A message from WEAll Youth:

“We are thrilled to announce that Wellbeing Economy Alliance Youth (WEAll Youth) has been selected as one of the 50 Youth Solutions featured in the Youth Solutions Report 2019. 4300+ solutions originating from 170+ countries were submitted and based on a rigorous review process, 50 were selected to be featured in this year’s report. We are so excited to be selected among many inspiring youth solutions. Young innovators all over the world are working towards a sustainable future – we’re proud to be part of the change!

You can read all about us at www.youthsolutions.report (WEAll Youth can be found on p85).

We are so proud we have been selected and can’t wait to see what the future will hold. All of the solutions selected are so promising which is amazing to see as our world often portrays all the negative sides. We are excited to see so many young people getting involved @ their future.”

More about the report:

NEW YORK, USA; September 26: The third edition of the ​Youth Solutions Report,​ which identifies ​50 youth-led projects that are accelerating global progress on the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)​, has been released today, at the ​74th UNGA High-Level Side Event on Social Business, Youth and Technology.

This year, the selected solutions have been chosen by an advisory panel of 24 leading experts across all SDG sectors and geographical regions, among a pool of applicants that included over 4,300 submissions from ​174 countries​. Winning projects were particularly focused on introducing innovative approaches to lifting vulnerable communities in developing countries out of poverty, with solutions targeting areas such as digital health and education, financial inclusion, innovation in agricultural practices, sustainable livelihoods, and circular economy.

Like its 2017 and 2018 predecessors, this year’s Youth Solutions Report provides ​selected initiatives with a powerful platform to secure funding, build capacity, communicate experiences, and scale efforts. In addition, the new edition includes an in-depth analysis of the role of youth-led innovation in achieving the specific SDGs that have been reviewed at the July session of the 2019 High-Level Political Forum, focusing on the role of young people in improving access to quality education, promoting decent work for all, reducing inequality, combating climate change, promoting peaceful societies, and supporting a renewed global partnership for sustainable development.

One key aspect of the Report consists of its discussion of cross-cutting challenges to youth-led innovation and the importance of seeing young people as a fundamental component of the broader innovation systems that are required to implement the 2030 Agenda. ​

Mariana Mazzucato, Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London​, said: ‘The SDGs are the world’s challenges, and can only be achieved through directed, mission-oriented, innovation activities, taken on through bold new partnerships between the public sector, business and civil society. The Youth Solutions Report provides a loud, dynamic forum for youth to be heard and learned from in this critical solutions-oriented process.’ Ms Mazzucato’s auspices were echoed by ​Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever and recent founder of Imagine,​ who recognized that ‘creating the right policy frameworks for engaging young people in SDG implementation will a big enabler of the entire Agenda’. According to Mr Polman, ‘the Youth Solutions Report serves as a platform that will increase exposure to youth-led projects that will hopefully push policy reform in the future.’

Siamak Sam Loni, Global Coordinator of SDSN Youth​, added that while young people are already contributing to the implementation of the SDGs, they still face common challenges that prevent them from realizing the full potential, including the lack of visibility, limited access to finance, and the lack of training and technical support. ‘The 2019 Youth Solutions Report will help investors, donors, and supporters better understand the multi-faceted role of young people in sustainable development and give them additional opportunities to showcase and scale their work’ concluded Mr. Loni.

As further testimony of SDSN Youth’s commitment to concretely supporting its growing global cohort of young innovators, this year’s report was prepared in collaboration with Junior Chamber International (JCI), which ensured that ​5 of the selected solutions could be provided with grants from the Global Youth Empowerment Fund. ​The Fund, founded by JCI in partnership with the UN SDG Action Campaign, offers grants and training to youth-led projects that advance theSDGs.​EarlSawyer,Interim Secretary-GeneralofJCI​,said:‘JCIisproudtocollaboratewith SDSN Youth on their 2019 Youth Solutions Report. We are excited to offer young people the recognition, tools, training and resources needed to scale their SDG-focused projects in order to tackle global problems’.

Dear Adult,

We are WEAll Youth and hereby we are inviting you to join the global climate strikes on the 20th and 27th of September.

In recent months, Greta Thunberg and millions of other students have been striking for the climate.

