offsets, rather than real emission reductions. Real zero strategies require emissions to really go to zero, or as close to zero as possible

Mindset Shifts: What are they? Why do they matter? How do they happen?

This report is intended as a resource for all those working on and funding mindset shifts.The research yields clear lessons and recommendations for how advocates, activists, funders,and other practitioners can maximize the impact of their efforts to change how we thinkabout social issues in order to change the contexts and structures that shape our experiencesand realities

SBTI … Net Zero Targets … TCFD … ESG Investment … resistance bubbles up that ‘trust us, we’re big’​ is not sufficient any longer

It is clear that ‘business as usual’ is not sufficient any longer (and hasn’t been for long), and remaining incremental ‘steps in the right direction’ are wilful predatory delay and not part of the solution. Now, do we have the tools at hand to react sufficiently and responsibly?

Devastatingly pervasive: 1 in 3 women globally experience violence

“Violence disproportionately affects women living in low- and lower-middle-income countries.  An estimated 37% of women living in the poorest countries have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their life, with some of these countries having a prevalence as high as 1 in 2.”

Health Verses Wealth?

“This briefing, by drawing attention to the longer term interactions between public health and the economy, dispels the myth that measures to protect public health are necessarily detrimental to economic well-being. Whilst difficult choices do have to be made, this ‘health versus wealth’ mentality is shown to be a false dichotomy.”

The Key to Good Collaboration, by Mark Gough

“So why then, when almost every organization claims that “collaboration is key”, do we often feel that it is an annoyance, a necessary evil and that it slows down progress?”

Changing Words to Change Society: The Marriage Equality Case in the US

By focusing on what Susan Blackmore calls memes, core ideas that help shape culture, like words and phrases, we wanted to visualize whether a controversial issue like marriage equality and the language used to describe it changed over time

Participation and Change: Lessons From the Future

“Participatory processes are giving us glimpses of how we can mainline public opinion into decision-making and regulate for the type of climate action that would match public concern. I am certainly excited by the developments and momentum in participatory and deliberative democratic processes. But how confident are we that these types of process will always truly reflect a public mandate?”

Building the Transition Together: WEAll’s Perspective on Creating a Wellbeing Economy

There is not one blueprint for a Wellbeing Economy; the shape, institutions and activities that get us there will look different in different contexts, both across countries and between different communities within countries. However, the high-level goals for a Wellbeing Economy are the same everywhere.

Job Openings & Opportunities

What to Watch

Listen Up

Upcoming Events

WEAll Originals  

Blogs:

Publications:

From the Archives

Amanda Janoo WEAll’s Knowledge & Policy Lead 

Around the world, people are losing faith in their governments. According to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer  over half of the world now believes our current economic system is doing more harm than good and that democracy is being eroded. Policy makers are increasingly viewed as facilitators of the growing inequality, injustice and environmental destruction that afflict our world rather than protectors and champions of our wellbeing. 

It is easy to understand this growing distrust in government when you live in a country like mine. When the COVID pandemic first hit, our President, Donald Trump legitimized inaction by saying “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA…Stock Market looks very good to me!” His barometer for our national health was the stock market and his first concern was how this pandemic would affect our economy. As if forgetting that we are the economy and that there is no greater cost than life itself. This confusion begins to make some sense when we consider that we evaluate our national success by our level of economic growth (GDP) not by our level of wellbeing. 

Around the world however, from the local to the global, policy makers are flipping this script. Recognizing that we’ve confused means and ends for too long. That people and planet are not here to serve the economy, it is here to serve us. That the economy is just the way that we produce and provide for one another and that we can produce things in a way that regenerates our world and provide to one another in a way that ensures wellbeing now and for generations to come. 

We find hope and inspiration in the leaders of the Wellbeing Economy Governments, such as Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand who has said: “Capitalism has failed our people. If you have hundreds of thousands of children living in homes without enough to survive, that’s a blatant failure. What else could you describe it as?” The wellbeing economy movement is not just being driven by heads of state, at all levels of government there are visionary policy makers who recognize the failures of our current economic system and are working to build a more  just and sustainable world. 

