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In August 2020, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and North Ayrshire Council became the first two local authorities to join the Wellbeing Economy Alliance as members. Both councils have shown leadership with their leading “build back better” campaigns, which seek to revitalize their local economies through a green, sustainable recovery.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

(Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region)

The announcement of Liverpool City Region’s membership follows the release of its economic recovery plan, Building Back Better. The plan provides a blueprint for how the City Region will recover economically from the COVID-19 pandemic by building an economy that is globally competitive, environmentally responsible and socially inclusive.

The plan has four key themes—the business ecosystem, people-focused recovery, place, and a green recovery—and includes proposals for a £1.4bn investment from Government that would unlock £8.8bn worth of projects and create more than 120,000 jobs. This includes the Mersey Tidal Power project, which can contribute to the UK’s long-term sustainable energy mix, while creating employment for thousands.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said: “When I said that there was no going back to normal after the crisis, I meant it. That means building a society that focuses on the five Es: employment, the environment, the eco system, the economy and essential workers.

“I want the Liverpool City Region to be the most inclusive, fair and socially just economy in the country. Our economic recovery plan lays out how we’ll do that and I’m proud that we are is the first governmental body in the world to join the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll). I look forward to working with them, sharing ideas from all over the world and making Liverpool City Region a model of how we can make the economy work for people, and not the other way round.”

North Ayrshire Council

(The North Ayrshire Council Building at Cunninghame House in Irvine)

When North Ayrshire Council became the first Scottish local authority to join WEAll, the council had already introduced its pioneering green recovery plan, based on community wealth building (CWB). CWB involves spending public money locally, keeping wealth generated within the local area, encouraging community ownership and using land and property in a socially just way to boost the local economy and tackle poverty and inequality.

Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council and Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building, said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with WEAll and look forward to speaking to a range of influential thinkers who can help inspire us as we look to radically overhaul what we are doing here in North Ayrshire.

“We are in the midst of a global recession and now is the time to be bold, think differently and build a new economy. That new economy must work for the benefit of people and planet, ending decades of an extractive economic model that has worked for neither and has saw inequality soar to record levels.

“That’s what we want to achieve through our Community Wealth Building strategy which, post-COVID, will help us build back better, fairer and greener…

“WEAll are leading the case for an economy that values the wellbeing of people and planet and I am excited by the opportunity to work with them to realise our joint ambitions for a fairer future.”

Some Thoughts from the WEAll Team

Katherine Trebeck, Advocacy and Influencing Lead at WEAll, said of Liverpool’s joining: “The role of government in transforming how our economies operate cannot be underestimated. So governments at all levels are natural partners for the wellbeing economy movement. WEAll is thrilled to welcome the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority as a member of our diverse network. WEAll is excited to learn from them, connect them with our members, and amplify their pioneering work, which demonstrates that a wellbeing economy is not just what is needed, but with political will, it is entirely possible.”

Sarah Deas, trustee at WEAll Scotland and chair of North Ayrshire’s expert advisory group on Community Wealth Building, said: “North Ayrshire Council was the first Scottish local authority to commit to Community Wealth Building and is now the first to join the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll). The Council appreciates that direct local action can achieve systems change, enabling the economy to deliver human and ecological wellbeing.

“Through participating in the WEAll network, the Councils will inspire others to adopt similar pioneering approaches while benefiting from ideas and innovations from across the world.”

Our member SOGH and Global Health Film are hosting a series of ‘Global Health Film Classics’ movie screenings every Sunday from July 5th to 26th! The series covers important and topical public health issues, including emerging pandemics.

This Sunday, July 5 at 7pm BST, they will screen The Islands and the Whales, which talks about ocean pollution and the impact on people’s health. After the screening, you’ll have the chance to speak to both the director and protagonist.

Here is the trailer for the series and the details for the next three films in the series.

Sunday 12 July, 7pm – My Amazing Brain: Richard’s War (brain injury)
Sunday 19 July, 7pm – Unseen Enemy (emerging pandemics)
Sunday 26 July, 7pm – I Am Breathing (ALS)

Do check them out!

Marine Tanguy is CEO of MTArt

Contemporary research into future cities tends to focus on technology, architecture and infrastructure.  Art in Smart Cities  is a recent study that highlights the importance of public art projects for our future cities.

Very little evidence and academic studies exist to determine whether or not public art is core to the life and demand of citizens. My co-author Vishal Kumar and I collected data at two public art initiatives organised by MTArt Agency. We found that 60% of the sample audience were willing to pay at least £5 for the implementation of more public art in their local area, with 84% willing to pay at least £2, and 84% of our sample said regular public art initiatives would increase their wellbeing.

The main motivations of this work are to shine a light on the value of public art initiatives. The smart city concept is inclusive and based on cross-pollination: public art projects are representative of this complexity as they should involve art experts, urban planners, economists, sociologists, political scientists as well as citizens.

It is important to understand the economic value of public art initiatives within the smart cities context because it will allow policy makers, urban planners and developers to implement such initiatives in the future. The dialogue must be open and eclectic in its methodological approach. It calls for a different, much closer, relationship between cultural institutions and empirical researchers than has been the case to date.

Our study is here to encourage economists to work and value public art projects: it shows a demand which can be expanded to all future cities and worth studying while the public art value reveals itself to be key to citizens.

Hopefully this study is also encouraging to more cultural institutions to partner up with data analysts to lead stronger research into their audiences, the impact these projects generate and the support that they may get from them. Historically, the unwillingness of cultural institutions to engage with the tools of economics has resulted in little progress in valuing art projects, specifically public art ones. No doubt this is in part due to the unfamiliarity at using the language of consumer surplus and willingness to pay and we hope this study helps making it a more familiar method.

We also wish that this study could be the start to a long-term aim of systematically building a rigorous body of evidence which can be used to understand the value of public art projects in its various forms.

Founded in 2015, MTArt Agency is an award-winning talent agency which represents the top visual artists. While the art world concentrates on selling art on walls for a few, we focus on investing in the top artists who could inspire everyone. Every month, the agency reviews 200 portfolios of artists. Our selection committee select artists with innovative techniques, inspiring content and strong visions. Find out more.

