The Transform our Economy Group is a collaboration between Friends of the Earth Scotland, Scottish Environment LINK’s Economics Group, the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland and Prof Camilla Toulmin. Together we’ve analysed Scotland’s recent National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

Read our full analysis here.

With climate change impacts being felt around the world and rising prices pushing more and more people into poverty, the need to redesign our economy to serve people and planet has never been clearer. 

Last year the Transform our Economy Alliance published 10 points that set how an economic strategy for Scotland can start to deliver wellbeing for all within environmental limits. 

Those 10 points were endorsed by 42 academic experts and organisations such as Poverty Alliance and Scottish Women’s Budget Group.

So how does ‘Delivering Economic Prosperity’, the Scottish Government’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation stack up against the 10 points? 

We conclude that the strategy has made partial progress against four of the ten points, but has not fully met any of them. You can read our detailed assessment here. This lack of progress is deeply disappointing, given the importance of the strategy for setting the direction of Scotland’s society, environment, and economy over the next 10 years. 

The disconnect between the priorities and ambition of the strategy and the scale of the challenges facing Scotland stems from a lack of an inclusive and wide-ranging participatory process for determining the strategy’s priorities. We hope that the delivery plans will be developed through a more inclusive process that can help to align the strategy more closely with the needs of people and planet. 

Join our board of trustees and help build the movement to redesign Scotland’s economy.

WEAll Scotland is a collaboration of organisations, movements and individuals working to transform the economic system into one that delivers social justice on a healthy planet. 

We believe that our economy needs to be redesigned so it provides us with what matters most – dignity, connection, nature, fairness and meaningful participation. We work with a growing network of Allies across Scotland who are playing their part to deliver a Wellbeing Economy at different levels of society. We are the Scottish arm of the global Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) which has hubs in 15 countries.

Even before the cost of living crisis, one in four children in Scotland were growing up in poverty. Too many of us are living in cold homes, skipping meals, and falling behind on rent while Scotland’s 20 richest families enjoy more wealth than the bottom thirty per cent of the population combined. At the same time, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC) recently warned that we face a “brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future”. But there is a growing wave of support to redesign our economy so it delivers what matters most to us.

We are seeking to recruit two people to join our Board of Trustees. No previous board experience is required.

We are interested to hear from anyone who:

  • Is passionate about the need for economic system change 
  • Has a good understanding of the issues facing our economy, society and natural environment 
  • You should be confident that you can make a valuable contribution to our work and comfortable with working at Board level. However, prior Board experience is not a requirement
  • Is able to think strategically 
  • Is good at building relationships and works effectively as part of a team (with an ability to challenge constructively)
  • Can provide leadership/championship
  • Shares our values as set out in our strategy
  • Skills in business and financial management are desirable but not essential.

The role:

The Board plays a vital role delivering WEAll Scotland’s strategy: Trustees support a dynamic but small core team and act as ambassadors of the charity.  Board members will be appointed for an initial period of up to three years with potential for extension. The commitment required is a minimum of one day per quarter (attending Board meeting and preparation). We would also expect trustees to take an active role and interest in the charity beyond attending meetings, for example by attending public events on behalf of WEAll and by taking on pieces of work for and on behalf of the Board. There is no remuneration, however all necessary travel and accommodation expenses will be reimbursed.

We acknowledge that people from a number of communities are underrepresented in our team and in the wider movement of those seeking systemic economic change and the charity sector in general, and we’re committed to addressing this. If you believe you would bring greater diversity to our team, we’re keen to hear from you. We will assist with childcare costs or other duties that may prevent candidates from attending an interview. 

How to apply:

If you feel you have the passion, experience and commitment please send a letter/email setting out why you are interested in the role and your CV to anna@scotland.weall.org. The closing date for applications is 29th August.

For more information about WEAll Scotland please see our recently published strategy.

Today, we’re publishing our new organisational strategy which sets out the change we want to see in Scotland and how we plan to achieve it.

This strategy details how we will work with others to create an unstoppable momentum towards a Wellbeing Economy, one which ensures that everyone can live with dignity, experience fairness and connection and participate in the decisions that affect them while we protect the health of our planet.

We will build a diverse network of allies who are playing their part to deliver a Wellbeing Economy at different levels of society. Together we will:

  • Change the public conversation about the purpose and direction of the economy
  • Amplify examples of promising practices which show Wellbeing Economy thinking in action
  • Advocate to influence economic policy at the national and local levels
  • Collaborate with a particular emphasis on business practice and ownership models, influencing national economic policy and local economies.

To redesign our economy we’ll need to work together like never before. Your support and friendship will be crucial.


“The purpose of business is to “find profitable solutions to the problems of people and planet, not to profit from creating problems for either.”

Now is the Time for Purpose, Report of the Scottish Business Purpose Commission

We welcome the first report of the Scottish Business Purpose Commission – a joint initiative of SCDI and the Scottish Government – as an important step in the right direction. Businesses have a vital role to play in creating a Wellbeing Economy that is designed to deliver for everyone’s needs, and protect the health of our planet. But they can only do so if they put the purpose of serving their employees, communities, customers and natural environment at the heart of their business purpose, rather than focusing on short-term returns for shareholders. As the commission says, we need businesses in Scotland to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. 

It is time for businesses in Scotland to show real leadership in moving away from outdated business models and support an economy that works for people and planet. No matter where they are on this journey, all businesses must consider this, whether it is defining and communicating their purpose for the first time, developing comprehensive measures of their impacts on society and planet, or reforming their governance and ownership structures to give a stronger voice to employees, communities and the natural environment. 

The commission shows that Scotland is already full of inspiring examples of purposeful businesses and the key to success is to share the learning and experience from those examples. 

But the commission is also clear that conscientious businesses cannot do this by themselves. Purposeful businesses are not mainstream yet and our economy is still set up to favour those businesses that profit from creating, rather than solving, problems for people and planet. That set up is reflected in the competitive disadvantages, lack of support and limited access to investment for businesses that want to do the right thing. 

Governments at all levels need to step up to create the architecture that ensures that the right thing to do for people and planet becomes the right thing to do for business.

The recommendations by the commission represent an important step in that direction and we call on businesses, the UK Government, the Scottish Government and local governments to implement the recommendations of the commission in full. Governments need to support businesses on their journey by:

  1. Mainstreaming business purpose in business education 
  2. Incorporating purpose into all forms of government support for the private sector
  3. Building a favourable tax system for purposeful businesses.

But that can only succeed if there is a clear and shared understanding of what “business purpose” means in practice, what counts as contributing to the solutions that we need and what counts as profiting from the problems. This cannot be left to businesses to decide all by themselves, and the commission’s report offers little clarity. We need the UK and Scottish Governments to set a strong direction for businesses and to develop a coherent framework for measuring whether Scotland’s businesses are moving in that direction. We need effective ways of holding businesses accountable and prevent purpose-washing. Not all businesses take their responsibility for people and planet seriously as shown by recent examples (e.g P&O ferry, energy company profiteering from the cost of living crises and lobbying against climate change rules). 

To set that direction, we need a wider national discussion to create a shared understanding of the kind of businesses that can contribute to building a Wellbeing Economy and which ones cannot. This process needs to be led by governments but be inclusive and make sure that those with the least power in our current economy are heard. 

Want to make an impact in Scotland’s movement towards a wellbeing economy and get involved in the exciting work WEAll Scotland is doing?

Join our new volunteer programme!

WEAll Scotland, part of the global Wellbeing Economy Alliance, is working to change the existing economic system (which prioritises growth for growth’s sake) to a wellbeing economy (which prioritises social justice on a healthy planet).

We’re launching our new volunteer programme so more people can get directly involved with WEAll Scotland and our work. If you have skills, ideas, or perspectives you want to share with us and our movement, we’d love to hear from you.

Keep reading or watch the video below to learn more and how to apply.

