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There is so much rich content out there in the world about a Wellbeing Economy. Part of our job is to amplify and connect the various initiatives and work that exists. 

These WEAll Weekly Update blogs will share some of the latest and greatest updates from our membership and beyond every week. Please use the comment box to share any relevant updates from this week and keep the conversation going!

Weekly Reads

Opportunity Knocking – Jessica Rose, Marjorie Kelly | Democracy Collaborative  

“Impact investors and other capital providers could be the agents that help resolve this vicious crisis—stepping in to turn the misfortune of small-business owners into a new start for employee-owners. Capital could be the agent that begins to take employee ownership to scale in this pivotal moment in our nation’s history.”

Building a Resilient Economy – Barth J. and Coscieme L., Dimmelmeier, A., Kumar C., Mewes S., Abrar R., Nuesse I., Pendleton A., Trebeck K | ZOE, NEF, WEAll 

“The following chapters (and the research underpinning them) focus on the role of government and policy in delivering systemic change. We outline where public policymakers should place the emphasis in order to transform the world’s economic and financial systems most effectively to mitigate future environmental crises.”

Humanity Report– James Arbib & Tony Seba | RethinkX 

“We can choose to elevate humanity to new heights and use the upcoming convergence of technology disruptions to end poverty, inequality, resource conflict, and environmental destruction, all for a fraction of the cost we incur dealing with them today. Or we can choose to preserve the failing status quo and descend into another dark age like every leading civilization before us.“

Work-life balance and self-reported health among working adults in Europe: a gender and welfare state regime comparative analysis – Aziz Mensah & Nicholas Kofi Adjei | BMC Public Health

“The pressing demands of work over the years have had a significant constraint on the family and social life of working adults. Moreover, failure to achieve a ‘balance’ between these domains of life may have an adverse effect on their health. This study investigated the relationship between work-life conflict and self-reported health among working adults in contemporary welfare countries in Europe.”

Visions of a Wellbeing  Economy – Anna Chrysopoulou | Standard Social Innovation Review

“To solve the social, economic, and environmental challenges we face today, we need to rethink the status quo. Governments and other institutions around the world need to embrace new ways of thinking and actively engage in widespread systems innovation to make real progress toward a healthier, more prosperous world.”

The Little Book of Education – Wendy Ellyatt 

“If we want to create a better world, we have to start by looking at whether the values that we have been promoting to children through our education systems have been serving the long-term wellbeing and potential, within the context of a sustainable future”

Building Better Systems– The Rockwool Foundation

“System innovation is needed when two conditions apply. First when society faces a systemic challenge which requires a systemic response. Second when society has a systemic opportunity to create a new kind of system.” 

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From the Archives

In May, our monthly WEAll Talk featured Mariana Mirabile  asking the question, ‘what is blinding economists?’

She broke down the thinking behind current economic theories, like ‘economic growth is always good’.

Micro and macroeconomics

An interesting comparison she made is the microeconomic vs. macroeconomic thinking around marginal cost and benefit.

In microeconomic thinking, we ‘stop’ when the marginal cost meets the marginal benefit. For instance, if we’re trying to stay fit, we don’t eat an extra slice of pizza, because the cost of eating that slice of pizza will no longer benefit our bodies. Since it no longer makes sense for our goal, to eat that extra slice, we stop eating.

At the macroeconomic level, we don’t think this way. Instead, we always think that ‘more is better’. Take fishing for example: when does the marginal cost of fishing meet the marginal benefit? Why is it that we continue to fish, when doing so continues to deplete the fishing stock in the ocean?

Mariana argues that this is a main component of what makes economists ‘blind’.

‘More is better’ was not an issue in the past. It is today

In the past, we were too few people, with too few technologies, to harvest or pollute faster than the planet’s capacity to replenish itself and absorb our waste. We now face a different reality, we have harvested and polluted so much that ‘more’ may no longer be ‘better’.

Mainstream economic theory has not adapted and hinders us from asking fundamental questions

In mainstream economic theory, we assume that the economy is the ‘whole’ and the environment is an ‘input’ to it. If we instead saw the economy as a sub-system of the environment (which it is), we would realize that ‘more’ stuff means ‘less’ of ‘something else’, and that ‘something else’ is the environment, from which we depend on. Only at this point, with this change in perspective, the question of whether ‘more’ is ‘better’ becomes pertinent.

Changing the story

Stories determine our beliefs. And the beliefs that we hold are powerful: they inform policy, societal structures, and ultimately the results that we get. Questioning the foundations of our economic thinking (and of our thinking in general) is then the first step towards a wellbeing economy.

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”

Listen to Mariana’s entire WEAll Talk, including a rich discussion at the end below.

WEAll Talks

WEAll Talks are a monthly event for our members and citizens. The events are topical and led by individuals in our network. We design the events to be a short presentation and then a content-based discussion. The topics cut across many areas of work our members may be involved in and we encourage both Members and Citizens to host. Join WEAll and find out more about these talks!

You can learn more about becoming a WEAll member here. And, don’t forget to join us on our Citizens platform.

Stay tuned for upcoming WEAll Talks in our Newsletter- sign up here.