Wellbeing Economics/Amsterdam City Doughnut

Katherine Trebeck: Wellbeing Economics: Amsterdam City Doughnut.

Transition Edinburgh’s #BuildBackBetter event – 25 June 2020.

On 25th June 2020, Transition Edinburgh hosted a #BuildBackBetter event in which Dr Katherine Trebeck, Advocacy & Influencing Lead for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, shared her experience with the Wellbeing Economic Model and talked about the Amsterdam City Doughnut.

Access the recording of the event below:

Below is the event report:

Wellbeing Economy / Amsterdam City Doughnut
with Katherine Trebeck 

Thursday 25 June 2020  

A Report by 125 online participants


See links to Resources: 


Katherine Trebeck shared her experience with the Wellbeing Economic Model and talked about the Amsterdam City Doughnut.  Katherine has been championing an economy that delivers social justice, good lives, vibrant communities and which protects the planet for many years with her work. Katherine’s 15 minute Presentation can be viewed here.

Following Katherine’s brilliant presentation, the participants moved to 15 breakout rooms where we held virtual round-table discussions on wellbeing economics.  Facilitators from the host organisations welcomed the participants and managed the exchange of questions, answers, concerns, ideas and solutions regarding the application of the Amsterdam City Doughnut to several levels of agency, from the household to the country. 

On sharing the ideas emerging in the Plenary again, people were clear that restless Globalism undermines community resilience and that a transition to new localism is required to bring positive results. More agency given to the communities through taxation and incentives, local funding and a healthy balance between export and import were among the changes and practical solutions that people manifested an urge to see and experience in a new economy. 

While countries around the world slowly recover from the Covid-19 crisis, there was a real appetite for implementing these changes through participatory democracy processes. International examples from recovery programmes and collaborations with governments institutions such as the ones in Hawaii and Holland were suggested as good role models. However, it’s important to choose the right toolkits and bring Wellbeing Economy models and theories together, bridging the gaps. Full Report at: www.bit.ly/we25june

Both the response to this event and feedback were incredibly positive and though not easy to achieve in online events, at the end the energy behind the screen was palpable. Many thanks to Katherine for sharing her knowledge, her elegance with words and to every participant, facilitator and organiser who made this session a successful exchange. ⧫  

FlipChart notes from Breakout Room Conversations    


FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 1 Elspeth Crawford 

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • Everything is connected.
  • Rewilding 
  • Local Food Education
  • Greening of campus University  
  • Wider community that should include different layers of society
  • Encouraging levels of participation from the student population 
  • Learn how to implement Wellbeing Economy theory every day  
  • Learn what tools we need
  • Share what is working to offer guidance
  • Focus on all levels of government  
  • Even big business can change quickly 
  • Working from home as a sustainable example COVID has forced
  • Connect with other people in your community

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Get in touch with councillors 
  • Create local case studies
  • Apps to share information e.g. business collaborate Credit Commons Edinburgh  
  • Remember we are dependent on all sorts of people
  • Universal Basic Income (UBI) – most in favour  / Spain planning to implement 

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 2 Joana Avi-Lorie

Why are we here?

  • Inspiration
  • Action
  • Resources
  • Sharing
  • Already working within the model 
  • Curiosity
  • Interest in the Doughnut / Katherine Trebeck’s work 
  • Bought the Doughnut Economics book
  • Documentary 2040
  • Green lives

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • I would put an emphasis on younger generations
  • I believe that the Community must have a way to feed itself
  • Encouragement and financial incentives for the use of electric bikes and other clean means of transportation 
  • More car sharing
  • There must be investment in infrastructure for wellbeing economy on all levels
  • There must be more community support
  • Active local council
  • Priority in reducing inequality, especially inequality in income
  • Tackle limitations when it comes to sustainable choices both for consumers and manufacturers (energy, food, general consumption) such as costs, geographic availability  e.g. ordering from Amazon because it’s the only way not the best or most sustainable way
  • Equal opportunities to live in this wellbeing economy 
  • Valuing everyone
  • Rewarding who deserves it (essential workers vs. industry tycoons)
  • Joining forces. Uniting with the same goal/end
  • Recognise that brand, marketing and competitive differentiation are no longer valuable concepts. With this goes respect for ruthless entrepreneurialism. 
  • Release from running ourselves ragged, trying to ‘corner a market’ with a niche product. Replace competition with focus on relationships, authenticity, openness.