The challenge of course is that our current economic thinking has not only determined our measures of progress but also our government structures, power dynamics and cultural narratives. Developing a Wellbeing Economy is therefore not only about different measures or policies but critically about changing our relationship to the economy and our approach to its management and governance. The transformation we seek requires all of us, because we are the economy. It requires us to expand our imagination regarding what the economy is and can be. It needs all of us, with each of our unique gifts to co-create policies that can realign our economic systems with our values and objectives. Such a transformation can feel daunting, but just because a path is not paved does not mean we should not strive forward. 

With this in mind, the WEAll membership came together to co-create a Wellbeing Economy Policy Design Guide, illustrating that we can expand our notion of value and progress and proactively build an economy that can deliver social justice on a healthy planet. 

This guide challenges one-size-fits-all economic thinking by celebrating a diversity of approaches and values. It embraces the complex and intangible and empowers all people to participate in this transformative project. It moves us beyond viewing governments as market enablers to proactive agents of change. It re-embeds the economy back into our society and environment and calls for an integrated, holistic and co-creative approach. And it makes all of these very radical shifts in how we design economic policies seem down-right practical.

This short guide is filled with an abundance of case studies, tools and tips from our members on how to design policies for a Wellbeing Economy. More specifically, you’ll find resources and ideas on how to:

  1. Understand what matters for wellbeing, and how to craft and communicate wellbeing visions and measurements 
  2. Identify the areas of economic life that are most important for wellbeing,  managing trade-offs and confronting power dynamics 
  3. Assess and co-create Wellbeing Economy policies through meaningful participation 
  4. Successfully implement Wellbeing Economy policies by empowering local stakeholders and communities to create, adapting and aligning these policies to their context 
  5. Evaluate wellbeing for learning, adaptation and success 

This guide is just the beginning, as the wellbeing economy is still young and there are many questions that remain unanswered, many tools still to be developed and many more experiences to learn from. This guide aims to be practical without being overly prescriptive so that you can align these policy design processes and ideas to your unique context. Our request is that you share your experience with us so that we can learn together how to transform this thing we call an economy through deliberative, inclusive and democractic processes. The process we use to get to the future is the future we will get. 

Now is the time to move beyond critique of our economic system & governments and proactively work to transform them in line with our values & objectives. Now is the time to experiment and consider radical new ways to mold and direct our economy to deliver social justice on a healthy planet. Together we can show the world that a Wellbeing Economy is not only possible but already underway. 

To learn more:

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!

Weekly Reads

Changing Words to Change Society: The Marriage Equality Case in the US

By focusing on what Susan Blackmore calls memes, core ideas that help shape culture, like words and phrases, we wanted to visualize whether a controversial issue like marriage equality and the language used to describe it changed over time

Participation and Change: Lessons From the Future

“Participatory processes are giving us glimpses of how we can mainline public opinion into decision-making and regulate for the type of climate action that would match public concern. I am certainly excited by the developments and momentum in participatory and deliberative democratic processes. But how confident are we that these types of process will always truly reflect a public mandate?”

Building the Transition Together: WEAll’s Perspective on Creating a Wellbeing Economy

There is not one blueprint for a Wellbeing Economy; the shape, institutions and activities that get us there will look different in different contexts, both across countries and between different communities within countries. However, the high-level goals for a Wellbeing Economy are the same everywhere.

Guia Prático e Interseccional Para Cidades Mais Inclusivas – Sarah Gamrani (#36×36)

Covid-19 and 21st century public ownership

“In place of extraction, we need to mainstream generative forms of enterprise: purposeful business serving social and environmental needs, providing decent, rewarding forms of work, and building sustainable, equitably shared wealth.”

