What is a Wellbeing Economy? – WEAll 101 Presentation

What is A Wellbeing Economy? - WEAll 101 Presentation

Curious to know more about well-being economies? Then, please check out our presentation What is a Wellbeing Economy? – WEAll 101 that was done on January 23, 2024. Running about 40 minutes, Jessie Green, Rex Green, and Chad Baron explain the differences between our current economy and a well-being economy and illustrate what two aspiring well-being economies are doing.

We also polled the participants in our WEAll 101 presentation regarding what we should spend our money on to create a well-being economy. Afterwards, we categorized their 49 responses. Here are the tallies:

Affordable Housing15
More green spaces, gardens7
Bikes and Public Transit5
Go local, small businesses4
Health, mental health related4
Climate mitigation3
Universal Basic Income2
For child well-being2
Regenerative economics2

Some single responses were: prevent crime, education, and community wealth building.

Intrigued? Please join us as we pursue changing economies!

Innovations in Community Wellbeing Metrics

How do you use metrics to not only drive change, but increase civic engagement from community members? Two organizations are partnering to make metrics part of a story that community members feel invested in and can relate to.

Dark Matter Labs and the David Suzuki Foundation are collaborating on a program in Canada where communities participate in setting the metrics that matter to them. Through an innovative approach, the qualities that matter to a community are turned into “cornerstone indicators” – metrics that are underpinned by numerous factors yet remain relatable human stories.

Maddy Capozzi, Emily Harris and Vlad Afanasiev of Dark Matter Labs, alongside Tara Campbell and Maham Kaleem of David Suzuki Foundation, will step us through two previous projects as well as their brand new pilot in Canada.

Join Us – Tuesday, April 23 at 9am Pacific

Sign up here

What do we do about Monopolies if we really want a Wellbeing Economy

Monopolies extort consumers and workers, rob entrepreneurs and small businesses of opportunity, and subject our communities to the whims of absentee executives in faraway headquarters. What tools do we have to challenge the concentration of corporate power and bolster free, fair, and competitive markets at the state and local levels?

In 2023, Democracy Policy Network launched their Anti-Monoply Kit to help states develop their own strategy and learn what is working across the country.

Michael Swerdlow and Basel Musharbash will step up through the basic concepts of Anti-Trust legal frameworks to keep businesses and Monopolies in check.   They will review potential CA state legislative options as well as how we can support Federal Anti-Trust work.

Michael is the Anti-Monopoly Director for Democracy Policy Network.

Basel is an antitrust and community-development lawyer with Antimonopoly Counsel, a Texas law firm that represents farmers, workers, small businesses and local governments in advocacy and litigation aimed at righting the wrongs of concentrated corporate power — and building a free and fair economy for all.

Join us Thursday, February 22 at 4pm Pacific.  Michael and Basel will answer your questions.   SIGN UP HERE

2023 WEAll California Book Recommendations

2023 WEAll California Book Recommendations

The members of the WEAll California Working Group offer their top book recommendations for understanding and working toward a wellbeing economy. 

Rex Green recommends:

“Replacing GDP by 2030″ by Rutger Hoekstra, Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Dr. Hoekstra started tracking the plethora of measures of well-being in the summer of 2007.  From 2009 to 2014 he worked on developing a set of sustainable development measures.  Then, he noticed there were over 900 measures of sustainable development, but there was a lack of momentum to unseat GDP as the leading indicator of societal progress.  So, he studied the history of the development and adoption of GDP.  Then, he wrote this book, explaining why a different strategy is needed to replace GDP than merely searching for the optimal well-being indicator(s).  He recommends following the same steps that led to the widespread adoption of GDP.  This book deserves a place on the shelf of everyone who wants to know how to improve the tracking of societal progress.

Joe Houde recommends:

“Breaking Together – A Freedom Loving Response to Collapse” by Jem Bendell, Good Works, 2023.

“Breaking Together” is a journal of ecologically-driven societal collapse. There are many descriptions of opportunities for transformation that would lead to a survivable planet.  This is a sobering, yet clear-eyed look at the science, economics and social conditions that will lead to collapse. The author provides prescriptions for responses.  Not to be missed!  No need to rush through this book as there is far too much to cover in a single session.

David Green recommends:

“How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion” by David McRaney, Penguin, 2022.

McRaney hosts the long running podcast You Are Not So Smart.  His third book is a thorough examination of what changes people’s minds on issues that are central to identity.  He talks to people who have left cults, opted out of Flat Earth conspiracies and dozens of experts on how evolution, biology and culture affect our thinking and decisions. It is a delightfully easy read even though it is filled with scientific research.  McRaney also spends time with people who specialize in getting people to re-examine their beliefs to see what methods are most effective.  My runner up for this year is Brian Klaas’ Corruptible which is also about evolution and brain patterns but with a focus on why we choose bad leaders.