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Community investment funds
  • Support the right projects
  • Develop resources locally, ask local people to contribute to local projects
  • Re-distribute agency – give communities agency
  • Get more people involved 
  • Keep taxation local
  • Control outsourcing and taxes from companies like Amazon
  • How do we spend and generate money locally?
  • Perception of Globalization and its benefits / harms through time.
    Control globalization  
  • Sort out generational conflict 
  • Sort out export situation – stop excessive demand from certain countries, give them a chance to slow down economies
  • Think through our imports / exports
  • Re-think what we value 
  • Valuing our neighbours 
  • Build pressure in society to live within 3 miles of your work

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 3 Clive Bowman

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • Importance of cooperatives – different business models, fair share of food through coop models = both a community share of finance + equal access to healthy food.
  • Community decision making – for wellbeing of the whole community
  • Fairtrade energy – need better banking choices
  • Where do we invest? Is that money supporting local communities?
  • Ability to plan  – need clear goals – collective goals, NOT for personal gain
  • more efficient use of human energy
  • cooperatives more common in ireland? do they work? for who?
  • a new version of coop that works for the workers and the wider community
  • need a new political system to enable people to have better access to government to support decision making that supports wellbeing

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Education, share ideas
  • Local political campaigning, Common Weal, 
  • Need to change the way we measure success – access to shelter, literacy, access to food, health, happiness, biodiversity
  • Procurement to support local benefits
  • Move away from finance driven decision making and evaluation – whole life value
  • COVID provides big opportunity to rethink and have new ideas
  • Clear skies, cycling, walking
  • Tackle poor decisions post covid – bail outs of big infrastructure
  • Budget reductions can drive poor money saving decisions
  • Written into contract – written into policy
  • Petitions – customer demand,  grass roots

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 4 

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • Skills
  • Permaculture

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Work at all levels – local to national
  • Get to levers

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 5 Jean-Matthieu Gaunand

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • We need to give things up to make this work. Some things we are not going to do. The resources need to be shared out perhaps by a centralised authority. The council is happy to promote green policy but they are not happy to do anything that will upset anyone by fear of losing votes. Building a consensus about the fact that there is value in having less. 
  • Perhaps about getting people to get people to buy better. More use of the farmers market as part of the lockdown. Fruits and vegs. How can we continue these things afterwards. I have been more in touch with people. More connections. How can we capture that and continue. Education is important. 
  • Having digital talks and meetings is a great way to connect. Business owners on Arran were keen to have tourists back. 
  • Circular Economy thinking. From lockdown we had a shift from the me to the we. 
  • 50 years ago people worked together to do anything (in the Highlands). We have lost the collectiveness due to the Thatcher way. Buying local food where suppliers. It is expensive to buy locally. How can we buy local and live local cheaper. This conversation is very relevant. Is Policy or Law necessary?  What are the dynamics? 

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Don’t know where to start. Been part of many campaigns. Some successful / generally struggle to sustain for a period of time. How can we disagree. 
  • How to regain control of commons. There are some issues. It takes so much time and technical re-learning. 
  • On the Isle of Eigg where they have questioned whether they want any tourists. Doing without is an important part of this. Decision to make 80% self sufficient. 
  • Tourism comes at a cost. Along the road we have a national water that became very popular. This has caused a lot of litter. Locals have felt strongly against this. 
  • After Uni we are sucked into big firms. Government needs to create these jobs on the environment and social welfare. 
  • How can we have a more political conversation? Who has the crisis impacted? 
  • Are we expecting changes from the top down? 
  • Developing that broadbase to develop party politics. Building back better. How do we find a way to talk to people?
  • We have moved. The incredible number of people in the street for the FridaysforClimate,  The government is responding to protests. 
  • Talking and action is important. Katherine’s point is so fundamental. Wellbeing Economy. We need to keep talking. 
  • Wellbeing Economy: what do we put in place of GDP?   How do we develop this proposal further? There is more reading we can do. 