How the volunteer programme works

If you join WEAll Scotland’s volunteer programme, you’ll become part of a close-knit group of people who care about the wellbeing economy movement and want to contribute to WEAll Scotland’s work.

Got comms skills? Maybe you’ll want to create a video for that new campaign we’re planning. Good with economics? You might want to share your insights with our policy lead for an upcoming report. Or maybe you are part of a community that’s often left out of systems change discussions. We’d really value your perspective.

We’re especially keen to find people who have skills and experiences in the areas below, but it’s okay if you feel you don’t fit these areas.

  • Content creation
  • Media editing
  • Policy/economics
  • Parliament/MSP engagement
  • Fundraising
  • Youth engagement
  • Project delivery
  • Admin
  • Event support (online and in-person)
  • Sector-specific knowledge (e.g., business, energy, the environment, etc.)

These are just some areas where we know we’d value additional support and perspectives, but anyone is welcome to apply, and we’d love to hear from you.

All new volunteers will receive an induction, including on wellbeing economy principles and WEAll Scotland ways of working. Just to be clear, you won’t have to commit to set hours once you’re up and running, and it’s okay if you need to take breaks due to illness, personal/work events, and anything else. Once you apply, we’ll explain all the details on an introductory call.

How to apply

We encourage anyone who would like to become more involved with WEAll Scotland and the wellbeing economy movement to apply. Here’s how.

Send a brief email to our volunteer coordinator at joey@scotland.weall.org, and include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your preferred pronouns
  • Why you want to get involved with WEAll Scotland
  • What skills, experiences, or perspectives you would like to bring to the table

If email isn’t your thing, feel free to send us a video, link to a social media post, or whatever format suits you best. We just need the above information so we can learn a little more about you before setting up an introductory call.

Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review it and get back to you, most likely setting up an introductory call soon after. On this call, you’ll have a chance to learn more about the volunteer programme, including volunteer benefits and responsibilities, and you can ask questions. Finally, we’ll email you after the call to let you know if we’d like to invite you to join the volunteer programme. This also gives you a chance to reflect after the call and decide whether you’d like to proceed.

Tl;dr

Want to become a WEAll Scotland volunteer? We’d love to hear from you.

Send a brief email to our volunteer coordinator at joey@scotland.weall.org, and include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your preferred pronouns
  • Why you want to get involved with WEAll Scotland
  • What skills, experiences, or perspectives you would like to bring to the table

If email isn’t your thing, feel free to send us a video, link to a social media post, or whatever format suits you best. We just need the above information so we can learn a little more about you before setting up an introductory call.

Earlier this month the Scottish Government unveiled its new 10-year National Strategy for Economic Transformation. The much anticipated plan included the welcome aspiration to become a Wellbeing Economy. But it failed to set out how we will genuinely transform our economy to one that ensures good lives for all of Scotand’s people and protects the health of our planet. In this blog, WEAll Scotland’s, Dr Lukas Hardt, explores the substance of the Strategy and makes the case for a inclusive national debate on how we move beyond business as usual.

The day before the Strategy was published, the global scientific community issued its starkest warning yet about the disastrous consequences ahead if we fail to urgently act to avoid climate breakdown. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) cautioned that further delay in action will miss a “brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future.”

At the same time, the cost of living crisis threatens to deepen already eye-watering levels of poverty and inequality in Scotland. One in four children in Scotland is growing up in poverty. Without new approaches that reflect the realities of today, rather than the recipes of the last century, the Scottish Government looks set to miss its child poverty targets. The need to reprogramme our economy has never been more apparent.

Scotland has positioned itself at the forefront of the movement to build a new type of economy which is designed to deliver good lives for all on a healthy planet. Scotland was a founding member of the Wellbeing Economy Governments partnership – a collection of nations who are united in their ambition to redesign their economies. Nicola Sturgeon’s Ted Talk on the subject received 2.4 million views. But this rhetorical commitment to a different sort of economy has yet to be met with sufficient action.

Ahead of the publication of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation, 40 leading economists and climate change academics urged the Scottish Government to set out how it will put environmental and social concerns at the heart of financial and economic decision making. The final Strategy includes some positive commitments such as a Wellbeing Economy Monitor to measure the things that really matter to people and to review ‘how to increase the number of social enterprises, employee-owned businesses and cooperatives in Scotland’. But overall it marks a continuation of the same flawed logic that has delivered decades of inequality and environmental degradation.

The economy we have today is driven by a widely debunked logic – that continually growing the economy will automatically ‘trickle down’ to more wealth for the whole population. Yet in practice this necessitated that governments have to set aside some of this money in taxes to pay for the social and environmental casualties of our economic system. This economic paradigm has driven a cycle of paying to fix what we continue to break.

For example, the Scottish and UK Governments spend billions of pounds in Scotland topping up poverty wages, housing people who are homeless and building flood defences. Our recent report on Failure Demand has quantified the financial cost of this way of operating.

By privileging GDP growth and indiscriminate productivity, the National Strategy for Economic Transformation continues to follow this flawed logic. The most important challenge for Scottish and other economies in the 21st century is not a lack of productivity, innovation, inward investment (as important as they are). It is that they are often construed as goals in their own right. What we need to do is ask: What sort of innovation? Productivity of what and who gets the benefits? And how to ensure investment flows to those activities most aligned with a Wellbeing Economy? The key responsibility of governments in our time is to embed a new purpose into all economic and financial decision making. It is to ensure that  power is shared across workers and communities so that our economy uses our resources and creativity to provide the things that really matter. Governments have to make sure that care work is valued, that we all have the basics, like safe warm homes, that we expand the economic activities we need more of, such as decarbonisation, not just those that offer the biggest profits. There is very little in this strategy to suggest that the Scottish Government is living up to this responsibility.

Businesses have a vital role to play in a Wellbeing Economy, but the Strategy fails to offer a clear mechanism to ensure the enterprises Scotland will nurture will help build thriving local communities. Fostering social enterprise, employee-owned businesses and cooperatives has to be a key part and the Strategy promises a review of how their number can be increased. But more concrete support is needed urgently.

The Government needs to set the right rules and incentives to make sure that the right thing to do for people and planet becomes the right thing to do for businesses. The many enterprises in Scotland that are pioneering fair, green and transformative ways of working would welcome moves to rectify the unfair competition they face from those businesses who are shirking their responsibilities to the environment and society.

The Strategy talks about “Team Scotland” and rightly notes that economic transformation has to be supported by all citizens, and implemented through collaboration of the public, private and third sector. But the process of developing this Strategy has not lived up to this ambition. There is little evidence that this Strategy has had input from citizens and communities across Scotland.

The reports of the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland and the Scottish Climate Assembly clearly show that people want the Government to step up to the plate and set a new direction for our economy.  Four in five Climate Assembly delegates supported the recommendation to reframe the national focus for Scotland’s future away from economic growth towards the prioritisation of a more person and community centred vision of thriving people, thriving communities and thriving climate. While the Strategy references an aim to respect environmental limits there is very little evidence of how this will be achieved nor how this squares with the thrust of the Strategy which focuses on growth.

This Strategy has failed to present solutions that are adequate for the challenges of the 21st century. Scotland now needs an urgent and inclusive national debate on how to transform our economy into one that truly delivers good lives and protects the health of the planet we depend on.



Commenting on Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation, Jimmy Paul, Director of Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland, said:

We welcome the Scottish Government’s aspiration to become a Wellbeing Economy and the aim to respect environmental limits. The Strategy includes some positive commitments such as a wellbeing economy monitor to measure the things that really matter to people.

“But this does not amount to a plan to transform our economy to one that truly puts our collective wellbeing first. The last decades have shown us that economic models that focus too narrowly on growth and productivity for their own sake fail to translate into more secure jobs, higher wages, decent housing for all, or a healthier natural environment. Assuming growth and productivity will trickle down to all has been debunked – Scotland needs to be bolder in its approach to economic change.