Right before our governments will gather at the United Nations for the Climate Action Summit on September 23, we will strike again.

Join us at the global climate strike on the 20th and 27th of September.

This is not just a call for students and young people, this is a call for everyone. We need to show our politicians something needs to happen now, to show them that business, as usual, is no longer an option.

Let’s make them see that we all need economic system change, that we all need to transform the current profit focussed economy to an economy that puts people and planet first.

WEAll Youth will be there, will you join us? Use #WEAll and #WEAll Youth on your banners and let’s see how many places we can take the message that in order to tackle climate change we all need economic system change. If you can’t be there in person, you can participate in the digital strike.

For more information and to check if there is a strike near you check out this website: https://globalclimatestrike.net/ 

We can’t wait to see you there,

WEAll Youth

Esther, Pien and Mara are part of the WEAll Youth core team. For more about WEAll Youth see here.

 Blog by Sam Butler-Sloss, Economics for Change

Economics for Change – a student-led campaigning organisation based in Edinburgh focused on the need for economic system change – is enormously excited to be joining the Wellbeing Economy Alliance to lead their efforts to establish a WEAll Youth Hub here in Scotland. This Youth Hub’s mission is to mobilise young people behind the historic opportunity to drive economic systems change.

 

Why young people? And why is it such a historic opportunity?

We are all acutely aware of the multiple crises that face us in the 21st century, from spiralling inequality to run away climate change. Yet however well documented these challenges are, bizarrely, awareness has not been enough to drive the adequate action. Since this insufficient level of action has become the new normal, it has taken our generation to stand up and say the current efforts are simply not enough. They do not begin to meet the scale or the urgency of the challenges that we face.

This year has been a striking demonstration of young people’s’ capacity to be at the forefront of social change. We have shown that we have the expectations and ambitions for a better, cleaner and fairer world that dwarf those who are currently at the helms of power. It is in this same spirit that Economics for Change is bringing young people together to take a stand against a failing economic system; to stamp out the tendency of simply ‘muddling through’ and to advocate for an economy that enables both the people and the planet to flourish.

It is often easy for us to feel overwhelmed, but at the centre of WEAll’s narrative is the idea that whilst the challenges are certainly demanding, the opportunities they present are enormous.

To overcome these great societal challenges requires us to transform our economy–and the climate challenge gives a decade to do so.

A decade to redesign how we produce, consume and share in the 21st century. The chance to fundamentally redesign our economy does not come about often, and with it, comes the once in a lifetime opportunity to redraw a better world.

As the economic consensus fractures and the old principles that defined our economy expire, a space is opening up, in which the case for systems-change has never been stronger. As this space widens, a new era is emerging.

This new era is generating new norms, new business models, new energy sources and new ideas of shared prosperity. It is outcompeting today’s system and is paving the path to a wellbeing economy. Yet the question remains, will this change happen fast enough?  

There is no doubt that were are approaching a paradigm shift between a system built on extraction, exploitation and exhaustion and one that is regenerative, circular and inclusive. And this is where young people must step up and have a catalytic effect.

WEAll Youth is a vehicle to enable us to do so: we are a global, interconnected network of young people fighting for a new kind of economics from all corners of this world. We are thinking globally, with a shared vision for change, whilst acting locally to catalyse this transformation from the ground up. We acknowledge our assets: our votes hold power; our voices form new narratives; and our connectivity brings untamable potential to mainstream new ideas and paradigms with the urgency that does these challenges justice.

While fundamental redesign is no modest task it holds the keys to transforming our future; to keeping us within a 1.5 degree world; and to enabling all humans to live a prosperous and dignified life. As young people, we have the most to gain and the most at risk. This is no dress rehearsal, there will be no second chance. The time to come together to drive systemic change is now–we would be mad not to seize this opportunity.

In the coming month, Economics for Change and WEAll Scotland will be establishing the WEAll Scotland Youth Hub. If you share our passion for an economy that serves people & planet and want Scotland to lead the way, get in touch at scotland@wellbeingeconomy.org and join the movement as  WEAll Citizen at www.weallcitizens.org 

If you’re a young person (16-34) and want to get involved with WEAll Youth wherever you are in the world, contact weallyouth@gmail.com 

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WEAll’s Katherine Trebeck was a guest last week on the Futures of Work podcast, talking about the need to build a wellbeing economy, and her book The Economics of Arrival (co-authored with Jeremy Williams).

