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How can the economy serve people?

Celebrating Volunteer Week 2024 with a guest blog from WEAll Scotland volunteer Brian

Brian performing his economic poetry at the Wealth of Nations conference
photo credit: Erika Stevenson

I have been volunteering with WEAll Scotland for almost two years now. I first got involved with the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland (WEAll Scotland) following the conclusion of my Professional Masters, where I focused on the relationship between the public and private sector in delivering a Wellbeing Economy.

I was keen to understand how I could continue to explore the opportunities around a more progressive economy and build on my learning in this area.

Working in economic development in the public sector over the last 15 years, I have held a number of roles, including the exploration of new economic approaches (e.g. Community Wealth Building). Throughout my career, I have been driven by one question: how can the economy serve society, rather than society serving the economy?

While I have had the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of activities supporting WEAll Scotland, one that I am most proud of was the opportunity to support the development and delivery of the Wealth of Nations conference. Key to ensuring we can deliver a Wellbeing Economy is building strong partnerships and creating consensus around what it means. Getting involved behind the scenes, I helped shape the structure and agenda for the day, working with the operations team to understand who needed to attend, and where we could drive change.

I was delighted to present some of my own thoughts to the gathered audience too, in the form of economic poetry. This platform was genuinely appreciated and gave me the confidence to engage in discussions about how we reach out to those who have previously been disengaged from this space, using different forms of communication. As we look forward to what our next conference will look like, I am glad of the opportunity to help shape where we have gone before.

In recent months, I have stepped up to become the Volunteer Coordinator for WEAll Scotland. This role has enabled me to get more involved in the organisation, helping understand some of the ways I can engage with our volunteers. Alongside our monthly online catch ups, I've had the freedom to introduce new systems to help improve visibility of the projects that are available and explore how to empower volunteers to bring forward their own ideas. I have loved the opportunity to get to know our wider volunteer network and introduce new members who will bring their own invaluable experience and skills.

Becoming a volunteer with WEAll Scotland has given me the confidence to explore other opportunities, including taking on my first board position with the Centre for Thriving Places. I have developed a better understanding of how I can use my networks to broaden awareness of the wellbeing agenda and actively promote ways to get involved. If you have the time to get involved in this, or any volunteering opportunity, I highly recommend it.


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