“Businesses have a vital role to play in a Wellbeing Economy, but the Strategy fails to offer a clear mechanism to ensure the enterprises Scotland will nurture will help build thriving local communities.

“The Strategy refers to economic transformation as a “collective national endeavour”, but there is no evidence that this Strategy has had input from citizens and communities across Scotland. This must be the start of conversation across Scotland about how we choose a new economic path that serves the health and wellbeing of our communities and protects the planet we depend on.  

“Scotland has positioned itself at the forefront of the movement to build a new type of economy, and the world is watching. Last week, 40 leading economists and climate change academics urged the Scottish Government to set out how it will put environmental and social concerns at the heart of financial and economic decision making. This Strategy stops short of achieving that. 

ENDS

For enquiries call 07855 069 952 or email frances@scotland.weall.org

Notes to editors

  • Dr Lukas Hardt, ecological economist and Policy Lead at Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland is available for interview.
  • Scotland’s National Strategy for Economy Transformation is here 
  • Nicola Sturgeon has previously championed the Wellbeing Economy agenda with her Ted Talk on the subject receiving 2.4 million views. Scotland is a founder member of the Wellbeing Economy Governments Partnership together with New Zealand, Wales, Finland and Iceland.
  • Last week, 40 leading economists and academics called on the Scottish Government to use the strategy to set out how it will put environmental and social concerns at the heart of financial and economic decision making. Their asks, supported by Poverty Alliance, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Scottish Environment Link and others here.
  • The strategy comes as yesterday’s IPPC report showed we only have a brief window to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all. 



Calls for radical, transformative changes to Scotland’s economy in order to ensure wellbeing for all within our environmental limits have been backed by almost 40 leading economists and climate change academics.

In advance of the publication by the Scottish Government of its new economic strategy on Tuesday 1 March, these experts have endorsed Ten Points for a Transformative Economic Strategy produced by the ‘Transform Our Economy’ alliance.

These ideas outline a new purpose at the heart of our economy: providing wellbeing for all within environmental limits. They will require the government to set the trajectory for the economy and present a credible plan for delivery using all the powers at their disposal.

The alliance, comprising Scottish Environment LINK, Friends of the Earth Scotland and Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland, is also calling for much more extensive public debate about the direction of our economy and believes that participation from workers, affected communities and those who are in greatest need of economic transformation has been lacking.

Matthew Crighton, Sustainable Economy Adviser at Friends of the Earth Scotland said,

“In the midst of climate and nature emergencies, with too many people trapped in poverty and businesses still reeling from the impact of the pandemic, there is no question that economic transformation is needed.

“In the face of these challenges, the Scottish Government must plot a new direction in building a truly sustainable and just economy that can meet people’s needs.

“Recent history has shown us there is a persistent gap between high-level aspirations and the actual performance of the government in effectively intervening the economy in Scotland. The fear is that the new economic strategy won’t redesign the economy, but will instead continue to deliver inequality and environmental destruction.

“New ideas are sorely needed for a transformative economic agenda which can provide sufficient investment to deliver a just transition to zero carbon, integrate the protection of nature into economic decision making and ensure social equity and participation by currently marginalised groups.”

Professor Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development, University of Surrey and acclaimed author of Prosperity Without Growth backing the plan said,

“With the forthcoming 10-year Strategy for Economic Transformation the Scottish Government has a unique opportunity to make Scotland a global example of an economy that is fit to address the challenges of the 21st century, delivering wellbeing for all within environmental limits.

To do that, the Strategy needs to put at its heart care for people and planet, it needs to build on meaningful participation of those at the sharp end of our economy, and it needs to put in place measures which will give priority to ensuring people’s wellbeing rather than the pursuit of GDP growth for its own sake.”

The ten points proposed by the ‘Transform our Economy’ group offer a robust framework for building such a strategy. The Scottish Government would be well advised to take note.”

Professor Jan Webb, Professor of Sociology of Organisations, University of Edinburgh, and one of the 38 signatories, said,

“Orthodox economic strategy aims to maximise GDP, and then to make some adjustments for fairness and environmental harms. A transformative strategy, fit for addressing climate emergency and major inequalities, has to direct all economic action to achieving a fair, and sustainable, society. This means all investment prioritises decent work, zero waste, biodiversity and climate protection. I hope the Scottish Government will respond promptly and constructively to the Transform Our Economy alliance.”

The headings of the Ten Key Points are:
1. The goal: wellbeing for all within environmental limits
2. Setting specific economic objectives to care for people and the planet
3. Using all the tools available to government to meet those objectives
4. Policies must show how the objectives can be achieved
5. Combat economic pressures which are helping cause the problems
6. Public priorities must lead the direction of development of the economy
7. Clear tests for all investment programmes
8. Measure performance through metrics which matter
9. An economic strategy for all sectors – economic transformation as a national mission
10. An inclusive and participatory process

The full text of the Key Points can be read here

The Ten Key Points have been endorsed by the following 38 leading academics:

Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development, University of Surrey
Jan Webb, Professor of Sociology of Organisations, University of Edinburgh
Dave Reay, Professor in Carbon Management and Education, University of Edinburgh
Miatta Fahnbulleh, Chief Executive, New Economics Foundation
Gerry McCartney, Professor of Wellbeing, Glasgow University
Kate Raworth, Senior Teaching Associate, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
Mike Danson, Professor Emeritus of Enterprise Policy, Heriot-Watt University
James Curran, Visiting Professor, Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Strathclyde
Victoria Chick, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University College London
Dan O’Neill, Associate Professor in Ecological Economics, University of Leeds
Julia Steinberger, Professor of Societal Challenges of Climate Change, University of Lausanne
Malcolm Sawyer, Emeritus Professor, Leeds University Business School
Molly Scott-Cato, Professor of Green Economics, Roehampton University
Prof Christine Cooper, Professor of Accounting, Edinburgh University
Laurie Macfarlane, Head of Patient Finance, Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, UCL
Camilla Toulmin, Professor in Practice at the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University
Beth Stratford, Fellow New Economics Foundation and the Wellbeing Economy Alliance
Gregor Gall, Affiliate Research Associate at the University of Glasgow
Grace Blakeley, Author and journalist
Nancy Folbre, Professor Emerita of Economics, University of Massachusetts

Eurig Scandrett, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Queen Margaret University
Andrew Mearman, Associate Professor of Economics, Leeds University
John Barry, Professor, Queen’s University Belfast
Gary Dymski, Professor of Applied Economics, Leeds University
Yannis Dafermos, Senior Lecturer in Economics, SOAS
Mark Huxham, Professor, School of Applied Sciences, Napier University
Elizabeth Bomberg, Professor of Environmental Politics, University of Edinburgh
Dennis Mollison, Emeritus Professor of Applied Probability, Heriot-Watt University
Karen Bell, Senior Lecturer in Urban Sustainable Development, Glasgow University
Elena Hofferberth, PhD student, Leeds University Business School

Tim Hayward, Professor of Environmental Political Theory, University of Edinburgh
Miriam Brett, Director of Research and Advocacy, Common Wealth
Andy Watterson, Professor, Public Health Researcher, Stirling University
Danny Wight, Professor, Institute of health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow
Claire Duncanson, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Edinburgh
Donald McKenzie, Professor, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Edinburgh
Josh Ryan-Collins, Senior Research Fellow in Economics and Finance
Maria Nikolaidi, Associate Professor in Economics, Greenwich University



Denisha Killoh and Jimmy Paul represent Scotland on the Future Generations Commission.  In this blog they explore how the Future Generations Bill could help steer us to a safer future where everyone can flourish.

In 2015, the Welsh Government introduced its groundbreaking Wellbeing of Future Generations Act which requires public bodies to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change. Calls quickly followed for the UK to follow suit.