Listen here now:

New Economy and Social Innovation Forum: WEAll Youth participation

Last week was the NESI (New Economy and Social Innovation) Forum in Malaga, and we met a lot of interesting people. In these three days we travelled to the year 2030. The big questions were: what does our economy look like in 2030 and what did we do in 2019 to get there?

NESI is held every 2 years in Malaga. The Wellbeing Economy Alliance is one of the partners of the Forum. The programme of the Forum was as follows: each day started with a plenary opening, there were conversations, speeches, and interviews on stage, and there were 3 working sessions, 1 on the first day and 2 on the second day.

For the working sessions, you could choose between 6 different tracks: the future of food sovereignty, the future of urban and housing, the future of finance, the future of work, the future of sustainable textiles and the future of resources and energy. Within each working session, different questions would be tackled: What is happening right now (2019)? Which are positive aspects and which do we want to keep and grow? What will it look like in 2030? What do we need to do to get there? These questions were answered in every track. You could choose to go to the same track every day or you could switch it up.

In between the working sessions and the plenary session, there was time to network, walk around and take a look at the different booths. At this time we were often at the WEAll booth, talking to people about WEAll and WEAll Youth.

One of the highlights of NESI was the WEAll gathering. After NESI was done, we spent Friday afternoon with everyone from WEAll. We had a WEAll members meeting like any other, with the exception that it was in real life, instead of through zoom. It was amazing to see all of the people you normally see on zoom, in real life. The meeting was about updates from every aspect of WEAll. We also got some time to talk about WEAll Youth, which was a great opportunity to tell members from around the world about the things we are doing and planning to do in the future. Besides the WEAll gathering, we also attended the WEAll dinner which was also a very nice way to connect with everyone at WEAll. At these gatherings, we made crucial connections with people from the WEAll community and got so much support and praise that it was overwhelming! We are very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to meet all these amazing people and were uplifted by their work and their kind words towards WEAll Youth.

 

Tracks – our take

Pien: Personally, I was mostly interested in the sustainable textiles track. This is because fashion has a big influence on my life and it has a much bigger influence on our earth! Next to it being one of the biggest polluting industries, it is a big player in human slavery. We are caught in some sort of cycle where supply and demand are getting out of control.

The first session was started with a question that made us think about the things that are going well right now, the components that are essential to maintain. Such as, the employment the industry offers, the alliances that are built, the demand for sustainable products, the demand for transparency in the supply chain, the demand for high-quality textile, skills (sewing and repairing) and creativity and innovation. After this, we talked about things that had to change fast like, the volume that is produced, lack of quality, the value consumers put on clothing, working conditions, animal welfare, extreme consumerism and negative externalities which are not integrated into the price.

How will we enable this change? By raising awareness, regulations, technology, influencers and the power of social media, innovations, developments in new textiles, transparency, education, design to recycle and slow fashion. To make this change a success there are still some question to be ask, like, who is responsible? Are consumers willing to change? Are the brands willing to change? Who is going to pay? How do we prioritize? How to ensure equal access? And when is the deadline? These questions are left with us as food for thought…

Esther:  I went to the future of Work, the future of Urban & Housing and the future of Finance tracks. The future of work was very interesting to me. There were a lot of people and every single one of them could contribute valuable information and/or viewpoints. We talked about equality and diversity in the workplace. Shattering the glass ceiling, but also making sure the application process is fair, equal and without any discrimination by age, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, disability, nationality or religion. This was just one of the topics we tackled, we also talked about good qualities of our work and the system as it is now and project or organizations that are already doing great things in this field. One of the things I learned was how important government policies are when fighting this. Things like women quotas or being able to apply anonymously make a huge difference in progress between cities, districts or countries. There were a lot of international people there and it was very interesting to hear the different situations in different countries and even regions.