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 6 Rona Hardie

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • The Chancellor should have a dashboard of indicators to report against.  GDP isn’t one of them. Unpaid work counts. 
  • There is a UBI – people do more work (but not more paid work) research shows – they volunteer, support their household, are creative, pay attention (eg re nature, racism etc.)
  • Universal basic services – even more important than UBI.  Homes, food, health, transport
  • Food hub for people to get things from and less market based.  
  • More co-ops – sharing decisions and earnings.

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Build unity of initiatives eg with Common Weal (tho not comprehensive)
  • Grow our understanding of what the wellbeing economy is
  • Reconnect people with where their food comes from. A food hub for local food and where people can come and talk about growing.
  • A local currency in our own control
  • Local financial institution(s) that take social and environmental value into account.  
  • Access to resource (?stories.  practice sharing. research)  Tell stories eg about what happened 30 miles away, or in another region.  National story bank of projects that are working.  Could use Doughnut as a framework for this sharing and making connections.  Sharing practical ideas within Scotland would be a start.
  • School curriculum.  Primary school groups have their own raised bed so by the time they leave primary school they’re quite efficient at growing and know how to cook what they grow. Fauke’s group works in this way.  Individual teachers are keen, heads often don’t get it.  Social impact
  • Work at our democracy – use People’s Assemblies and develop experience making decisions in a group

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 7 Lynn Jamieson

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • People’s needs should not need to be met by charity – but as a right – everyone should have access to good food for example, without relying on charity. 
  • Language needs to change: talk of “heroes” may be as unhelpful as stigmatising people – NHS work and care work should be seen as integral to a decent society
  • The approach, attitude, messages  of media need to radically change
  • Giving up brings fantastic surprises / is a big positive [so long as we have basics food and shelter] eg I have not had a car for 25 years – walk see birds and flowers, cycle, bring grandkids to school walking.

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Starting where people are and what they cherish – importance of family, friends and nature been to the fore during the pandemic 
  • Try to work for the various Green deals, Green party, Commonweal etc. 
  • Creating safety nets for people – making more jobs that support people and help with transition 
  • Recognising taking stock of transferable skills in high carbon industries that could be redeployed in low carbon industries
  • Wellbeing measure can be developed at different levels of scale 
  • Some of the frameworks are almost there and need further development Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation takes on board a whole raft of measures 
  • Still politically difficult to make a switch from GDP to happiness index and more work is needed to build political support for a wellbeing economy
  • Importance of not summing up people as ‘unemployed’ and revaluing work that is caring but often not paid and under valued – Covid-19 might have helped people to revalue ‘essential’ and ‘key’ work which is often low pay. This must be part of the transition. 
  • Need to change the language that stigmatises and devalues less privileged people
  • COP in Glasgow provides an important opportunity to highlight the best of what Glasgow and Scotland is trying to do in terms of a wellbeing economy – the People’s Summit in November could have a focus on wellbeing 
  • Political lobbying turning up at an MP or MSP’s or council surgery still very important

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 8 Donald McPhillimy

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • That would certainly be desirable and positive progress
  • A change in priorities and change of economic model is urgent and vital due to existing injustices and the environmental and climate emergency 
  • We cannot go back to the old “normal” we must move forward – build back better – establish a new normal based on social, economic, environmental justice

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Work both from bottom up (grassroots community organising) and top down lobbying / pressure for change (need policy/framework/system change)
  • Engage with and connect to (speak to) other existing networks and organisations (trade unions, faith groups, social organisations) to explain how and why we need to change
  • Use workshopping activities to analyse, strategise, explain prioritise what needs to be changed and what needs to be fixed (through discussion and using interactive tablecloth for example)
  • Younger and older generations working together – experience & energy/pasion is a winning combination