In 2019 Big Issue founder, Lord John Bird, introduced a Private Member’s Bill on the Wellbeing of Future Generations into the House of Lords. The Bill incorporates lessons learned during the implementation of the Welsh Act as well as insights from a growing body of international experience of similar initiatives. Simon Fell MP joined forces with Lord Bird to urge the UK Government to back the Bill which last week completed its passage through the House of Lords.

Lord Bird said:

“We could just call it the “Hindsight Bill”. Why do we not have a Minister for Hindsight? Very clever—somebody who can read the future or who can say, “Hang on, why are we always doing things that come back to bite us in the rear at some later stage?””

The Bill would require the UK Government to:

  • Act to protect future generations from existential and environmental threats;
  • Work preventatively, and with foresight, to solve societal problems;
  • Account for, and seek to increase, its preventative spending.

This concept of working with ‘hindsight’ in mind drives both our work at WEAll Scotland and the Future Generations Commission. The Future Generations Commission was set up to promote the principles of the Bill to the general public and to governments.

At WEAll Scotland, we work to future-proof Scotland by redesigning our economy to work in service of human and ecological wellbeing. At the Commission, we combine our knowledge and experiences with the voices of Scottish communities to plan long-term solutions to tackling the root causes of our most challenging and cyclical problems. We also hold key decision-makers and politicians to account to ensure they are working in a way that is regenerative, collaborative and purposeful, while striving to meet the needs of the present, without negatively effecting the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

As the Bill makes it way to the House of Commons, we are delighted to see such early, broad support for a new approach to policy making.

Why we need the Bill

Every child deserves to grow up in a secure environment with the foundation they need for a future full of possibilities. But right now, one in four children are living in poverty in a country blighted by unaffordable housing, subsistence pay, exploitative working conditions and the degradation of our natural environment. On our current trajectory, extreme weather events like Storms Malik and Corrie will only get worse and their impacts will be most felt by those who already struggle to make ends meet. A recent global study revealed that three quarters of young people are frightened about the future with almost half of all respondents sharing that feelings about the climate affected their daily lives. Yet, young people’s voices are often ignored by a policy making culture that struggles to think beyond election cycles.

The Future Generations Bill would be an important step towards an alternative path. By embedding analysis of the long-term impacts of our actions in policy making the Bill would force us to tackle the root causes of the challenges we face. Every year the Scottish and UK Governments spend billions of pounds in Scotland topping up poverty wages, housing the homeless and building flood defences.

Our current economic paradigm has us trapped in a cycle of paying to fix what we continue to break. The Bill could help us transition to a new type of economy that prioritises our collective wellbeing.

The Future Generations Commission asks us to lift our gaze, to design an economy and society where firefighting the problems caused by the endless pursuit of economic growth becomes a thing of the past. It means making our economy more equal from the outset, so that it recognises and rewards everyone’s contributions. It means investing in warm homes, renewable energy and public transport to create an economy that is healthier for people and planet. And it means investing in our preparedness for future pandemics, so that we are not left as helpless as we were in March 2020. By designing policies differently, we can lay a fire-proof foundation for our children and grandchildren to thrive.

The transition to a Wellbeing Economy is already underway in pockets of activity around Scotland – from businesses redefining what it means to succeed, to local authorities investing in Community Wealth Building. But the full redesign of our economies will require commitment from the UK and Scottish Governments. 

The progress of the Future Generations Bill to the House of Commons is a huge cause for celebration. But we will need to be vigilant to ensure that it retains its transformative potential.  

We all want to hand down a better world to our children and grandchildren. A Bill that embeds long-termism and preventative thinking could help make this dream a reality.

Denisha Killoh is a Trustee of WEAll Scotland and Jimmy Paul is Director of WEAll Scotland
.

By: Lisa Hough-Stewart

In March 2021, WEAll published our Policy Design Guide. This Guide was co-created with over 70 WEAll members, and aims to support visionary policy makers to build more just and sustainable economies for people and the planet. 

It was never intended to simply be a guidance document,  rather to transform policymaking and bring to life better outcomes for our societies.  Almost as soon as it was published, we were seeking collaborators and funding to pilot the Guide in real life settings.

The WEAll hubs and their partners in California, Canada, New Zealand and Scotland are working with community partners and local or city governments to bring the Wellbeing Economy Policy Design process to life. WEAll has also teamed up with ZOE Institute for Future-Fit Economies to collaborate on the process and evolve their groundbreaking policy portal to share learnings and successes from the pilots.

These pilot projects (which you can read more about below) are setting out to do something new. They are attempting to transform not just policy results but the process of policy making and decision making itself–to become more inclusive and democratic. They are, in the spirit of the Guide, working in radically participatory ways so that the policy design processes are not only based on the co-created visions of communities but aim to meaningfully engage those communities at every stage of the process – from deliberation to implementation.

The Guide offers a roadmap for this process, as well as many tools and case studies, which are a starting point for the pilots. However, as they evolve in the process, they are also charting new ground, and much remains unknown. WEAll is keen to learn as much as possible from their experiences, working with the hub teams to share learnings and stories that might help other communities and policymakers setting out on a similar journey. We will also develop a new version of the Guide to incorporate their experiences. 

About the pilots

California

  • WEAll California is carrying out its pilot in the city of Pomona, where the mayor is committed to championing new economic approaches.
  • Jeremy Fackenthal, Managing Director of the Institute for Ecological Civilisation and co-founder of WEAll California explains: “We’re working with local organisations in the city of Pomona to help shape a long term framework and vision for a wellbeing economy, an economy that that works for all people and for the planet, that provides fair and equitable resources and opportunities for flourishing in a holistic set of ways.” 

Canada

  • The Well-being Economies Alliance for Canada and Sovereign Indigenous Nations (WEAll Can) in Canada is focusing on the City of Toronto for its pilot, building on the foundations of “Doughnut Economics” workshops with city officials in 2021.
  • Tara Campbell, Wellbeing Economies Specialist at David Suzuki Foundation which hosts WEAll Canada, explains: “We are working directly with city officials, elected officials and city staff to socialise these ideas about wellbeing economies and generate interest. The other part of the work is building up a community oriented coalition or network that is interested in exploring these ideas, to develop wellbeing visions for the city of Toronto, to evaluate what’s already been happening, and imagine policy initiatives that could take place.”

Aotearoa/New Zealand

  • WEAll Aotearoa/New Zealand is aiming to work with community partners in three different regions.
  • Paul Dalziel, Professor of Economics at AERU, Lincoln University and co-founder of WEAll Aotearoa/New Zealand, explains: “We are talking with community groups, who are not formally part of local government themselves, but are collaborating with their local council to promote a vision around participation of people and creating economic opportunities and general wellbeing for themselves, their families, and their communities beyond what the people can achieve just on their own.”

Scotland

  • WEAll Scotland is working with Perth and Kinross Council to deliver “Love Letham”: a project which aims to bring the long term visions to life of children and young people for a flourishing future in their community of Letham.
  • Sarah Stocks, Director of Northern Star which is working as an associate of WEAll Scotland to deliver this project,  explains: “We are working with local people and decision makers together, to first understand what wellbeing means to those people, particularly children and young people in Letham, and then to try and meaningfully affect change in the way that policies are made.”

The story so far

The pilots are still in their early stages, with most of them set to deliver their first community engagement activities in January 2022.

The story that emerges from their experiences so far is one of the importance of relationships and trust as the foundation for a Wellbeing Economy policy design process.

All four pilots have found enthusiasm and willingness to collaborate amongst community partners and policy makers, and they’ve also found that the investment of time and energy required in developing these crucial relationships is considerable. Tara from WEAll Can suggested that the Guide needs a “phase 0” focused on the importance of stakeholder mapping and relationship building, which is something we’ll definitely consider!