Image: MTArt ‘Don’t Think Twice’ project by Jennifer Abessira at London Bridge

On the one year anniversary of WEAll’s first member gathering – which took place in Malaga, Spain, last summer – the Amp Team reflected on progress made since then thanks to the efforts and commitment of WEAll members around the world.

Network and Wellbeing lead Ana Gomez created a celebratory document to share with members and showcase these achievements – download the Thank You message here.

 

Wellbeing Economy Alliance (Scotland) – Volunteer recruitment

The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) is a new global collaboration of organisations, alliances, movements and individuals working together to change the economic system to create a wellbeing economy; one that delivers human and ecological wellbeing.

Scotland is a key player in the global movement for a wellbeing economy. Across Scotland, the purpose of the economy and the dominant model of growth is being reconsidered, with pioneering projects springing up within different sectors. WEAll (Scotland) will connect these initiatives, amplify narratives and create a safe space for government, businesses and society to question the current economic model and champion bold new policies. See https://wellbeingeconomy.org/scotland

We are seeking to recruit two new volunteers, to work with our small team and drive forward our work to support positive change.  Volunteers will be passionate about the need for economic system change, and will have a good understanding of the issues facing our economy, society and natural environment. These are exciting opportunities to support the establishment of a newly formed NGO. While this is a voluntary position all reasonable expenses incurred will be reimbursed.

  1. Events coordinator: The Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland is looking for an Events Co-ordinator to support us with the successful delivery of a range of events, from large one day conferences to smaller seminars. Download more information on the role and how to apply here.
  2. Executive assistant : The Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland is looking for an executive assistant to provide a range of administrative support functions for  our small but dedicated team.  Download more information on the role and how to apply here.

The closing date for applying for both roles is 6pm on Sunday 18 August. We anticipate holding interviews in Edinburgh on 28 August and in Glasgow on 29 August.

Wellbeing Economy Alliance (Scotland) – Volunteer recruitment

The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) is a new global collaboration of organisations, alliances, movements and individuals working together to change the economic system to create a wellbeing economy; one that delivers human and ecological wellbeing.

Scotland is a key player in the global movement for a wellbeing economy. Across Scotland, the purpose of the economy and the dominant model of growth is being reconsidered, with pioneering projects springing up within different sectors. WEAll (Scotland) will connect these initiatives, amplify narratives and create a safe space for government, businesses and society to question the current economic model and champion bold new policies. See https://wellbeingeconomy.org/scotland

We are seeking to recruit three new volunteers, to work with our small team and drive forward our work to support positive change.  Volunteers will be passionate about the need for economic system change, and will have a good understanding of the issues facing our economy, society and natural environment. These are exciting opportunities to support the establishment of a newly formed NGO. While this is a voluntary position all reasonable expenses incurred will be reimbursed.

  1. Events coordinator: The Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland is looking for an Events Co-ordinator to support us with the successful delivery of a range of events, from large one day conferences to smaller seminars. Download more information on the role and how to apply here.
  2. Administrator: The Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland is looking for an administrator to provide a range of administrative support functions for  our small but dedicated team.  Download more information on the role and how to apply here.
  3. Communications Assistant: The Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland is looking for a Communications Assistant to provide various communication functions for our small but dedicated team. Download more information on the role and how to apply here.

The closing date for applying for all three roles is 6pm on Sunday 30 June. We anticipate holding interviews in Edinburgh on Tuesday 9 July and in Glasgow on Wednesday 10 July.

Blog by Una Bartley, Director of WEAll Scotland

 

Confused by the term ‘inclusive growth’? You’re not alone. That is one of take home messages from the IPPR report Delivering Inclusive Growth in Scotland, commissioned by the Poverty and Inequality Commission to explore what difference the inclusive growth agenda has made to policy and practice, particularly around reducing inequality.

 

The authors found a lack of clarity amongst policy makers and practitioners on what the term means, what it looks like in practice and how it can be measured. No surprise then that the report also found limited evidence of the inclusive growth agenda making a difference to people’s lives in Scotland.

 

Defining inclusive growth

For their research, IPPR defined ‘inclusive growth’ as ‘a departure from growth at all costs, to one that builds equality into economic growth.’

 

If you’re still scratching your head, the report authors expand on their definition by putting forward four key aspects that they believe underpin inclusive growth. The first states that inclusive growth must include ‘both growth and greater inequality’. Secondly, it should ‘narrow inequalities through the process of economic growth.’ (The authors state that this means reducing inequalities prior to the redistributive practices of government through tax and social security spend.) Thirdly, it should focus on ‘benefiting people who are experiencing socio-economic inequalities’. And finally, it requires ‘sustainability from a climate change and environmental perspective… (and) in the sense of lasting, entrenched and long-term change’.

 

Still confused?  Me too, but let’s take each of those four principles in turn.

 

Can inclusive growth address inequality?

First off, there is no doubt that the economy needs to be reshaped to address inequality (and environmental degradation) but can this really be achieved within a economic model that’s utterly dependent on growth? Can growth in itself deliver the outcomes that we want?

 

To be crude, in an economic system that prioritises GDP, profits are maximised and perceived costs  minimised. In practice that means minimising spend on labour (either through suppressing wages or cutting jobs – increasingly easy to do through automation), and taking short cuts, regardless of their impact on our communities, health or environment. Yet frustratingly, or perhaps inevitably, the report falls short of explaining exactly how an economy can address inequality while continuing to pursue growth.

 

If we really want to address inequality, we need to move away from the limited mindset that assumes the economy has to be geared towards GDP, and recognise that sometimes growth has to be sacrificed for other goals.

 

Distribution rather than redistribution

Establishing policies that distribute prosperity and equalise wealth prior to tax and social security spend is a sound principle. To tackle the roots of inequality, we need to shape our economy so that a larger portion of the prosperity created is distributed more evenly from the outset. However, the examples in the report of what this might look like in practice are largely limited to mechanisms to increase wages, and more spend on early years.