The Biggest Payoff From Stockton’s Basic Income Program: Jobs

People who received the cash reported less pain, anxiety and fatigue, and spent more time with their kids. But perhaps the most significant change associated with the program was its effect on their work status: Among recipients, the rate of full-time employment leaped 12 percentage points over the course of just one year.

L’Internationale Online

“This collection draws upon the complexity of ethical, ecological and political frameworks and reveals other perspectives on the current crisis through critical essays, storytelling, science fiction, biomorphic design, audiovisual traces of artistic practices and allegorical maps”

Budget 2021: Five priorities for a green and fair economic recovery | APPG letter to the Chancellor, 1 Mar 2021

“Every decision that the Treasury makes should be through a climate, nature and equality lens, and this budget must be the start.”

Relationship-to-Profit: A Theory of Business, Markets, and Profit for Social Ecological Economics – Jennifer Hinton

“The result is a new theory about how relationship-to-profit (the legal difference between for-profit and not-for-profit forms of business) plays a key role in the sustainability of an economy, due to the ways in which it guides and constrains actors’ behavior, and drives larger market dynamics.”

Job Openings & Opportunities

What to Watch

Listen Up

Upcoming Events

WEAll Originals  

Blogs:

Publications:

From the Archives

By Tabitha Jayne

The world of sustainability is confusing. With the drive towards net-zero targets increasing and the pressure of COP26 happening in Scotland this year, it’s easy to think that business is expected to make a quantum leap.

In reality, it’s a journey that we are already on. Many businesses are already on their wellbeing journey. They just don’t know it yet because the language used creates barriers instead of connection.

WEAll Scotland has partnered with Scottish Enterprise (via the Co-operative Development Scotland service) and Remarkable to explore how businesses in Scotland are active in creating a wellbeing economy and how they can do more to contribute to fairer, more inclusive working practices in Scotland.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

There are also twenty-one supporting partners helping us by sharing the survey with their networks:

  • Business in the Community
  • Community Enterprise in Scotland
  • Development Trusts Association Scotland
  • Foundation Scotland
  • Institute of Directors
  • Linwood Community Trust
  • Mindset Experts
  • Natural Change
  • Net Zero Community
  • North Ayrshire Council
  • Remade Network
  • RSA – Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturers & Commerce
  • Scotland CAN B
  • Scottish Council for Development &  Industry
  • Scottish Football Club
  • Scottish Institute of Business Leaders
  • ScienceFest
  • Scottish Business Network
  • Social Investment Scotland
  • VisitScotland Business Events

This is a powerful example of collaboration for a wellbeing economy. 

But why do we need a wellbeing economy?

A couple of weeks ago, my mum told me how a friend of the family had killed himself. As a farmer, he turned to renting out caravans to support himself because he couldn’t survive from what he made from the land. With Covid-19 regulations, he had no source of additional income.

Farmers have a high suicide rate, but we don’t talk about it. They are victims of an economic system designed to exploit people and nature.

Last year, my sister-in-law’s nephew found his friend dead from a drug overdose. He is 17 and has already lost two more friends to suicide. They too are victims of an economic system that doesn’t work.

When I was seven, I nearly died from an asthma attack caused by air pollution. I am a survivor of an economic system that doesn’t work. If you’re reading this, so are you.

It’s time for the economic system to change. A wellbeing economy is a way of preventing needless deaths. It puts people and nature at the heart of our economic system because we are the economy.

Business has an essential role to play in this transition. Yet too often the actions of big business pollute how we view the way business is done.

As an entrepreneur and business owner, I deeply care about those who work for me and for the community I live in. That’s where the journey of a wellbeing business starts.

And that’s why I’m working on behalf of WEAll Scotland to create a survey on business and the wellbeing economy.

If you’re a business (of any kind and structure), we’d love for you to take part.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

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!