Krista Nickles recommends:

“3D Management, an Integral Theory for Organisations in the Vanguard of Evolution” by Marco Robledo, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020.

As managers and executives scramble to help their businesses survive in a rapidly changing world, this book gives hope and guidance for running a business that holistically thrives. Robledo explains why past business models no longer work and how using a more integrated approach will help your business flex with the times and produce better outcomes for all stakeholders’ wellbeing. Executives can work from the many detailed examples of companies, management paradigms, and organizational structures that are already taking this integrated approach and making businesses more profitable, sustainable, and positively impactful than companies clinging to older models. This book leaves the reader feeling inspired about their own ability to help their company successfully build toward a more mutually beneficial and sustainable future.

How Will STAR Voting Help Fix Our Economy?

How will STAR Voting help fix our economy?

Does this sound familiar? You’re voting in an election, and you pick a lesser-evil candidate instead of your favorite because you’re afraid of “throwing away your vote” and causing your greater-evil to win? If so, you’ve fallen victim to Choose One Voting. For most of us, it’s the only voting method we have, and it has suppression of voter opinion baked into the method itself. This is an important issue for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance because prioritizing the well-being of people and the planet is only possible if our voting method allows us to vote for the people who share those priorities. This article breaks down how we can fix this.

Choose One Voting can only be solved by allowing people to show support for multiple candidates (and counting all of that support). There are many alternate methods that do this, but our preferred method is STAR Voting. STAR Voting let’s people express their support for each candidate from zero up to five stars, and then the winner is determined using simple addition. The two candidates with the most stars overall are finalists, and your one full vote automatically goes to the finalist you scored higher. The finalist with the most votes wins!

Let’s walk through how Hannah (our hypothetical voter) would vote in a STAR election. Hannah’s favorite is Andre, however she also has strong feelings about the other candidates, and she fills out the stars accordingly. Hannah gave Andre 5 stars, and then gave 4 stars to Carmen and David (Hannah likes Carmen and David equally, but not as much as Andre). Blake and Ella were Hannah’s least favorite options, so she scored them 1 and 0 stars respectively. In the scoring round, Hannah’s ballot adds 5 stars to Andre’s tally, 1 star to Blake’s tally, etc. Once all the stars have been added for all voters, Carmen and Blake have the most stars and they become finalists. In the automatic runoff round, each vote is counted as a Blake vote or a Carmen vote (or a vote of No Preference), and Hannah’s vote is counted as a Carmen vote because she scored Carmen higher than Blake on her ballot. In the end, more voters preferred Carmen over Blake, so Carmen wins!

Hannah experienced many benefits by using STAR Voting. She was able to …

  • Support multiple candidates
  • Express level of of support
  • Give candidates the same score
  • Give her full support for her favorite (Andre)
  • Use her vote to help avoid her worst case scenario (her vote counted toward Carmen in the final round)

STAR isn’t the only solution being considered. You may have also heard of Ranked Choice Voting, and Approval Voting, but STAR is the only one of those that can satisfy all 5 points. If you want to read more about the benefits of STAR compared to other voting methods, you can learn more here: https://www.starvoting.org/pros_and_cons

Lifestyle Changes that Improve Our Well-being

Lifestyle Changes that Improve Our Well-being

Which area of our lives are having the most impact, both favorable and unfavorable, on our economy? Zoe Gilbertson of Cambridge Doughnut UK has crafted a Personal Donut to help us identify these areas in order to help improve our and our economy’s well-being. You can read about creating personal donuts here. You can create your own personal donut, or you can use the template below to start identifying those areas of your life where you can make a lifestyle change to improve our well-being. 

  1. Circle the item in each spoke of the wheel that best describes your personal situation. 
  2. Count up the number of items tinted red up to and including the one you circled (zero if you did not circle a red-tinted item) across all the spokes in the upper half of the wheel. 
  3. Enter the sum in the Carbon Footprint Box. 
  4. The higher the number, the more opportunities you have to make lifestyle changes that will improve our well-being. If you circled an item inside the dark green circle, you may need assistance in making the changes needed to move into the Donut. 

The lower half of the Personal Donut cites items for your personal growth that you may want to pursue. For example, in the Society spoke, if your contribution to society is only voting, you would circle the vote, supported item. To increase your contribution to society, pick an item farther out on this spoke to strive for, possibly active impact, making a difference. You can score the lower half of the donut in the same manner as for the top half. Now, a higher score reflects a more positive impact on well-being. Is your lower half score higher than your upper half score?

Paraphrasing John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your society can do for you, but what can you do for our society?”