 

If we really want to scale up our ambition around addressing the entrenched inequalities so apparent in Scotland, this principle needs to be applied in a much more radical way. We need to move beyond talking about how to increase wages and look at how we give people a much greater stake in their communities, over our resources, and in the wealth they are creating, for example, through encouraging more community energy projects, promoting community bonds and endorsing alternative business models such as, cooperatives, social enterprises and employee ownership.

 

Who is economic growth for?

While there’s no surprise that a report commissioned by the Poverty and Inequality Commission proposes that inclusive growth should benefit those experiencing socio-economic inequalities, it is interesting to note that the report goes on to suggest that addressing inequalities will help deliver stronger growth. This begs the question –  which is the means here and which is the end? Do we want to address inequality to beget stronger growth or do we want stronger growth, in the belief that it will  deliver inequality?

 

Economic growth and environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability, while deemed a key tenet of inclusive growth at the start of the report, barely gets a mention thereafter, bar a passing reference to a low carbon infrastructure in relation to Scottish National Investment Bank.

 

This is a glaring oversight at a time when our society is finally waking up to the devastating damage our economic model has wreaked on the environment, and the cost that individuals, particularly those in our most deprived communities will pay further down the line.

 

And yet, the desire to sidestep this issue is understandable given the challenge of reconciling economic growth with a world of finite resources.  Likewise it is all too easy to ignore the adverse consequences that our current economic model inflicts on communities in the narrow pursuit of growth.

 

An alternative to ‘inclusive growth’

And therein lies the confusion; you can dress up economic growth as ‘inclusive’, ‘green’, or ‘sustainable’ but none of those adjectives will disguise the fact that growth so often drives inequality and environmental degradation; and as such, growth in its current state – without saying growth of what – cannot also be the vehicle that we use to tackle these interlinked issues.

 

While there is much to disagree with in this report, its publication is timely and the breadth that it covers around recent economic policy in Scotland is useful. This makes it a helpful contribution for a debate that we urgently need to have on the role of the economy in shaping the society we wish to see. But if we want to continue the debate, let’s end the confusion,  let’s drop the term ‘inclusive growth’ and adopt a more meaningful term, one that allows us to both question, and move away from, the concept of growth. Did someone just say ‘wellbeing economy’…?

 

New Economy and Social Innovation Forum: WEAll Youth participation

Last week was the NESI (New Economy and Social Innovation) Forum in Malaga, and we met a lot of interesting people. In these three days we travelled to the year 2030. The big questions were: what does our economy look like in 2030 and what did we do in 2019 to get there?

NESI is held every 2 years in Malaga. The Wellbeing Economy Alliance is one of the partners of the Forum. The programme of the Forum was as follows: each day started with a plenary opening, there were conversations, speeches, and interviews on stage, and there were 3 working sessions, 1 on the first day and 2 on the second day.

For the working sessions, you could choose between 6 different tracks: the future of food sovereignty, the future of urban and housing, the future of finance, the future of work, the future of sustainable textiles and the future of resources and energy. Within each working session, different questions would be tackled: What is happening right now (2019)? Which are positive aspects and which do we want to keep and grow? What will it look like in 2030? What do we need to do to get there? These questions were answered in every track. You could choose to go to the same track every day or you could switch it up.

In between the working sessions and the plenary session, there was time to network, walk around and take a look at the different booths. At this time we were often at the WEAll booth, talking to people about WEAll and WEAll Youth.

One of the highlights of NESI was the WEAll gathering. After NESI was done, we spent Friday afternoon with everyone from WEAll. We had a WEAll members meeting like any other, with the exception that it was in real life, instead of through zoom. It was amazing to see all of the people you normally see on zoom, in real life. The meeting was about updates from every aspect of WEAll. We also got some time to talk about WEAll Youth, which was a great opportunity to tell members from around the world about the things we are doing and planning to do in the future. Besides the WEAll gathering, we also attended the WEAll dinner which was also a very nice way to connect with everyone at WEAll. At these gatherings, we made crucial connections with people from the WEAll community and got so much support and praise that it was overwhelming! We are very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to meet all these amazing people and were uplifted by their work and their kind words towards WEAll Youth.

 

Tracks – our take

Pien: Personally, I was mostly interested in the sustainable textiles track. This is because fashion has a big influence on my life and it has a much bigger influence on our earth! Next to it being one of the biggest polluting industries, it is a big player in human slavery. We are caught in some sort of cycle where supply and demand are getting out of control.

The first session was started with a question that made us think about the things that are going well right now, the components that are essential to maintain. Such as, the employment the industry offers, the alliances that are built, the demand for sustainable products, the demand for transparency in the supply chain, the demand for high-quality textile, skills (sewing and repairing) and creativity and innovation. After this, we talked about things that had to change fast like, the volume that is produced, lack of quality, the value consumers put on clothing, working conditions, animal welfare, extreme consumerism and negative externalities which are not integrated into the price.

How will we enable this change? By raising awareness, regulations, technology, influencers and the power of social media, innovations, developments in new textiles, transparency, education, design to recycle and slow fashion. To make this change a success there are still some question to be ask, like, who is responsible? Are consumers willing to change? Are the brands willing to change? Who is going to pay? How do we prioritize? How to ensure equal access? And when is the deadline? These questions are left with us as food for thought…

Esther:  I went to the future of Work, the future of Urban & Housing and the future of Finance tracks. The future of work was very interesting to me. There were a lot of people and every single one of them could contribute valuable information and/or viewpoints. We talked about equality and diversity in the workplace. Shattering the glass ceiling, but also making sure the application process is fair, equal and without any discrimination by age, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, disability, nationality or religion. This was just one of the topics we tackled, we also talked about good qualities of our work and the system as it is now and project or organizations that are already doing great things in this field. One of the things I learned was how important government policies are when fighting this. Things like women quotas or being able to apply anonymously make a huge difference in progress between cities, districts or countries. There were a lot of international people there and it was very interesting to hear the different situations in different countries and even regions.

