What is a Wellbeing Economy?

A Wellbeing Economy is an economy designed to deliver good lives on a healthy planet.

The economy we have inherited is driven by a very different motive - to continually grow the economy so there are more goods and services in circulation without paying too much attention to what this means in practice for people and planet. Then governments set aside some of this money in taxes to put sticking plasters on the casualties of our economic system - such as poverty and climate breakdown. For more on the costs of this approach, check out our report on Failure Demand report.

In a Wellbeing Economy we would first ask, how can we ensure everyone has enough to live a dignified life – a life that allows us to connect with others, to participate in the decisions that affect us and to enjoy a healthy natural environment? From there we would ask, which businesses and industries do we need to nurture, and which need to be scaled down? And how can we do this equitably? 

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In a Wellbeing Economy, we would prioritise policies that meet our fundamental human needs – not endless GDP growth for its own sake.

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The five WEAll needs were co-produced with members from around the world. They echo concepts that are found in religious texts, indigenous teaching and numerous surveys about what really matters to people.

To get there, we'll need to see four big shifts in policy and practice. 

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Delivering the 5 needs for collective wellbeing should be the guiding principle for government, businesses, and other institutions.

Policies should be directed at tackling the root causes of problems so we prevent harm from happening in the first place.

The economy should prevent vast inequalities in wealth and income from occurring by using approaches such as Community Wealth Building and supporting business models and employment practices that generate a fairer distribution of incomes and wealth.

People should have a meaningful role in decision-making across our governments, communities and workplaces.

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