The pilot teams reflect on the importance of relationship building and trust

Jeremy, WEAll California: “ The connections that we’ve made have been a real highlight for me. Being able to use those connections toward something that will hopefully make a lot of impact for people in the city of Pomona. So for instance, talking with Sarah McKinley [Democracy Collaborative] and picking her brain about both the positives and the pitfalls of worker owned cooperatives. Also, connections in Pomona, particularly with Latino and Latina Roundtable. Having them as a partner, and a partner who has the same vision for wellbeing and is willing to even adopt some of our language and help use it to shape the way that they talk about the economy has been really a lot of fun.”

Yannick, WEAll Can: “One of the elements of that relationship building is also inviting people not to be speaking primarily from their professional role. In the case of Toronto, the commonality of everybody is that there are residents of a big city, of Toronto. So how do you also create the space where when the elected official comes in, they’re not automatically seen as the policymaker, and that they have to respond only from their professional role as an elected official?”

Justin, WEAll Aotearoa/New Zealand: “Relationships are critical for our Māori partners. Our Indigenous partners, they wouldn’t call it networking, they would call it relationships. So that’s a really important element we’re trying to work on. Two of our three proposed partners are based on existing relationships, for example we have a hub member working with a potential partner which presents a natural collaboration.”

Sarah, WEAll Scotland: “There was quite a lot of time at the beginning, with colleagues in Perth and Kinross Council, basically trying to understand where Perth and Kinross were at. When I look back I remember it being a lot of discussions about wording, how to come up with a description of the project that would work for Perth and Kinross council as well as work for WEAll. But it was really about understanding each other’s position and where we were coming from and what we all were interested in and what we could learn from this process. 

“When we’ve gone out into the community in Letham, sometimes it wasn’t the first people that we spoke to who were actually the people that we needed to engage. But it was necessary to speak to them in order to determine who was. So it’s like a snowball effect, where you speak to someone, and then ask them to tell you who else they think you need to speak to.”

Are you interested in finding out more about the pilot projects, or using the Policy Design Guide to inform your own work? Get in touch with me at lisa@weall.org

Image: Sarah Stocks, Love Letham stall engaging with community members at Letham Christmas Market

Today, we’re publishing our latest report, Tapping into a Wellbeing Economy: Lessons from Scotland’s craftbreweries about the importance of local production.

The research report uses Scotland’s craftbreweries as a case study for exploring the importance of local production in building a Wellbeing Economy. 

Locally produced goods and services create bonds between local businesses, communities, and the land.  Local production rescales the economy to a human level, and it enables locally rooted economies to thrive. It encourages us to rediscover the purpose and value of the community while bringing economic and environmental benefits, especially in terms of employment and reduced emissions due to shorter transportation distances.

Scotland’s craftbrewing sector is often celebrated as an example of effective local production due to the constant emergence of new craft breweries and their innovative approach to business.

The report found that craft brewers commonly showcase key elements of a Wellbeing Economy in their design and operations, which could provide lessons to other industries such as niche agriculture. 

Promising practices identified include:

  • Promoting a collaborative business model 
  • Redefining success beyond growth
  • Fostering a business’s local identity.

WEAll Scotland is growing.

As the wellbeing economy movement becomes a bigger force for change in Scotland and the UK, we’ve expanded our team of staff and volunteers. The thing we all have in common? Belief in and passion for a wellbeing economy—in Scotland and around the world.

Keep reading to say hello to the latest additions to the WEAll Scotland team.

Dr Lukas Hardt – Policy and Engagement Lead

Lukas Hardt

I am super excited to have started my new role as Policy and Engagement Lead for WEAll Scotland! I am passionate about building a wellbeing economy because our current economic system is not working. The relentless focus on economic growth has come at a large cost to the climate and the wider environment. At the same time, millions of people are still going hungry across the world (including in Scotland).

Up to now, I mostly studied and researched wellbeing economics in an academic context. Earlier this year, I finished my PhD research on how to transform the sectoral structure of our economy towards a wellbeing economy. Academic research is extremely important for understanding how we can redesign our economic system, but it has also often felt very theoretical for my taste. In the past, I pursued different voluntary activities to apply my passion beyond academia—for example, setting up a local currency during my undergraduate degree in St Andrews, becoming an organiser of the Post-growth Economics Network, and volunteering for WEAll.

Working as Policy and Engagement Lead for WEAll opens an exciting new chapter in my life. It allows me to focus my time and energy on developing wellbeing economics not only with academics, but with the amazing people who are already making it happen on the ground. For example, I will be helping to develop cornerstone indicators with communities in the Cairngorms National Park and supporting a cross-party parliamentary group on wellbeing economics. There are so many more inspired politicians, citizens, businesses, and community projects making their mark in Scotland right now. I can’t wait to learn from them and work with them to build a wellbeing economy together. 


Frances Rayner – Communications Lead

Frances Rayner

Having spent the last decade working in comms and campaigns for a range of social and environmental causes in Scotland, I am beyond excited to bring this altogether to work towards the ultimate policy solution – a wellbeing economy.

I believe that most of us yearn for a different kind of economy and society. We long for connection. We want to know that we and our neighbours will have what we need to live with dignity and participate in our communities. And we want to protect our planet for future generations. Our challenge now is simply to bring the vision of a wellbeing economy to life. To show how we can redesign our economy so it delivers what truly matters to humanity. In the words of Toni Cade Bambara, “to make revolution irresistible.”

I am in awe of the work the WEAll team and allies have achieved to date, and I’ve been moved to see just how strongly the organisation embodies wellbeing economy values in its organisational culture and working practices.

I’m confident that together we can create an unstoppable movement.


Patrick Wiggins – Associates Lead

I am really excited to join WEALL Scotland as Associates Lead, where I will be helping to coordinate and plan projects and commissions.

I have spent my career working in economic development and regeneration – dealing with the consequences of a system that doesn’t work for so many people. It’s time to address  the systemic causes of inequalities and fractured communities rather than trying to patch them up. Wellbeing thinking helps us do that. 

I hate injustice, social and climate, and in some small way want to do something about it. The economic system prioritises individual wealth accumulation and growth, at the expense of the planet, over meeting peoples’ needs and wellbeing. People and the planet should be served by the economy, not the economy served by people and the planet.

The application of principles of the Wellbeing Economy is a route to making that shift. So joining the fantastic, and enthusiastic, team working to mainstream Wellbeing thinking in Scotland is a great way  to try and make that a reality. I’m really looking forward to it.


Denisha Killoh – Trustee

Denisha Killoh

I’m Denisha, and after an incredible 18 months as a participation volunteer, I am delighted to be appointed as a trustee, marking a new chapter in my journey at WEAll Scotland.

I first learned about the term ‘wellbeing economy’ as the Stigma Co-Chair at the Independent Care Review, where Katherine Trebeck (co-founder of WEAll Scotland) wrote our ‘The Money’ report. This work explored how much it costs Scotland to deliver the ‘failure demand’ services required to support adults with care experience as a result of them being failed by the ‘care system’ as children. This way of thinking about how to solve our social issues, arguing to invest preventatively upstream rather than reactively downstream, is why I am so passionate about building a wellbeing economy, because it can’t be done without putting marginalised communities in the driving seat.

It is an honour to be given more responsibility to deliver this aim and shape the strategic direction of an organisation I truly love. I can’t wait to get started!


Daisy Narayanan – Trustee

Daisy Narayanan

I am an architect and urban designer. Over the last decade, my work has focussed on sustainable transport and climate action. I came to Edinburgh in 2004 to complete my master’s degree, fell in love with this incredible city and stayed.

As we respond to the climate crisis, I feel it is even more urgent to find new ways of working, to put the focus firmly on the wellbeing of people and planet. Only then can we collaboratively shape our cities and towns to be fairer, kinder, healthier and truly resilient.