I learned a lot in the finance track, at first I was doubting to go to this track because I felt like I did not have much to add to the conversation because I find finance to be very complicated. I talked to some people about what track I wanted to go to and someone said to me: “If you are interested, just go, don’t be afraid to do something you think you can’t.” And so I went, I am happy I did. I did not have a lot of things to add to the conversation but it was very interesting to listen to the discussions. The group I was in was also very encouraging and wanted everyone to contribute to the conversation. I confessed my struggle with finance and we started talking about the complication of the current system. Someone said: “They make it complicated and confusing because they do not want people to interfere in their businesses.” This resonated with me and inspired me to try not step away from seemingly complicated subjects in the future. At the end of the session, I had learned so many new things and spoke to many interesting people. I am very glad I decided to go to the finance track.

At the Urban & Housing track we talked a lot about different projects and organisations who are doing projects that are already working in ways that are innovative and belong in our future of urban and housing. We also created questions for the organisations in the urban and housing sector in the future. “Are we working with equality in mind? ”& “Are we putting people over profit?” There were a lot of professionals in this sector at my table so I enjoyed listening to them talk about all of the projects that are going on. Even though I did not contribute much to the conversation and felt a bit odd in between so many experienced professionals, it was nice to listen to them talk about their work field.

Mara: I chose to go to the tracks on the future of food, the future of work and the future of resources and energy. This was very challenging as two of them were mainly in Spanish and translated for the handful of people that did not speak Spanish well enough to engage in the discussion naturally. However, it was very interesting to talk about how our food systems are now, what we would like to keep and what needs to change in the future to transform it into a system that encourages wellbeing. The things that came out of the session were more local production, transparency and clear labelling should be a part of a future food system. For work, it was interesting to talk about what would the perfect future for work look like and what are the important aspects to include. The future of work in the eyes of the participants, me included should put the people in the centre and get away from being profit driven with a more distributed power structure. The last session I took part in was about how do we get to the aspired future of resources and energy. The energy transition equals a value transition, the participants came up with a model where local communities rise up and own their energy together. Through this mechanism, big companies loose power and are more inclined to be a part of the energy transition to local and renewable resources.

NESI gave different viewpoints and solutions for the future. We talked about some of the most important topics for our future, which seems very scary but, in the end, it gave us a lot of hope and inspired us to keep working to create a wellbeing economy. Overall, the NESI forum helped us realize we are not alone in this fight. What we’re doing is right and we need to fight for what is right. Meeting so many great people and all of the interesting conversations and discussions were uplifting and exhilarating.

 

 

 

Written by Esther Snijder, Mara Tippmann & Pien Gerards

Each month, the WEAll Amplification team (Amp team) shares what they’ve been working on, and their priorities for the coming month.

Find out more about our team members here 

 

Ana Gómez

What’s kept you busy in April?

  • Finalising the WEAll hub guide
  • Preparing for our presence at NESI and the WEAll members’ gathering in Malaga afterwards
  • As ever, meeting with members and particularly on-boarding new members is the best part of my job!

April highlight:

  • Being together in Malaga with over 40 WEAll members, sharing positive energy and determination to change the system. It was truly amazing

May priorities:

  • Disseminating the hub guide and making progress with getting new hubs set up, working together with our members
  • Building on our members’ gathering to develop the next steps for working together

 

Lisa Hough-Stewart 

What’s kept you busy in April?

  • Developing and launching WEAll Citizens! I’m proud of the platform, which you can join at www.weallcitizens.org
  • WEAll Scotland became a registered charity, had an awesome strategic away day and is now recruiting trustees. We also got an opinion piece in The Herald about Scotland’s approach to growth to coincide with SNP conference
  • Attended a civil society roundtable event with Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, and got the chance to ask him about the purpose of the economy

April highlight:

  • Being in Malaga with our wonderful members, and getting really positive feedback on the Citizens platform

May priorities:

  • Building up and promoting WEAll Citizens with a public comms campaign
  • Wellbeing Economy Governments first policy lab
  • Spending a week in London at the Arrival book launch, meeting with members and working on narrative project planning

 

Katherine Trebeck

What’s kept you busy in April?

  • Working on funding proposals (including a lovely one about Stewart which was really a leadership prize – so nice to pull together material about our dear Chair) plus partnership conversations with the likes of the Club of Rome, the University of Glasgow, Duke Uni, the Scottish Government, The Alternative UK etc.
  • Liaison with WEAll researchers to get knowledge products rolling in – so proud of the breadth of expertise amongst the WEAll family
  • Lobbying + advocacy: meeting the BBC Economics Editor, going on the BBC to talk about focusing on growth being incompatible with dealing with climate change, and publishing a piece about this in the Scottish Herald

April highlight:

  • Being WITH many of our wonderful WEAll family. We missed those who couldn’t make it to Malaga, but I left feeling so proud and honoured and energised by the people us Amp team are so lucky to work with

May priorities:

  • WEGo launch on May Day
  • London launch of Arrival
  • A trip to Canada to meet funders and talk about beyond GDP measures

 

Stewart Wallis

What’s kept you busy in April?

  • Planning and going on an exciting trip to the US to meet with funders and members
  • Finishing a chapter on technology as it relates to the wellbeing economy for a forthcoming book

April highlight:

  • Being part of a fantastic event in Irvine, California where I connected with members, allies and potential funders. Lots of interest in WEAll after I chaired the final panel session

May priorities:

  • Inaugurating the WEAll Global Council, which I will be chairing

 

Michael Weatherhead

What’s kept you busy in April?

  • Hosting pre-NESI webinars with fantastic expert speakers
  • Final preparation for – then delivery of – a successful NESI Forum in Malaga

April  highlight:

  • Being at NESI Forum, particularly time spent with WEAll’s members

May priorities:

  • The first meeting of the WEAll Global Council
  • Fundraising applications, with a focus on the business cluster proposals

Wellbeing Economy Alliance (Scotland) – Trustee recruitment notice

The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) is a new global collaboration of organisations, alliances, movements and individuals working together to change the economic system to create a wellbeing economy; one that delivers human and ecological wellbeing.

Scotland is a key player in the global movement for a wellbeing economy. Across Scotland, the purpose of the economy and the dominant model of growth is being reconsidered, with pioneering projects springing up within different sectors. WEAll (Scotland) will connect these initiatives, amplify narratives and create a safe space for government, businesses and society to question the current economic model and champion bold new policies. See https://wellbeingeconomy.org/scotland

We are seeking to recruit three Trustees, from a variety of backgrounds, to join our Board and drive forward our work to support positive change.  You will be passionate about the need for economic system change, and you will have 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.