Weekly Reads

L’Internationale Online

“This collection draws upon the complexity of ethical, ecological and political frameworks and reveals other perspectives on the current crisis through critical essays, storytelling, science fiction, biomorphic design, audiovisual traces of artistic practices and allegorical maps”

Budget 2021: Five priorities for a green and fair economic recovery | APPG letter to the Chancellor, 1 Mar 2021

“Every decision that the Treasury makes should be through a climate, nature and equality lens, and this budget must be the start.”

Regenerative Agriculture White Paper Sets Out Pressing Research Priorities

“The white paper is the result of intensive collaboration and consultation with more than 200 people from June to November 2020. Collaborators include farmers and growers, researchers, primary industry bodies, banks, retailers, non-governmental organisations, government departments, large corporates, consultants, marketers, overseas researchers and educators.”

Why Understanding & Embracing Suffering is Important to Flourishing and Fundamental Peace

“The key message is simple – it is neither necessary nor desirable to eliminate human struggles and frailties to pursue a flourishing human life. Creating a proper attitude and response to our limitations, challenges, and suffering is the best way to a flourishing life.”

Relationship-to-Profit: A Theory of Business, Markets, and Profit for Social Ecological Economics – Jennifer Hinton

“The result is a new theory about how relationship-to-profit (the legal difference between for-profit and not-for-profit forms of business) plays a key role in the sustainability of an economy, due to the ways in which it guides and constrains actors’ behavior, and drives larger market dynamics.”

21st Century Sustainable Enterprise Force Field

“The desired state for a company is being a truly sustainable enterprise that partners with other organizations to lead society to a more just, safe, healthy and resilient future. The 21st century sustainable enterprise force field is a dashboard of sustainability-related forces that affect companies”

UNCTAD Technology and Innovation Report 2021

Human development has been spurred by changes in technology. But so has inequality. Today’s staggering inequalities began to appear with the industrial revolution. The pace of technological change is accelerating due to digitalization and frontier technologies. New technologies can have severe downsides if they outpace a society’s ability to adapt.

2019/2020 Action Plan For The Office of The Youth Envoy (OYE)

“The Youth Envoy mission is to lead advocacy and champion youth agency in the prioritization of youth issues within continental, and other decision-making and
governance spaces.”

Beyond Race and Rota (January 2021) It Takes a System- The Systemic Nature of Racism and Pathways to Systems Change

There are three central pillars to race thinking as a mental model. The first pillar is that humanity can be differentiated along the lines of the category called ‘race’. The second is that there exists a racial hierarchy in which being white is the highest form of humanity. The third is that populations racially minoritised as ‘other than’ white are deeply and irreversibly biologically and/or culturally flawed. In other words, the racial order is largely fixed.

Job Openings & Opportunities

What to Watch

Listen Up

Upcoming Events

WEAll Originals  

Blogs:

Publications:

From the Archives

This week we’re launching a new website –  Stories for Life – as an invitation to create new economic stories. 

It is time for a new design of our economic system. The world is facing a series of crises that are symptoms of our current economic story. This story is outdated, and untrue. It’s time we created new stories; stories that reflect our humanity and can ultimately lead to the creation of an economy that is in service to life. 

Telling these stories is a key pillar to WEAll’s work. Narrative seeps into all aspects of uprooting the old and re-creating the new global economic system. It is how we communicate about the economy that will ultimately create the base of power that is needed to call for the change to the system.

In WEAll’s theory of change, knowledge feeds that narrative, which feeds the powerbase which ultimately can reorient the system. 

Stories for Life has one purpose: to help create stories that contribute to the re-design of a healthier economy. It is a collaborative inquiry with Green Economy Coalition, Wellbeing Economy Alliance, The SpaceShip Earth and Friday Future Love which has been evolving since October 2019. The new website shares the thinking that has emerged so far, brimming with provocations and exciting new ideas for storytelling. 

This is just the start: we hope that exploring the site brings up questions, ideas and challenges. We want to hear them. We want your stories.