Satwat Rehman – Trustee

Satwat Rehman

Structural inequalities and injustice are the root cause of the issues that I have worked and campaigned against all my life: climate change, racism, poverty, and gender inequality, to name but a few. At the heart of the matter is an economic system which values growth and wealth creation for the few. I truly believe we need to change what we value as important and move to a wellbeing economy—with people and planet at its heart. We need to have the ambition to move beyond mitigation and managing inequalities to developing a new way of thinking and doing which enables the creation of a wellbeing economy with justice and equality as its bedrock.

This is why I am so pleased to join the board of WEAll Scotland and look forward to working with the team.

To end with the words of Arundhati Roy, “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

It’s been a busy few months for the team here at WEAll Scotland.

From organising online events and putting the finishing touches on reports to kickstarting some exciting new partnerships—the list goes on. We asked some of our core team members to share with you what they’ve been working on lately.

If you want to learn more about any of these updates, please get in touch! We’re always looking to listen and learn about new ideas, opportunities, and examples of the wellbeing economy in action.

Jimmy Paul, WEAll Scotland Director

I’m delighted to share a snippet of what we’ve been up to here at WEAll Scotland!

Our project with the Cairngorms National Park is now underway. We are taking a Wellbeing Economy Stocktake, co-creating cornerstone indicators and taking forward work around the Wellbeing Economy and business. All with a view of delivering social justice on a healthy planet; starting in the Cairngorms. 

Another project is to build a children’s wellbeing budget in a local authority area. After interest from local authorities all across Scotland, we agreed to partner with Perth and Kinross! Our delivery team, the brilliant Kelly and Sarah, are now in place and starting their work. This project will co-create locality based, wellbeing services focused on prevention, early intervention and which build personal and community resilience. This is such an important an exciting project which, like the Cairngorms project, is all about shifting the power base and working with communities to deliver a Wellbeing Economy. 

As well as the above, WEAll Scotland now holds the secretariat for a cross party group on a Wellbeing Economy. Being a non-political organisation, the principles that underpin a Wellbeing Economy appeal across the political spectrum and we have the involvement of MSPs which reflects this. We have our first meeting on the 22nd September.

We’re continuing to grow our fantastic network of Allies, sitting now at 32! Watch this space; in autumn we will put together a programme of events and sessions for Allies to connect with each other more than ever before, accelerating our individual and collective impact.

Anna Chrysopoulou, Core Team Member

I’ve been on working on the launch of two reports:

Failure Demand: Counting the true costs of an unjust and unsustainable economic system

The report examines two case studies of Scotland and Alberta, Canada to demonstrate the fiscal impact of the current economic model: how much is currently deployed in response (albeit inadequately) of the way the economy harms people, communities, and the environment. The research focuses on three key interlinked sectors (paid work, the housing sector, and the environment) to illustrate that governments are caught in a cycle of paying to fix the damage that the prevailing economic system continues to create, known as ‘failure demand’. Although it is acknowledged that governments will always need to be reactive to immediate needs, the report is concerned with demands that could be avoided in a Wellbeing Economy scenario.

Tapping into a Wellbeing Economy: Lessons from Scotland’s craft breweries about the importance of local production

This research project aims to demonstrate the role of local production as a key pillar in a just transition from the current economic model to a socially fairer economy which concurrently respects planetary boundaries. To achieve this, the project uses the craft brewing sector as a lens to identify the factors that could encourage local production, the sector’s contribution to regional economic development, and the practices that could be shared with other industries. Through this process, the project seeks to deepen our understanding and advance the conversation in Scotland around transitioning to a Wellbeing Economy, one that delivers social justice on a healthy planet.

Denisha Killoh, WEAll Scotland Trustee

Although I’m currently in the middle of a transition from a WEAll Scotland core team member to a trustee, my priorities have not faltered from the need to make the communities most impacted and marginalised by the current system the architects of designing and delivering a Wellbeing Economy. I advocated for this at the ‘Women in the Wellbeing Economy’ event hosted by the WEAll Global team, and I currently represent Scotland alongside Jimmy Paul on the UK-wide Future Generations Commission, to promote this view in line with the principles of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill.

Joey Gartin, Core Team Member

Looking after comms on the WEAll Scotland core team, I’m lucky that I get to stick my nose into so many different projects. After a few months of organising some exciting events (including a webinar on business and the wellbeing economy and our recent Q&A with our director, Jimmy), I’ve spent the last few weeks writing: from newsletters and blog posts to engaging with our followers on social media. But I’m most looking forward to supporting The Poverty Alliance during Challenge Poverty Week, which takes place 4th-10th October. The campaign highlights that poverty is a problem that we can solve, and there are solutions that we can all get behind. One of the key themes this year is “redesigning our economy to reflect our shared values of justice and compassion” . . . in other words: a wellbeing economy.

Katherine Trebeck, WEAll Scotland Co-Founder

Apart from the usual suite of agenda promotion work (talks, articles, media pieces), I’ve been deep in working on two exciting upcoming projects—figuring out the details, team, and activities. One is with the Cairngorms National Park: we’ll be part of a consortium, and I’m scoping our role to bring the Wellbeing Economy thinking into valuing the work that happens in the Park, embracing the role of business, and understanding what more needs to be done. The second project is yet to be 100% confirmed so I can’t say the name, but it is with a fantastic organisation who want to work with us on their theory of change to ensure their activities and the support they provide others is aligned to the Wellbeing Economy agenda.

Linda White, Core Team Member

WEAll Scotland is an organisation which thrives on the time, skills and passion of its volunteers. The Hub’s resources are therefore highly prized. As our activities grow in response to an increasing number of time-bound projects and long-term collaborations, it’s imperative that we utilise our core team to its maximum potential. Currently I am working to identify and deploy the best option for smart resource planning to ensure appropriate scheduling, project performance, finance management, forecasting potential capacity gaps, timely decisions, and team engagement. This will complement other tools in our project management landscape delivered by me and others. I also have fingers in other pies, including contributions to the emerging strategy and organisational structure as well as impact evaluation.

Lukas Hardt, Core Team Member

I am Lukas, a core team volunteer for WEAll Scotland, and I am currently working on revising the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section for the WEAll website. The section provides brief answers to more than 50 of the questions WEAll commonly gets asked. For example, ‘What is a wellbeing economy?’ or ‘How can we make a wellbeing economy happen?’ The answers to these questions are not only useful for visitors to our website, they are also an important resource for our spokespeople, who promote the ideas of a wellbeing economy to lots of different audiences. Working on these answers also makes us at WEAll really think through the more challenging aspects of a wellbeing economy and the stories we want to tell around it.

Sarah Deas, WEAll Scotland Trustee

It’s an exciting time for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance around the world. In 2018, WEAll Scotland was the first WEAll place-based Hub to be established. The network has grown significantly over the last few years with 19 hubs now in development in countries, states, regions and cities across the world. These include Australia, Brazil, Canada,  Costa Rica, Cymru (Wales), Denmark, East Africa, Iberia, Iceland, Ireland, New Zealand, North Carolina, Trinidad and Vermont. I represent the Hubs on WEAll’s Global Council and helps facilitate bimonthly meetings designed to strengthen the network.

Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) Scotland is recruiting a Policy and Engagement Lead and a Communications Lead!

Closing date: 23:00 on 1st August 2021

Interviews: First interviews w/c 9th August 2021, second interviews w/c 16th August 2021

WEAll Scotland is looking for two new people.  The first is a Policy and Engagement Lead who will play a key role in influencing across parliament, local government and business audiences.  They will coordinate and support our Allies to promote Wellbeing Economy messages to various levels of government and other policy audiences.  They will represent the network externally with key stakeholders from business, government and civil society. They will present at events and will also support key voices from within the core team and network to be heard at external events.   They will also support evaluation and monitoring across the organisation, and will create useful summaries of the impact of work which is in support of a Wellbeing Economy, enabling Allies to contextualise this for their specific work.  