The Board will play a vital role setting WEAll Scotland’s strategy, overseeing a small core team and acting as ambassadors of the charity.  Trustees 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.

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 una@wellbeingeconomy.org.

The closing date for applications is 31st May.

 

Each month, the WEAll Amplification team (Amp team) shares what they’ve been working on, and their priorities for the coming month.

Find out more about our team members here 

 

Ana Gómez

What’s kept you busy in March?

  • March is the month I found my perfect place to live and even though it caused me to take a week vacation it’s a WEAll highlight because it added so much wellbeing to my life I need everyone to know 😉
  • Creating a Hub Guide and the potential of what it’s going to happen in the future with more WEAll hubs being created
  • The different new members I have got to meet through different calls have a huge motivation in my day to day work

March highlight:

  • My new home!

April priorities:

  • April is shaping up to be a really vivid and exciting month and especially the fact that I’ll be meeting in person many of WEAll members in Malaga makes it very especial. Looking forward to our gathering and the Forum’s encounter and work!

 

Lisa Hough-Stewart 

What’s kept you busy in March?

  • I had two wonderful weeks of holiday time, visiting family and exploring new places
  • Developing WEAll Citizens
  • Lots of updates to our website with great guest blog content, new pages for the Scotland team and research and business clusters, and additions to the resource hub
  • A fantastic joint event between Rethinking Economics and WEAll Scotland on economics education reform, including the Scottish Government Chief Economist

March highlight:

  • Finding a great solution for the Citizens online platform and working with Isabel and members to plan the Citizens user experience

April priorities:

  • Finalising the WEAll Citizens online platform ready to soft launch at NESI
  • NESI Global Forum in Malaga – spending time with members and meeting lots of new people, building the wellbeing economy together
  • An important away day with WEAll Scotland, and starting to recruit the board

 

Katherine Trebeck

What’s kept you busy in March?

  • Promoting the agenda: talks to economic development officials and a kindness network, a lecture to economics students, being on a panel with Rethinking Economics, and publishing a load of blogs all pushing a Wellbeing Economy
  • Working with a people from the WEAll family on a concept note for our narratives work
  • Great meetings in London with Jason Hickel from our Research Fellows Network and with Tearfund who are really interested in collaborating

March highlight:

  • The energy and partnership in action of WEAll Scotland event with Rethinking Economics

April priorities:

  • Much needed away day with the WEAll Scotland team; and more work on funding proposals for Scotland
  • Narratives work
  • Meeting the Economics Editor at BBC Scotland to brief him about a wellbeing economy
  • And seeing loads of the WEAll family at NESI!

 

Stewart Wallis

What’s kept you busy in March?

  • Planning for an exciting trip to the US to meet with funders and members
  • Writing a chapter on technology as it relates to the wellbeing economy for a forthcoming book
  • Recruiting new WEAll Ambassadors
  • Meetings with potential funders

March highlight:

  • Getting positive responses from some wonderful new Ambassadors – we’re looking forward to announcing them soon!

April priorities:

  • Making the most of my trip to California, where the priority is fundraising for WEAll

 

Michael Weatherhead

What’s kept you busy in March?

  • Hosting pre-NESI webinars with fantastic expert speakers
  • Preparing for NESI including site visits and finalisation of the programme
  • Supporting WEAll Citizens development including identifying a platform provider

March  highlight:

  • Setting up the formal relationship between the new WEAll Trust and our hosts The Equality Trust – not thrilling stuff, but very important

April priorities:

  • The final design and planning for NESI
  • Delivering NESI Forum successfully, and spending time with WEAll members in Malaga
  • Fundraising applications, with a focus on the business cluster proposals

On Tuesday 26 March, WEAll Scotland teamed up with Rethinking Economics to co-host an event in Edinburgh discussing economics education and how Scotland can champion a more pluralist approach to economics.

Rethinking Economics is a WEAll member, and comprises an international network of students, academics and professionals building a better economics in society and the classroom.

The event was full of students, civil society professionals, academics and interested members of the public keen to discuss economics curriculum reform.

The panel was chaired by Ross Cathcart from Rethinking Economics, and included:

  • Gary Gillespie, Chief Economic Adviser, Scottish Government
  • Professor Robert McMaster, Professor of Political Economy, University of Glasgow
  • Lovisa Reiche, Rethinking Economics and APEG Member; Economics Student at University of Aberdeen
  • Dr. Katherine Trebeck, Research Director, Wellbeing Economy Alliance

Gary Gillespie kicked off by explaining his background as an academic economist who joined government to try to apply his economics skills to real world issues, particularly health issues in Scotland. Gary was clear that the central objective of the Scottish Government economics directorate is to improve economic and other outcomes for the people of Scotland. He said: “as an academic economist, I used to use policy to show how good the models were, not the other way around!” In later remarks, he stressed the importance of being responsive to the issues of the day, and of the need for economics and other graduates working in the public sector to be motivated by real world concerns.

Katherine Trebeck was clear that economics is at its best when it is pluralist and not “constrained by narrow bandwidths”. She re-imagined the famous Ronald Reagan quote (“the only limits to growth are the limits to our imagination”), saying that our imaginations are presently limited by fixation on growth but can go further. However, it’s not just a question of growth or no growth, but of opening minds – which the university system is particularly well placed to do. She also raised the question of elitism in economics, calling for people from a more diverse range of backgrounds to engage in the topic both as a degree subject and a career.

Robert McMaster explored the interplay between ethics and economics – which, he says, not enough economists are interested in doing. As a Professor who has taught economics at university level for a number of years, he believes that issues start on day one when students are required to focus straight away on “economic scarcity vs. unlimited wants”. He implored the audience to consider that economics, as currently taught, “tacitly condones those who wish to shape our wants”, and ignores power structures beyond market power.

