What is a
Wellbeing Economy?

A Wellbeing Economy is an economy designed to serve people and the planet, not the other way around. Rather than treating economic growth as an end in and of itself and pursuing it at all costs, a Wellbeing Economy puts our human and planetary needs at the centre of its activities, ensuring that these needs are all equally met, by default.

The world
we envision

In a Wellbeing Economy, our definition of societal success shifts Beyond GDP growth to delivering shared wellbeing. This involves a fundamental systems change. A good economy is when the rules and incentives are designed to ensure everyone has enough to live in comfort, safety, and happiness. When people feel secure in their basic comforts and can use their creative energies to support the flourishing of all life on this planet.

When we thrive in a restored, safe, and vibrant natural environment because we have learned to give back as much as we are given. When we have a voice over our collective destiny and find belonging, meaning and purpose through genuine connection to the people and planet that sustain us.

We need to steer policies and practices
in the direction of these 4 principles
to get to a Wellbeing Economy:


We don’t leave it to people to fend for themselves or rely on limited redistributive mechanisms, but predistribute power, wealth, time, and income so that the heavy lifting is done by the economy itself. Example: social enterprises and businesses owned by their workers, community wealth building and living wages.


The purpose of the economy becomes exclusively to deliver human and ecological wellbeing. Example: adopting a wider suite of success measures Beyond GDP, and visionary national development plans.


Rather than being content just fixing the harm we do to nature and people, we adopt preventive measures that stop harm from happening in the first place. Example: Outcome budgeting and circular production and consumption.


Economic decisions are powered by the people, who become directly involved in decision making and agenda setting. Example: Citizen assemblies and participatory budgeting.

Check out the fundamental paradigm shifts we need to bring about when we compare the current system to a Wellbeing Economy model:
The Old Way

The current economic system (the “old way”) responds to the common needs of humanity and the planet in ways that do not address the heart of problems and do not make life better for all. In fact, often problems are made worse.

The New Way

In a Wellbeing Economy (the “new way”), solutions are people-centred, geared towards environmental protection and regeneration, and long-term. The exciting thing is – the new way is already emerging, with inspiring examples around the world showing us the way.

This table sets out indicative Wellbeing Economy responses to some of the major issue areas that decision makers deal with, and that affect all of our lives. There is inevitable overlap across issue areas, so there is some repetition in the table.
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The Old Way
The New Way
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