The second is a Communications Lead.  This role is responsible for the internal and external communications for WEAll Scotland.   They will represent the network externally with key stakeholders from business, government and civil society.  They will be responsible for creating an external communications strategy and delivering this for the Allies programme.  They will also be responsible for creating and delivering on an internal communications strategy, ensuring high quality communications across the Board, the Core Team, Associates and volunteers, who collaborate to support both practical and policy changes. They will build relationships with key journalists across Scotland which will maximise the profile of our work.  They will create content for external events and the media, by working with the Core Team, Associates and volunteers, as well as designing and hosting events, seminars and press conferences.  They will also manage our social media channels and support the redevelopment of the WEAll Scotland section of the wider global WEAll website.

How to Apply

If either of these roles sound like you, please download the application pack and application form for the Policy and Engagement Lead role here, and the Communications Lead role here. The closing date is 23:00 on 1st August 2021.

We acknowledge that people from a number of communities are underrepresented in our team and in the wider movement of those seeking systemic economic change and the charity sector in general, and we’re committed to addressing this. If you believe you would bring greater diversity to our team, we’re keen to hear from you. 

If you have any questions or if you feel you could succeed in this role but don’t have all the characteristics we’re looking for, please get in touch with Jimmy Paul, WEAll Scotland Director, on jimmy@scotland.weall.org.

Guest blog by Elle Adams – Programme Manager, Scotland CAN B

As we begin the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, a collective global awakening to ecological breakdown and social injustices, and with the inflection point of COP26 and looming on the horizon this November, we face an unprecedented moment to choose how we move forward, #buildbackbetter, and what kind of story we want to be able to tell about what’s going on in Scotland on the global stage.

Scotland is home to both the first Wellbeing Economy Alliance hub and the first national business-for-good programme of its kind, Scotland CAN B (a groundbreaking partnership between the Scottish Government and B Lab). Founded around a similar time in 2018, these pioneering initiatives have been established with a backdrop of Scotland’s long-term heritage of a strong social business ethics, and progressive and courageous national political and entrepreneurial ambitions.

The initiative was launched to explore what happens when you combine the entrepreneurial, innovative and business-for-good ambitions of one country, with the aim of catalysing a fundamental shift in the nation’s approach to business. The initiative draws on B Lab’s experience, standards, and the power of business accountability provided by impact assessment tools, and examples of best practice from certified B Corps, to ask: 

“How might an entire nation learn to think, be and behave like a B Corp?” 

or as the question has evolved over time:

“What might it take to build a nationwide culture of business as a force for good?”

In true Scottish “can do” attitude, we wholeheartedly embraced this challenge, and Scotland CAN B’s work since can be broadly divided into two strands, which we believe to be equally essential, interdependent elements towards leveraging the role of business towards catalying place-based economic systems change in Scotland.

These dual strands of work are:

  1. Fostering a national Impact Culturecultivating coherence and alignment in the mindsets, language, tools and frameworks used about impact in Scotland’s business ecosystem
  1. Developing and delivering Impact Trainings – supporting businesses to learn to measure and manage their social, environmental, and governance performance with as much rigor as their profits

Scotland CAN B’s dual approach Theory of Change mirrors and supports the Wellbeing Economy Alliance’s own broader strategic approach of creating a new economic power base through building coherent knowledge and providing new narratives. We see Scotland CAN B’s work as equipping, enabling, and galvanising Scottish businesses and Scotland’s exceptional business support ecosystem to play their vital role as key agents in this process of economic systems change towards a wellbeing economy.

In short, the work of Scotland CAN B is to provide the mechanisms which realise WEAll’s vision, within the business sector.

Around the world today we are witnessing an inflection point for the redefinition of the purpose of the economy and role of business in society. Indications of this comes in different flavours; whether it’s investors and market forces demanding higher standards of environmental, social, and governance accountability, or momentum behind the campaign currently underway to reform corporate governance in UK – the ‘Better Business Act’ – which would align the interests of shareholders with those of wider society and the environment.  We’re witnessing a new generation prioritising their values in their career and consumer choices, and calls across sectors for the repurposing of the economy from growth at any cost, towards the wellbeing of people, planet, and future generations. 

It’s increasingly clear that business for good is simply better business; no matter how big or small, and whether you are people-, planet-, or profit- motivated; we’re all headed in the same direction. The question has changed from “why should we care?” to “what could we be doing better?” and “how do we not get left behind?

“It’s increasingly clear that business for good is simply better business…”

In Scotland, WEAll Scotland and Scotland CAN B are both committed to ground these market demands, global imperatives, and this political rhetoric in reality. We’ve been working hard to develop and provide the inspiration, support and mechanisms to equip businesses to embody a wellbeing economy through their actions and accountability. 


At Scotland CAN B, we’ve developed the Impact Journey – a cyclical, six module learning journey designed to support businesses in fostering impact awareness and accountability comprehensively across all areas of their business; from their core governance arrangements, through to how they interact with their employees, customers, the environment, and their local community. 

But to catalyse the change we want to see at scale and pace across the nation, commensurate with the converging global challenges at hand, we soon realised we’d need to mobilise some extra support, and turned our attention to leveraging Scotland’s extensive business support ecosystem to join us on this mission. 

Cue our flagship programme – the Impact Economy Advisors training, designed to train business support professionals in the latest frameworks, tools and perspectives to be able to help the businesses they support to better understand, measure and manage their impact. This year we will be ramping up delivery of the training, with participants joining us from across the spectrum of entrepreneurial support organisations in Scotland.

As more and more businesses and business-support organisations engage with the task of embracing their vital role in contributing towards the global Sustainable Development Goals, Scotland’s National Performance Framework, and embodying a wellbeing economy, we increasingly have proof of concept, and a sense that the change we seek is picking up steam – a nationwide operating system upgrade is underway, shifting the culture of business from a sole focus on profit, towards prioritising purpose and accountability for people and planet. 

This is the moment, the intersection point, where humanity has more understanding than ever before of the complex and interdependent nature of the challenges we all face, yet also, crucially, a small window of opportunity and agency to take the rapid, proportionate action required to do something about it.

At this transformative moment in history, as the tide turns globally towards an emphasis on ESG accountability, the race to Net Zero, and with COP26 hosted in Glasgow on the horizon, it’s an exciting moment for Scotland to be poised to provide global leadership and a tangible example of what a nation of businesses embracing their vital role in the transition towards a wellbeing economy looks like in practice at a national level.

With the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland, Scotland CAN B, and many others working together, we have an inspiring and galvanising story here to tell.

Today, we’re publishing our latest report, “Business and a Wellbeing Economy: Creating Thriving Businesses and a Thriving Scotland”, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and Co-operative Development Scotland.



Keep reading to see what Jimmy Paul, Director of WEAll Scotland, had to say about this report, business’s role in a wellbeing economy, and the exciting opportunities ahead of Scotland:

“The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) was created from a belief in the power of collaboration. This report gave WEAll Scotland the opportunity to work with Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), the arm of Scottish Enterprise that supports employee ownership and co-operative business models. CDS believes these inclusive business models are a fairer, stronger and more democratic way of doing business that helps create a wellbeing economy.

“My biggest drive, both personally and professionally, is to see a world where all people flourish. The Wellbeing Economy Alliance works alongside a beautifully diverse group of organisations to ensure people are at the forefront of change. This is what attracted me to apply for the role of director of WEAll Scotland, earlier this year.

“As I settle into this new role, I look forward to meeting bold businesses who are making strides to realise social justice on a healthy planet. Businesses play a vital role in building a thriving Scotland: a Scotland where all people flourish and which cherishes our natural home.

“The assumptions upon which our current economic system rests no longer hold true. Economic growth cannot be assumed to automatically deliver a decent standard of living for enough people. With scientists warning of the sixth mass extinction and catastrophic climate change, 20th century systems of production and consumption need to be transformed, and we must be impatient for change.

