Wellbeing Economies

Our economic model isn’t working for people or the planet. We’re supporting the transition from an economy focused on growth at all costs to one designed to deliver human and planetary wellbeing.

We need an economic system that helps all life thrive

The prevailing economic model, deeply rooted in colonial influences, relentlessly pursues constant material growth through a linear “make, use, dispose, repeat” process. This pattern generates waste, damages the environment and neglects justice and equity.

Within this traditional model, crucial aspects of life, including people and nature, are often considered “externalities.” This approach perpetuates overconsumption, waste and environmental crises and makes clear the pressing need for social justice initiatives.

What might an alternative model encompass? One that values and sustains nature while enhancing key priorities like health, shared prosperity and wellbeing. A wellbeing economy, driven by purpose and regeneration, places people’s wellbeing at the forefront.

The Wellbeing Alliance

The Wellbeing Economies Alliance for Canada and Sovereign Indigenous Nations (WEAll Can) aims to bridge concerns about environmental sustainability and social inequality by building a dynamic network committed to reshaping the economy to prioritize the wellbeing of people and planet.

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Mapping the Wellbeing Economies Landscape in Canada

This report presents a landscape analysis of people, projects and organizations throughout Canada that are working to create wellbeing economies. Wellbeing economies are an alternative to our current economic reality and are centred on a different purpose: to enable the flourishing of all life.

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Expert views

Core principles of a wellbeing economy

person holding their arms up in front of a lake and forest

Human flourishing

An emphasis on human flourishing means going beyond economic measures to focus on holistic development. This involves policies that enhance health, education, social connections and a sense of purpose. For instance, initiatives like providing access to counselling services, promoting work-life balance and integrating mindfulness programs in schools and workplaces contribute to human flourishing. Humans flourish when they have the space to move beyond the stress of precarity and have freedom to engage in meaningful relationships and work.

The sunrise and sun beams over green mountains and a winding road.

Environmental sustainability

A commitment to environmental sustainability acknowledges the interconnectedness between human wellbeing and the health of the planet. Policies can include investing in renewable energy sources, promoting energy efficiency and implementing measures to reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, initiatives and systems such as circular economy, reforestation projects and sustainable land-use planning play a crucial role in ensuring the long-term health of the environment  

Painting illustration of two hands touching fingers

Equity and social justice

Social equity and justice form the bedrock of a wellbeing economy, rooted in pillars of participation, democracy, and self-determination. It actively engages individuals in decision-making processes to ensure that diverse voices contribute to shaping policies. This inclusive approach aims to diminish inequalities by fostering democratic participation, granting fair access to resources, opportunities, and benefits. Policies aligned with these pillars not only address income inequality but also promote social inclusion and create a robust safety net for vulnerable populations. In embracing self-determination, the wellbeing economy recognizes the importance of empowering communities to define and pursue their own paths toward shared prosperity.

A sign post at sunset with a pink and blue sky

Future – oriented thinking

Prioritizing long-term thinking involves considering the impact of decisions on future generations. This includes investing in education and skills development to prepare the workforce for future challenges, adopting sustainable agricultural practices to ensure food security and implementing policies to address the impacts of an aging population on healthcare and social services.