Over the past few months, our team has been busy helping to move the Wellbeing Economy movement forward! From participating in an event with the World Health Organization on health and Wellbeing Economies to connecting with environmental organizations like Greenpeace keen to discuss ways to go beyond GDP, speaking at an event with policymakers in Finland, to meaningful discussions with Indigenous groups. Here’s the latest from our team below:
WEAll at the WHO European Regional High-level Forum on Health in the Well-being Economy
WEAll’s Development Lead, Michael Weatherhead was present at the event in Copenhagen in March of this year.
The event was designed to educate delegates from European governments as to how health and the Wellbeing Economy interact, with panel discussions and a marketplace in which to share examples of good practice.
WEAll had a stall in the ‘marketplace’ of the conference that provided the opportunity for Michael to share the work of the Alliance with delegates, in particular, highlighting WEAll’s policymakers network.
Also, present at the marketplace were the Scottish Government, sharing their Wellbeing Economy toolkit and Wellbeing Economy Monitor as well as Public Health Wales demonstrating the linkages between health and the Wellbeing Economy. Sophie Howe – WEAll ambassador, Aileen McCloud (WEAll Global Council Member) were also present in Copenhagen.
Michael also co-facilitated a panel discussion on Health and Economy Working Together to Tackle Development Challenges.
WEAll’s presence at the event not only provided the opportunity for policy makers to learn that we have a network that allows for continued learning and sharing, but also to remind all in attendance that ultimately, it should be the economy that is in service of health and Wellbeing, not the other way around.
Connecting with Greenpeace and Going Beyond GDP
WEAll ambassador Liepollo Pheko and WEAll Movements Lead Simon Ticehurst, participated at Greenpeace´s first F2F gathering of their Alternative Futures community in Eretrea, Greece, to discuss this framing for their future advocacy and campaigning.
Alternative Futures integrates 9 principals and 28 proposals clearly aligned with Wellbeing Economics, by aiming to put people and planet above growth and profit, ensure a more equitable distribution of wealth and power and by putting wellbeing at the core.
One of the challenges we collectively face is getting wider recognition within the climate and environmental movement of the structural causes of the climate crisis and environmental destruction in the prevailing economic systems driven by profit, growth and consumerism. Alternative Futures is an important contribution in this regard.
We agreed to continue to work together within the climate/environmental movement and the new economy movement toward a narrative that supports economic systems change and to develop the counter power needed to bring about that systems change. We also agreed to work together on Greenpeace´s ongoing priority framing of “Beyond GDP” as a global campaign and with some of their National and regional offices in making the links between economic systems and the causes of climate change and environmental destruction.
Discussing Wellbeing Economies with the Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health
In March, Margreet Frieling, WEAll’s Knowledge Co-lead, spoke at the Wellbeing Economy seminar hosted by SOSTE, the Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health. In the lead-up to the Finnish Parliamentary Elections on 2 April 2023, SOSTE has published a proposal for a set of societal wellbeing measures to be put at the heart of the next government programme. Political decision-makers, existing parliament members, parliamentary election candidates and people from different ministries and social and health organisations all took part in the launch event. Margreet introduced international examples of ways in which governments are putting wellbeing at the centre of their decision-making, including the New Zealand Wellbeing Budget approach, the Wales Wellbeing for Future Generations Act and the Ostbelgien Permanent Citizens’ Council. In the subsequent panel discussion, government representatives and economists discussed the wellbeing indicator set that was proposed by SOSTE and how it can help inform Wellbeing Economy policy design in Finland. Key messages from the event included the need for a more coherent set of wellbeing measures to inform policy development and the need for greater cross-government alignment and citizen participation in working to improve societal wellbeing.
Symposium at the Garrison Institute
From March 15-17, 2023, the Garrison Institute, a WEAll member held a Symposium to explore the many dimensions of the commons and the common good, grounded in interbeing, as an essential way of knowing and acting in the world to advance Planetary Health. The symposium brouhgt together a diverse group of thought and organizational leaders and on-the-ground do-ers who are working to shift our world view from one of hyper-individuality to one of valuing the commons. One major highlight of the event was a discussion on indigenous languages by Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Keikilaniwahinealiiopuna, Yuria Celidwem and Chris Googoo.
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