Fourth year Economics undergraduate student Lovisa Reiche had the last word. In her view, economics should be about creating a system that works for as many people as possible. She said: “Economics isn’t all bad: but there are clear problems in the way it is being taught”. For Lovisa, some of the teaching has felt “artificial” and far removed from recognisable human behaviour and values. Frustrated with what she perceives to be the stripping away of relevance from the subject and profession, Lovisa and her fellow students at Aberdeen University have been campaigning for changes – from simple shifts in focus to curriculum overhaul.

The panel coalesced around the notion of the political coming back into economics – though none of them advocate losing the technical rigour of the subject. As Gary summarised, however, “what’s the point of economics if it’s not about addressing the big challenges we’re facing?”

Spirited questions from the audience continued the conversation, and it was clear that nobody wanted the discussion to end! It doesn’t have to: keep up with the work of Rethinking Economics and support the campaign for economics curriculum reform.

You can also find out more about the Scottish Government’s approach to wellbeing economics and the Wellbeing Economy Governments partnership here.

Last week, WEAll and the Amp Team Knowledge and Policy lead Katherine Trebeck were the subjects of one of the first features for Emerge. Emerge is a new independent, non-profit media platform which describes itself as “highlighting the initiatives, individuals and ways of thinking that are sowing the seeds of a new civilisation.”

The piece, entitled “Time for an upgrade: a new operating system for the global economy” outlines WEAll’s mission, as well as exploring Katherine’s life and her years of work contributing to the wellbeing economy agenda. With examples of how the wellbeing economy is already being put into practice, the feature has been garnering plenty of interest on social media already.

Read the piece here, and follow Emerge for more content like this.

Image by Robert Ormerod for Emerge

We, Professor Robert Costanza and Katherine Trebeck, are thrilled to invite you to contribute to a special issue of the journal Sustainability  that we are guest-editing.

The title of the special issue is: Toward a Sustainable Wellbeing Economy.

And we are keen that everyone  submit an article. You can find more detail about the special issue here: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability/special_issues/Toward_sust_wellbeing_economy

In a nutshell, it is devoted to articles that address the theme:

 What are the characteristics of a Sustainable Wellbeing Economy and how do we get there?

While it is about describing the problems with our current system, we also want to showcase solutions to make the transition to a better, more sustainable and desirable world.

It is open access so you and WEAll can share the pieces far and wide!

Do note that research articles, review articles as well as short communications are most welcome. More detail is on the website.

Next steps?

If you have any questions or are ready to submit, please contact: Josep Milà at josep.mila@mdpi.com

Deadline is 31st August 2019.

We are looking forward to seeing an article from you for this important special issue.

Bob and Katherine

Each month, the WEAll Amplification team (Amp team) shares what they’ve been working on, and their priorities for the coming month.

Find out more about our team members here 

 

Ana Gómez

What’s kept you busy in February?

  • Bringing new and committed members to the network. Engaging members even more in the different working groups
  • Creating and giving form to WEAll Slack working space. I’m positive this will bring  more transparency and easiness in our way of working together.
  • Helping some of the WEAll Members their communications around the NESI Forum. It’s being helpful to facilitate resources to promote the Forum but to meet and catch up with all of them. Thank you!

February highlight:

  • Bringing Slack into the network’s collaboration’s dynamics so our way of work together will be easier, more transparent and useful for everyone.

March priorities:

  • Mapping Hubs – The creation of a Hubs Guide
  • Continue organising WEAll TALKs where members can share and learn from each others
  • Hopefully getting WEAll Youth started in Spain

 

Lisa Hough-Stewart 

What’s kept you busy in February?

  • A successful trip to New York meeting funders and members – lots of positive energy around our work and our future plans
  • Lots of updates to the WEAll website, bringing it in line with our Vision brochure
  • Developing plans for WEAll Citizens

February highlight:

  • Spending quality time face to face with members in New York, sharing plans and working out ways to collaborate more effectively

March priorities:

  • I’m off on holiday for the first two weeks of March, spending time with family
  • When I get back, working on Citizens and getting ready for NESI Forum will be my big priorities

 

Katherine Trebeck

What’s kept you busy in February?

  • A Parliamentary launch of WEAll Scotland at Holyrood. It was co-hosted by the Scottish Future’s Forum and the Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee and attended by Members of the Scottish Parliament of all stripes and a range of WEAll supporters – businesses, civil servants, civil society organisations (pictures, a write up and my introductory talk are here:http://scotlandfutureforum.org/scotland-2030-a-wellbeing-economy/)
  • A trip to London for the meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity which is always fascinating and inspiring. Added in some meetings with WEAll members such as the Rapid Transitions Alliance & Action for Happiness – so good to see folk in person!
  • Finally being in a position to being work on our outputs pipeline and plans – basically the synthesis products (in all shapes and sizes) that we want to pull together in order to build a coherent body of theory and practice about a wellbeing economy

February highlight:

  • More people joining the WEAll Research Fellows Networks (we’ve got a great team, but it is a little a reflection of my contacts, so please do suggest names for people beyond the UK!). Folks’ reactions to the invitations has been a nice reminder just how many good people there are who want to work together to make the economy more humane and more sustainable.

March priorities:

  • Shaping up some funding proposals with WEAll Scotland and for the narratives cluster
  • Getting on with work on those synthesis papers!

 

Stewart Wallis

What’s kept you busy in February?

  • A successful trip to New York meeting funders and members – Some money definitely raised and good potential for more
  • A visit to Vancouver speaking at GABV Summit  ( link to my blog)
  • Following up on New York meetings
  • Initiating new fundraising contacts
  • Strategic discussions with members including Club of Rome
  • Engaging in next steps on narrative

February highlight:

  • Opening up major fundraising opportunities

March priorities:

  • Continued fundraising focus
  • Work with Research cluster
  • Chapter on Technology in Ecological Economics book

 

Michael Weatherhead

What’s kept you busy in February?

  • Our fundraising and networking trip to New York
  • Establishing WEAll as a UK Trust within our new home at The Equality Trust
  • Onboarding new members of the WEAll biz cluster and exploring cross-strategy opportunities with members of the leadership cluster

February  highlight:

  • Our fundraising networking trip to New York

March priorities:

  • A successful round of pre-forum NESI webinars
  • Agreeing final details of NESI Forum design and personnel
  • Recruiting for WEAll’s Global Council
  • Planning delivery of  priority projects in 2019

This week, as the World Economic Forum gets underway in Davos, Oxfam has unveiled its latest report on the global inequality crisis. They revealed that just 26 people hold more wealth than  the poorest 3.8 billion people in the world.

