WEAll – Collaborating to transform the economic system

6th April 2021

An economic system that delivers social justice on a healthy planet: that’s the goal of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance. The newest member of ECH Alliance is driving unprecedented cooperation between actors at all levels around the world, and you can get involved.

The Wellbeing Economy movement

Challenges such as climate change, health, and wellbeing are complex and interconnected with many aspects of the economy. A global movement is coalescing among a large number of individuals and organisations around the need to shift economies to one broadly focused on ‘sustainable wellbeing’. There are many individuals and groups who have espoused versions of these basic ideas for decades. They may have used different approaches and different languages, but all share a common goal.

Social justice on a healthy planet

A “Wellbeing Economy” is a broad term designed to be inclusive of the diverse movement of ideas and actions striving towards a shared vision: an economy that delivers social justice on a healthy planet.

At its core, a Wellbeing Economy is designed with a different purpose: it starts with the idea that the economy should serve people and communities, first and foremost.

In a Wellbeing Economy, business, politics and economic activity would exist solely to deliver collective wellbeing. GDP growth would not be the top priority. Instead, we would only pursue growth in those areas of the economy that contribute to collective wellbeing and shrink those areas of the economy that damage it.

Evidence from successful system change shows that individual policies and great exemplars are not enough.

The challenge is to connect initiatives at all levels of society that are working towards a Wellbeing Economy, in order to achieve a shift in policies and practices at a meaningful scale. To achieve this, a shift in our world views, society, and economy is needed: a shift from “us vs. them” to “we all”.

Nobody can change the world alone, nobody knows enough, everybody is part of an infinite diversity of experiences, of perspectives and unique complementary solutions seeking the evolution of an economy which could be good for Life. Being part of WEAll has granted more legitimacy to Sistema B as part of its strategy of global alliances.

Pedro Tarak, Co- Founder, Sistema B and WEAll Trustee and Ambassador

What is WEAll?

The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) is a 10-year project created to serve this purpose: to catalyse system change toward the realisation of a Wellbeing Economy, by creating unprecedented cooperation between actors working in their own areas and layers of the system.

WEAll is a broad ‘network of networks’, with the aim of building a movement across society that has the confidence, knowledge and connectivity needed to challenge the dominant economic paradigm.

A crucial role for WEAll, as an organisation, is providing the connective tissue between the different elements of the Wellbeing Economy movement.

Today, WEAll has become the leading global collaboration working together to transform the economic system, with over 200 organisations, alliances, governments, movements and individuals. Led by a core team of 7 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, WEAll’s ambition is to remain a small core team.

WEAll’s mission is to catalyse economic system change by linking and coordinating activity at all levels of the Wellbeing Economy movement, to create a critical mass of people and organisations working toward a common vision.

A key challenge in creating this critical mass is overcoming the disconnectedness of existing groups or singular focuses on one part of the system change required. Currently, cross-sector coordination is poor and there is much disagreement within sectors about policy prescriptions. WEAll approaches this challenge by acting as a supportive team of ‘Amplifiers’. The ‘Amp Team’ act as the agents (connectors and facilitators), rather than the makers, of change; their role is to create spaces and opportunities for members to connect and thrive together.

WEAll’s guiding principle is ‘togetherness above agreement’. The focus of this
movement is on commonalities of shared values, goals and principles, rather than on policy differences.

The goal is to promote the Wellbeing Economy as the destination that all diverse efforts are working toward.

WEAll’s Vision

WEAll’s vision is that within a decade, the WEAll project is no longer needed, as it has catalysed economic system change in multiple countries towards a Wellbeing Economy.

In this future,

  • Policy would be framed in terms of human and ecological wellbeing, not simply economic growth;
  • Businesses would provide dignified lives for their employees and exist to meet social needs and contribute to the regeneration of nature; and
  • The rules of the economy would be shaped by collaboration between government, business, and civil society.

A Wellbeing Economy recognises that the economy is embedded in society and nature.

A Wellbeing Economy would deliver social justice on a healthy planet, by satisfying five universal human needs for a good life. We call these the ‘5 WEAll Needs’:

  1. Connection: Sense of belonging & institutions serving the common good
  2. Dignity: Everyone has enough to live in comfort, safety and happiness
  3. Fairness: Justice in all its dimensions at the heart of economic systems
  4. Participation: Citizens are actively engaged in their communities
  5. Nature: A restored and safe natural world for all life

These are the factors a Wellbeing Economy would grow, to be ‘successful’.

There is not one blueprint for a Wellbeing Economy; the shape, institutions, and activities that get us there will look different, both across countries and between different communities within countries. However, the high-level goals for a Wellbeing Economy are the same everywhere: wellbeing for all, on a flourishing planet.

Find out more about WEAll and how you can get involved at weall.org

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