In May, WEAll launched a policy paper titled, “5 Pathways toward Health-Environment Policy in a Wellbeing Economy” which outlines transformational approaches in five policy areas that can offer a co-benefit – both to the environment and to human health. These five areas are Energy, Food, Healthcare, Education and Social Cooperation. 

On June 8, the authors of the paper, Éloi Laurent, Fabio Battaglia, Alessandro Galli, Giorgia Dalla Libera Marchiori and Raluca Munteanu hosted an event to showcase the paper and open a conversation with Lorenzo Fioramonti who is the former Italian Minister of Education, University and Research. 

Over the hour-long discussion, the authors and Lorenzo discussed the practical implementation of these co-beneficial policies. 

Lorenzo, as a former politician himself, gave quite a lot of insight into what is needed for policymakers to design, advocate and implement these kinds of co-beneficial policies. 

“Policymakers need catchy titles – they don’t have time to study” he says, “[the concepts] have to be easily understood and put in language that can be reused.” 

He then goes on to address the framing of a Wellbeing Economy: “The economy we’re talking about is an expansive economy. It’s not an economy that gives up, but an economy that gains.”

When he speaks about advocating for an alternative economic system, he encourages us by saying, “Your message needs to be positive, forward looking. This is very important.”

Lorenzo touched on the framing that policy-makers often use, with the WEAllpaper going against the cost-benefit  approach that is typically undertaken. Instead of seeing through a lens where you’re giving up something to gain something else, there is an alternative way. This is the concept of the co-beneficial approach. The authors of the paper remind us that we don’t have to choose between human health and the environment, rather, we can build policies  that are co-beneficial to both objectives. To make this point heard, Lorenzo says, “it’s not a battle between more or less, it’s a battle for better.”

This quick recap only touches the surface of the discussion. If you’re interested in learning more, watch the full webinar here:

Next Monday June 28, WEAll is hosting another event with the authors that also features individuals from the case studies in the paper. We’ll showcase three of the case studies in the session which will unpack how they are able to reach these co-benefits in their work locally. 

Find more information and register for the next event 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

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

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