“In the past, greed at an individual level was the predominant motivator shaping economic policies. However, the way communities across Scotland responded to Covid-19 is one of many recent examples of societal cooperation, empathy, and solidarity.

“Back in 1942, William Beveridge wrote that ‘A revolutionary moment in the world’s history is time for revolutions, not for patching’. Covid-19 has clearly presented us with a revolutionary moment. The question is, will we harness it to work together and build an economy that better meets the needs of people and planet than the one we had going into the pandemic? We hope that this partnership will be the first of many more.”



WEAll is recruiting for a COP26 Music Event Producer. This 7-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.      

Start date: June 2021

Contract type: 7-month fixed-term contract

Remuneration: We expect the role to be the equivalent of a full-time post and the remuneration for delivering the festival is up to £20,000 for the contract period.

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).

The Music Festival:

WEAll, together with its partner FiiS is planning a one-day music festival during COP26 to be held in Glasgow in November this year. The theme of the event will draw on our narratives playbook Stories for Life (SfL).

We are in advanced talks with the organisers of a central Glasgow site to hold the music festival during the middle weekend of COP26. The site (currently under development) will host a programme for the full 12 days of COP with like-minded content partners.  The WEAll/FiiS music festival will be the key content partner for one of those twelve days.

The site partner aims to develop the site with temporary structures on site including a main stage, smaller stages and workshop areas that are module in design and able to be arranged to meet its content partners’ needs. The site partner will provide the audio/visual needs for the site and plans to broadcast the programme to supplement the likely socially distanced nature of the in-person programme.

WEAll/FiiS are planning a festival that will include musicians, artists, new economy thinkers and practitioners. We plan to hold panel discussions between these different groups, display artwork that draws out the themes of Stories for Life      – themes that highlight the interconnectedness of humans and nature and how the economy must be in service to both.

We are planning to use SfL as a creative challenge and opening it up to all the arts / music / cultural networks we know. The challenge would be to use SfL as a brief, and to create ‘stories’ (in any medium) that pick up on any of the main pillars of the brief. A limited number (say 4 or 5) of the submitted concepts would be commissioned to then be shown at the festival in Glasgow.

We would like to apply the same thinking to bigger agencies / organisations with the aim for them to create their own campaigns / strategies / ideas in response to SfL and then submit them into  a panel – with the awards/results being announced at the festival.

What we are looking for:

We are looking for an organised, flexible and highly motivated individual with demonstrable event design and project management skills and experience, and with a passion for economic system change.

The post holder must be adaptable, creative and – due to the nature of our small start-up organisation – fully capable and competent to lead this work without expectation of supervision. Having said that, the person will need to be an excellent partnership manager as the site developer is looking for the themes and messages of our festival to complement the other content partners (and vice versa).

The post holder must also be adept at talent management, stage management and an excellent project manager.

Download the full job description, which includes more details of deliverables and how to apply, below. The closing date is Tuesday 18 May.

Guest blog by Ross Cameron from Remade Network

Remade Network launched their Repair Stop at Govanhill Baths Community Trust’s Deep End in July last year, serving customers from our Covid-proof hatch. Thanks to the support of the local community, we’ve outgrown our small space and are now able to expand to Victoria Road, which means creating four more jobs and bringing our staff team to 10. We’re really delighted as we’re committed to creating green jobs in the community, and to helping regenerate the high street.

Here Ross Cameron, our electrical repair technician, talks about his time with Remade, which saw him moving from the event industry to working in repair, and some of his favourite repairs…

– Sophie Unwin, Director and Founder, Remade Network


I’ve spent most of the past five years working as a technician in the live event and music industry, and in the course of that work I found myself making a lot of repairs on the equipment I was using. One of the good things about that industry is that most of the equipment we used was designed to be repaired by the people using it, and it wasn’t uncommon to see some pieces of equipment in use (in less than ideal environments no less) for well over 20 years. Unfortunately, it seems that’s a rare exception, as most consumer goods these days appear to be designed without long term serviceability in mind.

…most consumer goods these days appear to be designed without long term serviceability in mind. 

The Covid-19 pandemic, and the ensuing mothballing of the events industry, coincided with a desire on my part to make a change in my career, and I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to work with Remade Network, delivering an affordable and accessible repair service to the public in Govanhill, the area where I live. It’s provided me an opportunity to use my skills in repair in a more environmentally conscious manner. I’m a firm believer that reuse of consumer goods is a key aspect of the fight against climate change and environmental degradation – not only does reusing goods reduce the amount of energy and resources used in the manufacture of new items, but it also prevents harmful chemical and plastic agents from entering the ecosystem. I’ve always loved to help teach people new skills, and through teaching people how to repair and reuse their possessions, they can gain a deeper sense of ownership, and re-contextualise their items as objects which have had a physical life before it came into their possession, and that may have a lasting effect in the environment after they’ve disposed of them.

I’m a firm believer that reuse of consumer goods is a key aspect of the fight against climate change and environmental degradation…

One of my favourite repairs so far was an old Sony flip clock from the 1980s. It was a complete birds nest of cabling inside, so it took a while to get it properly dismantled. It looked like the motor that drove the axle the numbers rotate on was dead, but the clock was so old we weren’t able to find a suitable replacement part. Not wanting to let such an interesting item end up in the landfill, I very carefully disassembled the motor and cleaned each of the gears and cogs inside. With a copy of the original design diagrams I found online, I was able to reassemble the motor correctly, and the clock has been keeping time ever since.

In April, we’re working to move our operation to a larger and more visible premise on Victoria Road, and with that, expanding our opening hours in response to the high demand we’ve had so far. When Covid-19 lockdown rules begin to abate, we’ll be able to host more workshops and educational sessions in this new space, as well as offering refurbished tech for sale at an affordable price. We’ve had a fantastic reaction from the public. People are incredibly keen to keep their items going for a while longer, especially heirlooms and gifts that they have a strong emotional connection to.

Visit their website or social media to learn more about Remade Network.

A petition campaign is underway in the UK, demanding that the government at Westminster prioritises a shift to a Wellbeing Economy.

Launched by Brighton campaigner Laura Sharples, the petition seeks to garner 100,000 signatures by September so that the need for a Wellbeing Economy will be debated in Parliament.

WEAll’s Katherine Trebeck was part of the campaign launch event on 1 April, hosted by Caroline Lucas MP and featuring Beth Stratford (Leeds University), Clive Lewis MP, and Laura Sharples. You can watch the event below or here. The event was co-hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Limits to GrowthCUSP, the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, and Wellbeing Economics Brighton.

Laura Sharples said that she launched this petition campaign because “the economy is really about stories, but the mainstream narratives at the moment work to disempower us by disconnecting us from our communities and nature.

“The economy has been designed – and it can and must be redesigned.”

Caroline Lucas urged people to support the petition, saying: “The window of opportunity is open. That’s the exciting thing – we have a real chance for a fundamental economic reset.”

Katherine Trebeck affirmed this, saying: “This petition is so incredibly important. If we can get it to 10,000, or 100,000 signatures, it demonstrates to Government that there’s demand there, that this is what people want and they can be on the right side of history.”

The petition states:

“We urgently need the Government to prioritise the health and wellbeing of people and planet, by pursuing a Wellbeing Economy approach. To deliver a sustainable and equitable recovery, the Treasury should target social and environmental goals, rather than fixating on short-term profit and growth.More details

A narrow focus on GDP growth has led us to environmental, health and financial crises. The UK is the 6th largest economy in the world, yet roughly a third of our children live in poverty. Two thirds of the public want the Treasury to put wellbeing above growth. Scotland and Wales are already part of the Wellbeing Economy Governments alliance. As host of the COP26 climate summit, the UK Government should build and champion a Wellbeing Economy – at home and globally.”

If you agree, and you’re a UK resident, please sign and share the petition. Use the #WellbeingEconomyPetition hashtag to share.

Can you help amplify this petition to UK audiences? Comment below or contact us here.

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