These shocking figures have generated a buzz of global conversation around what we can do about the situation – and we’ve been part of it, making the case in the media for a wellbeing economy.

WEAll Knowledge and Policy lead Katherine Trebeck has given interviews and written op eds for a number of media outlets – check out the coverage at the links below:

HuffPost
BBC Radio Scotland 
The Herald
The National
Holyrood Magazine

Each month, members of the WEAll Amplification team (Amp team) share what they’ve been working on, and their priorities for the coming month.

Find out more about our team members here 

Ana Gomez 

What’s kept you busy in December?

  • Making plans for supporting more local hubs
  • Developing more ways to support and communicate with members
  • Onboarding more new members who are doing amazing work to build a wellbeing economy around the world

December highlight:

  • Our time as a team in Glasgow!

January priorities:

  • Plans for WEAll members at NESI Global Forum 2019, which for our network will be an important opportunity to come together
  • Getting involved with plans for WEAll Citizens, bringing it together with local hub plans
  • Setting up online “WEAll Talk” events for members to discuss and connect on issues that matter to them

 

Lisa Hough-Stewart 

What’s kept you busy in December?

  • Developing plans for WEAll Citizens
  • Working on funding proposals
  • The launch of tickets for NESI Forum 2019 – get yours now!

December highlight:

  • Spending time as a team in Glasgow working on strategy and fundraising priorities

January priorities:

  • Supporting the launch of Katherine’s amazing book with events and media work
  • Participating in a Narrative workshop with experts in Lancaster
  • Ramping up the work on WEAll Citizens, including getting the working group going
  • Leading WEAll’s contribution to an exciting partnership funding bid

 

Katherine Trebeck

What’s kept you busy in December?

  • Spending time with the Amp team – and bringing the Amps and the Scotland team together in Glasgow!
  • Publication of the WEAll story so far in MINT magazine
  • Funding applications for some exciting new bits of work

December highlight:

  • Being together as a team is always a highlight, it was great to make progress on fundraising strategy in particular

January priorities:

  • The launch of my new book ‘The Economics of Arrival: ideas for a grown up economy’
  • Heading to Lancaster for intensive meetings with storytelling experts on developing and testing wellbeing economy narratives
  • More work on funding bids – making real progress so fingers crossed!

 

 

Stewart Wallis

What’s kept you busy in December?

  • Fundraising – especially with prospective donors in the US
  • Governance and strategy development
  • Engaging with our wonderful members

December highlight:

  • Being together in Scotland and meeting the WEAll Scotland team who are all great

January priorities:

  • Fundraising, and more fundraising!
  • Moving the governance process forward with our working group, and sharing our proposed governance model with all WEAll members

 

Michael Weatherhead

What’s kept you busy in December?

  • Completing the overall design for the NESI 2019 Forum
  • Arranging a new (legal) home for WEAll for 2019 with WEAll member ‘The Equality Trust’

December highlight:

  • Arranging a new (legal) home for WEAll for 2019 with the wonderful ‘Equality Trust’

January priorities:

  • Initiating the various NESI Forum working groups to establish the details of the NESI Forum
  • Producing more externally accessible information about WEAll
  • Submission of fundraising proposals to advance the work of the business cluster

By Katherine Trebeck, Wellbeing Economy Alliance

In one of the most artificial surroundings it is possible to imagine – a purpose-built conference zone near Incheon in South Korea – three thousand people gathered to explore the future of wellbeing. This was the 6th wellbeing forum hosted by the OECD’s statistics unit, a team that has been at the forefront of measuring quality of life for over a decade.

Discussions ranged from how data can help in the post-truth era to resilience and social protection. Nobel laureates, royalty, heads of international agencies joined with statisticians, civil servants, and academics to debate and learn from each other about the state of play in measurement and the implications for policy making.

And amongst it all, WEAll was making its presence felt.

Wellbeing Economy Governments

WEAll was able to join the launch of the Wellbeing Economy Governments initiative. WEGo is something the WEAll team initiated (pre-dating the official formation of WEAll) and has been supporting for some time. Seeing it ‘go live’ was an important juncture for the wellbeing economy agenda and WEAll’s role in it.

WEGo is a partnership of national and regional governments, led by Scotland and joined by the likes of New Zealand and Iceland. It will promote sharing of expertise and best practice in designing an economy in service of collective. Its participants are civil servants and ministers who recognise that ‘development’ in the 21st century is a matter of delivering human and ecological wellbeing: wellbeing for people and planet.

The stated objectives of WEGo are:

  • COLLABORATE in pursuit of innovative policy approaches to create wellbeing economies – sharing what works and what doesn’t to inform policymaking for change.
  • PROGRESS toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in line with Goal 17, fostering partnership and cooperation to identify approaches to delivering wellbeing.
  • ADDRESS the pressing economic, social and environmental challenges of our time.

The primary mechanism to advance these goals is a Policy Lab through which government officials will share relevant experience and expertise. Agenda items will include: protecting the natural world, addressing child poverty, undertaking wellbeing budgeting, utilising predictive analytics, and shaping government performance frameworks. In 2019 WEGo’s first Policy Lab will take place and an inaugural gathering of Senior Officials and Ministers from member states is planned to discuss progress in creating wellbeing economies.

Gary Gillespie, the Chief Economist for the Scottish Government, whose office is the secretariat for WEGo, described it as ‘bringing the economic lens back in’ to the wellbeing agenda. Bennedikt Arnason of the Icelandic government spoke of WEGo as the ‘ideal platform to contribute, to share and promote policy making for greater wellbeing’. Professor Joseph Stiglitz described WEGo as a ‘fascinating and important initiative of these governments: putting wellbeing into practice’.