We need stories that help us better understand how we’re connected with the natural world and each other. 

This idea of interconnection, is in stark contrast to our current narrative that promotes ‘separation’ as the prevailing story. We can tell stories of interconnection by telling stories of life. Our lives. And, through these stories, we can then build an economy that is in service, to humanity and the environment. 

How do we ultimately change these stories? We move from ‘horror’ stories to ‘love’ stories. 

The two dominant stories are shared above. What other horror stories and love stories can you share?

We’d love for you to share your stories with us… comment on this blog below, tweet at @weall_alliance using #storiesforlife #horrorstories #lovestories and help us create an economy that prioritises the needs of people and the environment. 

Together, we can change the story of our economy, and bring about a global transformation of our economic system. Help us create our ‘love’ stories.

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!

Weekly Reads

21st Century Sustainable Enterprise Force Field

“The desired state for a company is being a truly sustainable enterprise that partners with other organizations to lead society to a more just, safe, healthy and resilient future. The 21st century sustainable enterprise force field is a dashboard of sustainability-related forces that affect companies”

UNCTAD Technology and Innovation Report 2021

Human development has been spurred by changes in technology. But so has inequality. Today’s staggering inequalities began to appear with the industrial revolution. The pace of technological change is accelerating due to digitalization and frontier technologies. New technologies can have severe downsides if they outpace a society’s ability to adapt.

2019/2020 Action Plan For The Office of The Youth Envoy (OYE)

“The Youth Envoy mission is to lead advocacy and champion youth agency in the prioritization of youth issues within continental, and other decision-making and
governance spaces.”

Beyond Race and Rota (January 2021) It Takes a System- The Systemic Nature of Racism and Pathways to Systems Change

There are three central pillars to race thinking as a mental model. The first pillar is that humanity can be differentiated along the lines of the category called ‘race’. The second is that there exists a racial hierarchy in which being white is the highest form of humanity. The third is that populations racially minoritised as ‘other than’ white are deeply and irreversibly biologically and/or culturally flawed. In other words, the racial order is largely fixed.

How Waste Monopolies are Choking Environmental Solutions, and What We Can Do About It

“Monopoly power in the U.S. has reached catastrophic levels, affecting every corner of our economy and society. While this crisis is gaining more attention, particularly in the tech industry, there is much more to understand about how it affects our lives.”

Petition to the Government of Canada

“The consensus for the shift to a wellbeing economy is growing. Scientists have called on governments to “shift from pursuing GDP growth and affluence toward sustaining ecosystems and improving wellbeing” to tackle the climate emergency. Business leaders are pressing for an economic reset that recognises human dependence on nature and includes measures of economic performance beyond GDP,  and most citizens agree that the government should prioritise health and wellbeing goals above economic growth.”

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The 36×36 project has officially commenced! This exciting initiative brings together femxle leaders from around the world to co-create a revolutionary architecture for the global economy. 

The neoliberal economic “story” has proliferated around the globe for decades, legitimising a huge concentration of wealth and power and the destruction of our environment. This story, based on “trickle-down”, free-market ideas, was crafted by a group of 36 men in 1947, at a resort in Switzerland. Despite the widely recognized failures of this economic ideology, it continues to dominate the way that we organise and govern systems of production and exchange. 

The Schumacher Institute, Collective Leadership Institute and Wellbeing Economy Alliance collaborated around the exciting notion that if 36 men could shape the old economic system, womxn could come together to transform it and create the new economy we all need. 

The three partner organisations were energised by the idea of a network of femxle leaders – a network that, far from being a closed shop like the “boys’ clubs” of old, would be diverse, collaborative and inclusive from the start. The first 36 womxn would be just the beginning of a femxle revolution in economic thinking – hence the idea of 36 by 36: a multiplier effect. 