I learned a lot in the finance track, at first I was doubting to go to this track because I felt like I did not have much to add to the conversation because I find finance to be very complicated. I talked to some people about what track I wanted to go to and someone said to me: “If you are interested, just go, don’t be afraid to do something you think you can’t.” And so I went, I am happy I did. I did not have a lot of things to add to the conversation but it was very interesting to listen to the discussions. The group I was in was also very encouraging and wanted everyone to contribute to the conversation. I confessed my struggle with finance and we started talking about the complication of the current system. Someone said: “They make it complicated and confusing because they do not want people to interfere in their businesses.” This resonated with me and inspired me to try not step away from seemingly complicated subjects in the future. At the end of the session, I had learned so many new things and spoke to many interesting people. I am very glad I decided to go to the finance track.

At the Urban & Housing track we talked a lot about different projects and organisations who are doing projects that are already working in ways that are innovative and belong in our future of urban and housing. We also created questions for the organisations in the urban and housing sector in the future. “Are we working with equality in mind? ”& “Are we putting people over profit?” There were a lot of professionals in this sector at my table so I enjoyed listening to them talk about all of the projects that are going on. Even though I did not contribute much to the conversation and felt a bit odd in between so many experienced professionals, it was nice to listen to them talk about their work field.

Mara: I chose to go to the tracks on the future of food, the future of work and the future of resources and energy. This was very challenging as two of them were mainly in Spanish and translated for the handful of people that did not speak Spanish well enough to engage in the discussion naturally. However, it was very interesting to talk about how our food systems are now, what we would like to keep and what needs to change in the future to transform it into a system that encourages wellbeing. The things that came out of the session were more local production, transparency and clear labelling should be a part of a future food system. For work, it was interesting to talk about what would the perfect future for work look like and what are the important aspects to include. The future of work in the eyes of the participants, me included should put the people in the centre and get away from being profit driven with a more distributed power structure. The last session I took part in was about how do we get to the aspired future of resources and energy. The energy transition equals a value transition, the participants came up with a model where local communities rise up and own their energy together. Through this mechanism, big companies loose power and are more inclined to be a part of the energy transition to local and renewable resources.

NESI gave different viewpoints and solutions for the future. We talked about some of the most important topics for our future, which seems very scary but, in the end, it gave us a lot of hope and inspired us to keep working to create a wellbeing economy. Overall, the NESI forum helped us realize we are not alone in this fight. What we’re doing is right and we need to fight for what is right. Meeting so many great people and all of the interesting conversations and discussions were uplifting and exhilarating.

 

 

 

Written by Esther Snijder, Mara Tippmann & Pien Gerards

WEAll Youth leaders are undertaking research into sustainable lifestyles and behaviours for under 30s.

If you are aged 30 and below, please take part by completing this simple survey: CLICK HERE

 

By Pien Gerards, WEAll Youth

Fashion, you can find it anywhere: on the streets, TV, Social Media and in school. It can make you feel great; you can express yourself and show the world who you are or just make yourself feel comfortable and relaxed. There is something for everyone and nowadays you can change your fashion any day and anytime.

But do we actually know where our clothes are made and what impact this has on the world?

Facts of the Fashion industry:

  • Environment

According to Marieke Eyskoot (2017), 10.000 litres of water are needed to produce 1 outfit (jeans and shirt), 85 Million trees are cut down every year to produce fabrics, but 140 Million kilo of the clothing we produce will be burned in the incinerator every year.  In addition, the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the CO2 emissions world-wide.

  • People

According to Safia Minney (2017) 168 Million children are still working in child labour today. 21 Million other people are victims of forced labour within the industry. This is modern slavery. Children are used to work in supply chains of clothing and jewellery, but also on cotton fields and cacao plantations. Human trafficking, forced labour, excessive labour and bonded labour are happening today

  • Fast Fashion

All of this happens because of the consumerism culture of the current economic system. Fashion brands make you believe you need new clothing 12 or even more times a year. We throw away our clothes faster than ever and the quality of our clothes decreases.

Does this sound like a Wellbeing Economy to you?

Since 2000 the fashion industry became 4 times as big. Nowadays 80 Billion pieces of clothes are produced every year (Eyskoot, 2017), the fashion industry is the third biggest industry in the world (Minney, 2017), and it is part of the world’s biggest polluters.

