By Lisa Hough-Stewart
Last week WEAll was delighted to partner with Thomson Reuters Foundation to deliver a lunch event on wellbeing economics as part of their flagship Trust Conference in London.
Energy and ideas were flowing as a packed room full of leaders from the worlds of business, development and philanthropy (and beyond) discussed how we can better work together to transform the economic system.
WEAll Executive Chair Stewart Wallis inspired participants with a short introduction, explaining that “he’s been trying to change the world for a long time” and that what he had learned from over 50 years of work was that:
“Where a cause is both just & urgent, and we collaborate across barriers, it’s possible to achieve the seemingly impossible”
After Stewart outlined what the vision of a wellbeing economy looked like, participants round the table shared their dreams for what would change in the next ten years to help bring this about. Some named equality for all; others talked about decision making and monetary flows being based on solutions not problems; and we shared ideas about bringing all voices to the conversation and changing power structures.
It was clear that the vision for the world we want to live in is rich and shared by many – how we get there is less clear. This is where WEAll comes in – and Stewart invited everyone to participate as members or in some other capacity with our work.
The event was a great starting point for new ideas and relationships, and we are excited to build on this strong beginning.
It came as part of the two-day Trust Conference, which showcased innovative examples of pioneering business practices around the world and explored solutions to human rights challenges.
One highlight was a celebration of the Wellbeing Economy Governments partnership, with video clips of leaders Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland, Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand and Katrin Jakobsdottir of Iceland helping raise awareness of this important project.
I was personally incredibly impressed with two businesses in particular that we heard about: Nik’s Fudo in Geneva makes feminist economics a reality, providing business opportunities to migrant women enabling them to share their cooking skills and amazing food. Annie Cannons in the Bay Area trains and employs survivors of human trafficking in their cutting edge coding and tech company.
Both of these examples give me hope that innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, feminism and kindness can come together to support the type of future businesses that should one day be the norm. This is a wellbeing economy in action.
Wellbeing economics featured prominently in media coverage of the event, with Nicola Sturgeon’s TED talk being quoted:
“The goal of economic policy should be collective wellbeing: how happy and healthy a population is, not just how wealthy a population is.”