Professor Stiglitz also spoke of the importance of persisting – and this has been the story of getting WEGo to where it is now. It has been a bumpy road as political changes altered governmental priorities (and government personnel). But while WEGo is still a small, fledging project, it has potential to shift the conversation about how economies are designed, how they work, and what they deliver. WEAll will be there cheering it on and helping input to its activities.

WEAll on the main stage

The conference also provided the chance to introduce WEAll into conversations about governance and whole-of-government policy frameworks – I moderated a session on the latter and joined a roundtable on the former and also spoke at an event hosted by the University of Melbourne exploring the importance of community participation in development of beyond-GDP indices and how to bring the lessons of these indices into political decision making.

From Incheon into action

The OECD is playing an important role in upping the ante on wellbeing. In part by hosting these (massive!) global conferences every few years where the big names and rock stars of the wellbeing measurement movement join researchers and people working on translating the ideas and evidence into better government decisions. But, also by ensuring that the statistics and measurements are available, that the frameworks for thinking about operationalising the agenda are shared, and by reinforcing the importance of a broad-based understanding of wellbeing that takes account of people’s circumstances (including future generations), not simply how they report they are feeling.

This matters – the OECD is a large and influential agency. Its reports are read by governments, its assessments of respective country’s performance spurs debate, and its policy recommendations are keenly attended to. Many of the speeches and discussions at the conference wouldn’t have been unfamiliar in WEAll members’ calls. And that gives cause to hope that the momentum and drive to build a wellbeing economy is building in many quarters and (dare we hope?) heading into the mainstream.

 

 

Each month, members of the WEAll Amplification team (Amp team) share what they’ve been working on, and their priorities for the coming month.

Find out more about our team members here 

Ana Gomez 

  • What’s kept you busy in November?
    • Just like last month, I’ve been onboarding and meeting with new members – the network is growing all the time!
    • Creating new ways for members to connect with WEAll and each other – it’s great to see lots of activity in our new Facebook group
    • Developing ideas and plans for local level engagement with WEAll

    November highlight:

    • All the wonderful, energising conversations I’ve had with new and potential members

    December priorities:

    • Further development of the WEAll local hubs plan
    • Spending important time together as a team in Glasgow

Lisa Hough-Stewart 

What’s kept you busy in November?

  • Planning events with Katherine around the launch of her book in January, where we’ll invite people to discuss advancing the wellbeing economy in Scotland
  • Building the website for NESI Global Forum 2019 and getting comms ready for the launch of ticket sales
  • Planning the development of WEAll Citizens

November highlight:

  • Having energetic meetings with Isabel to develop ideas for WEAll Citzens

December priorities:

  • Having a scoping meeting with members to develop Citizens
  • Launching ticket sales for NESI and promoting it to the world
  • Spending time together with the team in Glasgow

 

Katherine Trebeck

What’s kept you busy in November?

  • A trip to Rio where I was so inspired by the CollaborAmerica conference, it was an honour to deliver a keynote talk there. I also had the chance to catch up with the wonderful This Is Not The Truth project
  • Travelling to Korea for the OECD Future of Wellbeing event – I was part of panel discussions on creating a wellbeing economy
  • Taking forward our narrative work, getting ready for collaborative meetings in Lancaster in the new year

November highlight:

  • Being there for the launch of the Wellbeing Economy Governments initiative in Korea, very proud to see this come to fruition after years of involvement with its development

December priorities:

  • Pursuing fundraising opportunities, especially some exciting opportunities in Scotland

A rare month without travel, and the rest is much needed!

Stewart Wallis

What’s kept you busy in November?

  • A big focus on governance, working with members to finalise a proposal for decision making and strategy within WEAll
  • A fundraising push with a particular focus on USA based trusts
  • Meeting and introducing to the Amp team new partners in the business and finance areas
  • Contributing to the Research Cluster alongside Katherine including pursuing contacts with the T20 group (Think tank 20)
  • Contributing to the development of our Citizens work, alongside Lisa
  • Working on a Technology chapter for a new book edited by key members of the Research Cluster
  • Presenting an hour long webinar for a catholic TV station with huge online audience

November highlight:

  • Really constructive meetings about governance – it has been a pleasure collaborating with our members and learning from them

December priorities:

  • Finalising the governance plans with the wider group of members
  • Major focus on fundraising

Michael Weatherhead

What’s kept you busy in November?

  • Development of content for NESI Global Forum 2019 working with an excellent group of contributors from the WEAll membership. The programme is shaping up nicely
  • Working with the business cluster to develop two business guide proposals
  • Co-designing the process for creation of a WEAll leadership toolbox
  • Negotiating the legal hosting of WEAll for 2019

November highlight:

  • Working with the content group for NESI Global Forum, and learning about new collaboration tools

December priorities:

  • Leading some productive team days in Glasgow
  • Having the NESI Forum format finalised and sub-groups decided for working on details of the Forum in the New Year.
  • Taking the business cluster proposals to funders
Towards a Global Impact Economy: Letter to G20 Leaders #GlobalImpactEconomy

WEAll is supporting some of its members and friends (Sistema B, The B Team, B LAb and GSG Impact Investment) in calling on the G20 country leaders to prioritise a wellbeing economy. Get involved with the petition on Change.org

From Change.org:

“The traditional economic system has many advantages, but it has also contributed to increasing inequity, to the extent that the top 1% of the population now own two-thirds of global wealth. In addition the environment continues to be seriously threatened, and more corruption is being uncovered that was always there. In this context, building a sustainable and inclusive future demands urgent redesign and change.

For this reason, a group of global organisations have joined together to write an Open Letter to governments of G20 member countries. The purpose of the document is to demonstrate, with concrete actions, that millions of people can be part of global scale solutions. Given that our world leaders will meet this month to discuss the global economy, we call on them to recognise and address the fact that today’s economy is not aligned with many of the real needs of society and the planet.

We need the economy to always have a positive impact on people and the planet

Concrete proposals:

1. Create a working group, as part of the G20 structure, to propose net positive impact economic policies.

2. Create mechanisms and a legal framework in all G20 countries for establishing ‘for-benefit” corporations.

3. Convene Leaders of global businesses, funds and NGOs to work with G20 governments over the long term on economic transition.

We invite you to join with your signature and echo this call.”

Sign the petition to add your voice now