Personally, I started thinking about my fashion choices because I really care about animals. My research about how animals are used within the fashion industry escalated into finding out all the horror stories going on in this industry, not only for animals but also for our environment and people working in this industry.

But I do not want to depress you with all the negative, there are so many solutions to this problem! Sustainable fashion can be fun and below you can find tips and tricks on how to increase your positive impact on the world through fashion.

What can we do?
  • Do not support fast fashion: Quality above quantity, go for your own style instead of following the forever and fast changing trends.
  • Remake your clothes: Is the zipper of your favourite jeans broken? Repair it instead of buying a new one, as well as this being better for the environment this is also a lot cheaper.
  • Recycle: Do you really want something else? Ask friends, family or co-workers for all the stuff they do not use anymore and organize a clothing swap. This way your ‘trash’ turns into someone else’s treasure. Personally, I am also a big fan of Thrift shopping. Many modern cities have second hand or vintage stores.
  • Ask why before you buy: Do you really need something new? There are (speaking from personal experience) so many items in your closet that can be reused! Check out everything you have before you decided to buy something new, and ask yourself, will this really bring extra value to my life.
  • Support Ethical brands: There are a lot of initiatives rising up who want to show a good example. Below in recommendations a few ethical brands are named. But see which one are close to you! Also you can download the apps ‘rank a brand’ or ‘good on you’ to check if your favourite brand are ethical.
  • Act: Join the Fashion Revolution. The Fashion revolution organisation is campaigning for “a fashion industry that conserves and restores our environment and gives people, especially woman, a voice” (Fashion Revolution , 2019). Fashion revolution starts the 22nd of April! You can see on their website if there are event in your neighbourhood.

Sustainable fashion certainly does not have to be more expensive. Buying new shirts every month for 5 euros of bad quality which you can throw away after using it a few times… or buying one good quality shirt for 50 euros which will last years is something to consider!

A quote that really stuck with me was,

If you do not pay the price someone else will

 

Pien’s recommendations:

Books:

Slave to fashion – Safia Minney

This is a good guide – Marieke Eyskoot

Documentaries:

The true cost (Netflix)

Minimalism (Netflix)

Websites:

Fashionrevolution.org

Ethical fashion websites/brands:

Reformation

Geitenwollenwinkel

Goat Organic Apparel

Know the origin

Less too late

Veja

Hara the label

And there are so much more!!

References:

Eyskoot, M. (2017). Dit is een goede gids. Amsterdam: Keff & Dessing Publishing.

Fashion Revolution . (2019). Home. Retrieved from fashionrevolution.org: https://www.fashionrevolution.org/

Minney, S. (2017). Slave to fashion. New International Publications Ltd.

 

 

 

Blog by  Esther Snijder – WEAll Youth

 

 

All around the world, young people have come together to strike on behalf of the climate. They want the world leaders to start acting on their words and take a stand  for better climate policies. WEAll Youth joined them on the 7th of February in the Hague, the Netherlands and on the 10th of March in Amsterdam where more than 40.000  people joined the demonstration.

We started at Zwolle station, where there were already people  on the train carrying signs. It was so busy that we had to stand. The whole way there more people boarded the train and at the last stop, before the Hague, it was so busy that the train had to keep going because it could not fit any more people.   At the Malieveld, where the strike started, a speech was held by Youth For Climate. Youth For Climate is an organisation that initiates and supports   many of the climate strikes around Europe. Once we started walking through the street 10,000 students chanted: “What do we want? Climate Justice! When do we want it? NOW!”. We walked past the parliament building and afterwards we came back to the Malieveld again. It was very empowering to walk among so many people who were also standing up for their future.

The climate strikes started with Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old Swedish girl. She started in September, and has been striking every Friday since. Fridays For Future has since grown into an enormous movement of young people striking everyFriday and even on some  Thursday’s. Strikes have been held in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland & the US.

On the 15th of March is the global Friday for future strike.

What can you do? Join them!

Even if you are not a student.  Time to get out some paper and start making your sign!

Find out here if there is a strike near you: https://www.fridaysforfuture.org/events/list?fbclid=IwAR0dA0C-KSFqpJve0BKWunAhS1O1Bfk0kcYU4gkTpm8qKfrBEWEgONuZmNE