“Up until the 21st century women’s voices were almost absent in the economic and finance discourse and decision making.  This project is a step in the direction for women to have an equal say.  It is absolutely crucial for the future of people and planet.” – Vala Ragnardottir, Schumacher Institute

After months of project development, outreach and dozens of incredible applications, the 36×36 project has now brought together a cohort of impressive womxn involved in a diverse range of pursuits to co-create this new vision. From 24 countries and a hugely diverse range of backgrounds, these womxn are already leading the way to a new economic system. Together, their change-making power multiples – find out who they are here.

What will they do?

The womxn will participate in a certified leadership program, interrogating the dimensions of a new economic system and what it will take to get there. They will host a series of public events to bring wider knowledge into the process, and they will collaborate on their shared challenges to advance their own work., All of this will culminate in a visionary manifesto that will lay out what is needed to change our economic system. 

 “Womxn have been in the forefront of naming the problems with prevailing economic thinking and practice. It is time that they take the lead in reinventing the purpose of economy: caring and serving life on this planet. And it is time that they become the drivers of transformations.” – Petra Kuenkel, Collective Leadership Institute

How can I get involved?

Over the next 9 months, these womxn will embark on a journey together to spark a femxle-led revolution in economic thinking. We invite all of you into this process: the programme and manifesto aim to reflect the wider new economic movement. 

“Economics continues to be dominated by old, white men and if we are serious about rebalancing the world, we must also rebalance the economics discipline. 36×36 provides an opportunity to build a transformative network, demonstrating that a different economic system is not only possible but just a few strategic decisions away” Amanda Janoo, WEAll 

To stay updated about the progress of 36×36, and hear about ways to get involved, check out the following:

36×36 Website

36×36 Newsletter

WEAll Citizens Platform, “36×36 Femxle Economic Revolutionaries group”

(WEAll Citizens > Groups > “36×36 Femxle Economic Revolutionaries”)

Last month, the WEAll Scotland team met with around 50 of our friends and colleagues at the (strictly virtual) pub for an evening of discussion, reflection, and games. It was a chance to chat about what WEAll Scotland accomplished last year, how the wellbeing economy movement is progressing, and also for our guests to tell us about what they’ve been working on.

Before we moved on to the festivities (the WEAll Scotland team runs a top-quality scavenger hunt, after all), we sent a survey round for people to fill out as and when they wished throughout the evening.

One of the more fun questions?

“What was your least favourite buzzword of 2020?”

We want to share some of the responses with you.

Happy reading, and please drop us a message if you’d like to share your own least favourite buzzwords with us, too.

What were your least favourite buzzwords of 2020?

2020. It was an unprecedented year—although maybe we shouldn’t use that particular word, since it was officially the least popular buzzword from last year . . . at least according to our guests at last month’s WEAll Scotland social.

After unprecedented, other unpopular buzzwords included new normal, world beating, and the last name of a certain former US president.

Not everyone suggested buzzwords they thought were bad, of course. Take social distancing, for example, which was one of the responses that didn’t crack the top 10, so it’s not featured in the list below. Social distancing is a vital practice just now. But it’s also understandable that some of these terms become part of the background noise after one hears them 57 times in a single day.

That’s what we work to avoid with wellbeing economy. Yes, it’s a phrase that we use a lot, but its meaning is both tangible and highly relevant to Scotland and the world: an economy that enables social justice on a healthy planet. Sounds like a pretty good idea after all the uncertainty of 2020, eh?

But back to the buzzwords.

In order of un-popularity, here are our guests’ top 10 least popular buzzwords of 2020:

  1. Unprecedented
  2. New normal
  3. World beating
  4. Trump
  5. Pivot
  6. Moonshot
  7. Cummings
  8. Brexit
  9. Woke
  10. Maga

There you have it! And remember, this was just an ice breaker game–all in good fun. But we do hope it got you thinking about communication and how we can go about it in 2021.

So with that, in an unprecedented year of new normals, we hope you enjoyed our world-beating list of buzzwords. And if not, maybe you’ll pivot after giving it another read.