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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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