What Our Democracy Needs: Devoted Citizenship

What Our Democracy Needs: Devoted Citizenship

People often ask, what actions can we take to preserve our democracy? To address this very question, Richard Haas has just published his book on being a good citizen in a democracy. The title of the book is “The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens”. The obligations Haas presented are: Be Informed, Get Involved, Stay Open to Compromise, Stay Civil, Reject Violence, Value Norms, Promote the Common Good, Respect Government Service, Support the Teaching of Civics, and Put Country First. Along with explaining each obligation in depth, he provides an extensive reading list for avid readers to learn more about our democracy.

Some of us have never learned the habits that Haas proposed, or have forgotten what is required of us if we want to preserve our democracy. For instance, I attended a meeting with my Congressional representative during which three hecklers kept interrupting when they did not like what was being said. When it was my turn to speak, I told them they will lose our democracy when they try to suppress dissenting views. This goes to show that we need to resist any and all efforts to overturn our democracy, as no other form of governance encourages citizen input.

This blog post is the third in a series of posts devoted to answering the question, “What can I do personally, to promote a well-being economy?” The first post presented an assortment of actions each of us can do individually. The second post highlighted possible lifestyle changes you could make by scoring whether you are living within the doughnut of a sustainable economy. Please read the other two posts. Together, they provide a wealth of resources and opportunities to foster greater well-being for everyone.

Rex S. Green

Here Is What YOU Can Do To Promote Wellbeing for Everyone!

Here Is What YOU Can Do To Promote Wellbeing for Everyone!

The Wellbeing Economy Alliance is a global organization working to transform economies to prioritize the well-being of people and the planet over increasing GDP. You can help promote this transformation by taking steps outlined below to move us closer to a well-being economy in the United States by 2040. To learn more about our plan for achieving this goal, go to https://weall.org/.

In Your Space:

  • Participate in recycling reusable materials–paper, metal, glass, cans, bottles, etc.
  • Read the labels on the foods you buy and avoid additives that are unhealthy or potentially harmful.
    • High fructose corn syrup
    • Trans Fats
    • Sodium Nitrite
    • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
    • Artificial food coloring
    • Aspartame
    • BHA and BHT
    • Potassium bromate
    • Carrageenan
  • Buy more fresh foods that are locally produced. Ask your grocer about their sources.
  • Ask yourself how well you are doing and rate yourself every 3-4 months. You can use this scale: Really Great, Pretty Good, Good, Just Okay, Not that well, Pretty Bad, Really Awful. Keep track of how your well-being changes over time to see if you are doing better or worse. If worse, see what you might change to make things go better.

In Your Environment:

  • Keep track of who your representatives are at the federal and state government levels. Contact them with your concerns. Ask them for a copy of a report specifying how much money they are receiving for their reelection campaign. Consider voting for someone else when your rep is receiving large sums from special interest groups.
    • Federal – https://www.congress.gov/members/find-your-member
    • State – https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
  • Volunteer for local community projects that you believe will better the lives of community residents. Just look up your city or town website and search for the activities and events it is sponsoring or planning. Watch for opportunities to help plan the future of your community.
  • Start a voter discussion group with people you know. Share the workload of following what your representatives are voting for. Have every member write to your representative when you want to direct their attention to a problem. Contact people running for local offices to obtain information about their views and plans should they be elected.
  • Develop a list of companies you think are contributing to everyone’s wellbeing and purchase their products instead of from companies you think may be harming us. Here are several signs of a company promoting well-being:
    • Follows ethical business practices and obeys the laws
    • Only sells products that are safe and perform well
    • Pays adequate living wages to all employees
    • Maintains a safe and convivial work environment
    • Start by learning more about the grocery store or supermarket and gas station where you make purchases. You can ask the grocery store employees how they are being treated. Independent brands of gasoline typically cost less, and some of the money is more likely pocketed by a person in your community. Some oil and gas companies are switching to renewable energy sources faster than others, particularly Shell Oil.
    • On the other hand, try to avoid companies that do not follow ethical business practices. An Ethical Consumer survey pointed to the following 8 companies that have the poorest track records: Nestlé, Monsanto, Amazon, Shell, Tesco, Barclays, Exxon, and Walmart. A source for finding ethical companies is https://www.greenamerica.org/green-businesses-products-services.

WEALL hopes you find this list helpful in satisfying your desire to make our world a better place to live. If so, whenever someone you know says, “I don’t know what I can do to make a difference,” direct them to our website.

Convening for January

Our convenings are about bringing together heart centered leaders across a multiplicity of disciplines to imagine, say out loud and put into practice a world dedicated to wellbeing over profits.

If your work intersects with this nebulous term “wellbeing economy”, we welcome you into this monthly discussion space to talk about what you are up to and how we can co-create a society that acts as if wellbeing matters.

Our discussion this month will be centered around the topic of what you would like to see WEAll California focus on for 2023.  

Signup here