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Wellbeing Economy Alliance Launches in U.S.

Marking a decade after the financial crisis, group calls for transformation of economy

Sept. 20, 2018 – New York – A decade after the financial crisis, the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) today announced its U.S. launch, with a commitment to transform the economic system in pursuit of sustainable wellbeing for people and the environment.

This new alliance will build on the long-term efforts of the new economy movement, amplifying existing and emerging work that demonstrates the feasibility of shifting the economic paradigm away from growth at all costs, towards collaboration and shared flourishing.

The launch will take place today at a Fordham University conference where participants will hear from a diverse range of speakers, including private business leaders, academics and financial specialists focused on developing a wellbeing economy.

“The 2008 crash was one of the clearest indicators that the system is broken,” said Diego Isabel, Strategy and Connections Lead for WEAll. “Global leaders did not take the opportunity ten years ago to transform the economic system to the benefit of all. A wellbeing economy recognizes that the economy is embedded in society and the rest of nature and that true success depends on creating a world where we all prosper and flourish.”

“Businesses have an essential role to play in this transformation, and we are pleased to be part of the dialogue WEAll has begun,” Tom Cripps, Board of Directors, Velcro Companies, said. “Velcro Companies was built on products that reflect nature’s genius, so we see sustainability as a must-have, not a nice-to-have, component of our economic model and ultimately a key driver of long-term success.  We are working with companies worldwide to lead a transformational change in the way business is done and embrace a larger social purpose that complements and enhances our traditional business goals.”

As published on the Greenhouse PR Pioneers blog here.

“The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) is a new global network created to help bring about a transformation of the economic system to prioritise shared wellbeing on a healthy planet.

Ahead of the official launch in New York tomorrow (20 September), we invited Executive Director, Diego Isabel, to tell us about WEAll’s mission to empower people around the world to catalyse systemic change.

Tell us, in 20 words or fewer, about the Wellbeing Economy Alliance – what’s its mission?

The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (#WEAll) has the mission to transform the goal of the economy, from profit maximisation to providing wellbeing to people and the planet.

  • What drives you?

Change. When I see and feel change for the common good is possible, I go for it.

  • What is your greatest achievement to date?

I am very proud of having brought together the main new economy networks and movements to the Global Forum NESI (New Economy and Social Innovation) to work together, to collaborate. #WEAll is a step beyond NESI, now all these networks are willing to keep on collaborating.

  • What are the challenges you face?

Putting egos aside, not only individual egos but also what I call “corporate egos”. Collaboration is about agreeing on a common purpose and goals and working together to achieve them, without expecting a reward to feed our egos.

  • What are you working on that’s getting you fired up and excited?

Creating positive and practical proposals for governments and cities so they become wellbeing economy governments and wellbeing economy cities. We need to create ecosystems where businesses can have a social purpose and people can have meaningful jobs and enjoy their lives.

  • Where do you want to take WEAll next?

On the one hand, to create roadmaps for governments, cities, and businesses so they know how to make the transition towards a wellbeing economy. On the other, WEAll needs to empower people around the world to catalyse systemic change. We aim to develop what we call WEAll Citizens, a campaign to mobilise citizens around the world to support the wellbeing economy and the proposals of the different new economy movements.

  • What can we, as individuals, do to make a difference?

There are many things that would make a difference in our lives and in the system. We have the power to decide what to buy and from whom. The products we eat, the way we move, the clothes we buy and wear, all these things contribute to a global change.

  • How is what you are doing inspiring change in others?

I think that the best way to inspire others is by walking your talk. I try to be coherent with the kind of system I would like to see. Paraphrasing Gandhi: “be the economy you want to see in the world”.

  • Can you recommend a life- or game-changing book for our readers?

This summer I was inspired reading “Journey to Earthland” by Paul Raskin, Director of the Tellus Institute, one of the WEAll members. On my bedside table I always have some traditional eastern books such as the Tao Te King or the Dhammapada. They contain powerful inspiring messages.

  • What do you listen to when you’re cooking dinner?

My wife asking, what have we got for dinner? 🙂

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Life is about giving and being yourself.

  • Can you leave us with who’d be your Eco Hero?

Mother nature, or Pacha Mama as they call it in Latin America, is the best Eco Hero, we only need to listen to her and follow her lead.”

For immediate release – Film and photography opportunity available 14:00-15:00 EDT, Saturday 15 September, outside 745 7th Avenue, New York

 

14 September 2018

TEN YEARS after the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered the 2008 financial crash, campaigners are encouraging New Yorkers to rethink the economy and our relationship with money – by handing out free cash.

Campaigners from global networks the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) and Change Finance will hold signs saying “FREE MONEY” and distribute two one-dollar bills to anyone who wants them. The only stipulation is that people pass on half of the money to someone else.

This act of generosity in New York will be replicated across the world on the same day. Free Money Day campaigners will seek to highlight the problems with our current economic system, which has not changed for the benefit of ordinary people in ten years despite the dire warning of the 2008 crash.

By dishing out free cash, they hope to encourage people to rethink our collective relationship with money, and promote the idea of an economy based on sharing and collaboration.

“Free Money Day is an invitation for people to explore, in a liberating and fun way, what it might be like if our relationship to money was a little different”, said Diego Isabel, Strategy and Connections lead for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance.

“The 2008 crash was one of the clearest indicators we’ve had that the financial system is broken. Yet, global leaders did not take the opportunity ten years ago to transform the economy to the benefit of all: instead they entrenched the ‘business as usual’ approach”, Isabel continued.

“We’re asking people to imagine an economy that serves people and planet, that works for all of us. An economy that is based on sharing and collaboration.”

On behalf of Change Finance, Benoit Lallemand, Secretary General of Finance Watch, said: “We are facing urgent challenges: social, environmental, political. It all starts with freeing society from the grip of finance.”

“When planned effectively, the financial system has enormous potential to be a positive force. We need to reset the system,” Lallemand continued.

Donnie Maclurcan, Co-Founder of Free Money Day, added: “The hidden story of our current ‘economic boom’ is that debt has kept rising, because money keeps accumulating. We’re sleepwalking to collapse, with global debt having reached US$247 trillion. Free Money Day is a chance to remind people that debt is temporary when money constantly circulates.”

 

Notes to Editors

  • The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) is a new non-profit alliance, which exists to help bring about a transformation of the economic system, of society and of institutions so that all actors prioritise shared wellbeing on a healthy planet. Born out of existing movements for system change, WEAll has more than 30 organisational members and seeks to amplify and connect the diverse movement for a wellbeing economy. Find out more at wellbeingeconomy.org
  • Free Money Day is a global event in which people hand out money to strangers in order to raise awareness and start conversations about the benefits of economies based on sharing. http://www.freemoneyday.org/
  • Finance Watch is an independent, non-profit  public interest association dedicated to making finance work for society. It was created in June 2011 to be a citizen’s counterweight to the lobbying of the financial industry and conducts technical and policy advocacy in favour of financial regulations that will make finance serve society. It now expands its mission to include work on campaigns that demand systemic change, and coordinates the Change Finance movement
  • The first campaign of Change Finance, #10yearson, has involved over 60 organisations to reimagine the financial system. Its demands are focused on a financial system that is serving people and the planet, that is democratically governed and that is stable.

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Contacts

Lisa Hough-Stewart, WEAll

lisa@wellbeingeconomy.org

+44 7470 411 531

Twitter: @WEAll_Alliance #WEAll

Facebook: @WEAllAlliance

 

Donnie Maclurcan, Free Money Day

media@freemoneyday.org

+1 541 631 8680

Twitter: @freemoneyday #freemoneyday