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 9 Lynn Molleson

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • Community hub – started by friends and snowballed out via meeting people and social networks. Reached out to cllrs and borough officials and now they are asking the community hub for ideas about how to restart better after Covid.
  • The challenges based on how and where we live – tenements v houses.
  • The rediscovered ‘local’ – neighbours we have never known; new walking and cycling routes; getting local growing going; sharing of things (tools, etc)
  • Community knowledge is vital – how to establish and maintain real connections
  • Global is just not very resilient!
  • Tendency to centralise control from government and council – need to resist this
  • (The new) Localism – the opportunity cost of people not going anywhere
  • From doughnuts to circles – circles of people, circular economy; circles for care
  • to look up Hilary Cottam – Radical Help – relational v transactional relationships. Low cost and people focussed solutions to health inequalities.
  • Need to join the dots – random works best (no centralised design)
  • Linking through the communal.

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Coops / the credit union ownership models in the US / Can we learn anything from that?
  • Challenge the investors in shop units (often pension companies) to give rate and rent breaks to encourage new life in our devastated high streets. Tax system change to de-incentivise these investments (and others that damage our localities)
  • The need to have good local services – need tax and investment mechanisms to encourage this.
  • How can the current incumbents who control and benefit from the status quo be encouraged to do the right thing? 
  • This could be a great opportunity for young people – they can go out where other groups will/cannot. The trains are full of young people. they never had the wealth in the first place and tend to use public transport.
  • Anchor organisations have created a Covid Response Network (many have been funded through programmes like Strengthening Communities Fund). They are known and they could be bolstered and invested in to start to keep and build on the valued local services. They can be very nibble but cannot survive and thrive without investment.
  • What if we invented a new way to ‘show off’? what if it wasn’t about what we had and where we could afford to travel to? 
  • Check out CLES and the Preston Model. Keeping the spend local.

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 10   Philip Revell

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your … 
[household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • Taxation and financial extraction system – key part of dealing with problem – tax justice implemented – make sure everyone pays and  (avoid tax havens) – businesses contributing more to common good
  • Local systems providing for ourselves – e.g. communal gardens.  Nationally get rid of industrial agriculture – doing too much damage (dead zones with fertiliser run off and biota).  This must stop.
  • Food theme is key part of this – we are dependent on food and key part of wellbeing – driver for so much environmental and social degradation and exploitation. And packaging – what if we could get rid of packaging in our households.
  • Managerial within organisation – high level accounting culture in managing – empower even more junior staff to be empowered to do roles in the way they think is most suitable provided that is effective for students.  Pay VCs less!  Re-distribute their salaries.  Less travelling / flying and make meetings much better via skype – and more equitable for those note based in a major centre
  • More connection to local – e.g. local environment ties in with food growing and slowing down of excessive travel boundaries – increasing collection to local, bring their life into that space instead of seeking external thrills.
  • More cycle lanes for more sustainable transport – and making sure city planners think about children and their needs.
  • Waiting for the mind shift – people think about things differently – we are rethinking our values – what we need, what is essential – positive momentum of this time stays in our minds – it’s not about brands and growth but about wellbeing for myself and my neighbourhood and how do I grow it in my town – more discussion about that – interdisciplinary and mix more with people who have a different view. See the scientist and how differently politicians v farmers etc have all the different mindsets and need to have the shift with a more integrated approach. 
  • Very connected communities with all elements of above, doing a lot more locally, local economies, living in our space, connected to other people in neighbourhood
  • Food can be local scale, likewise clothes perhaps not things such as cars -everything at the right scale. Plus connection and joy of finding out above other cultures. 
  • Everybody with a role and dignity, integrated, looking after each other
  • More localised future where we value community and others in the community and wellbeing of everyone and local environments and have awareness of others in other parts of the world and how we live. Conflict to collaboration, efficiency to resilience, centralisation to dispersed, complication to complexity

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes?

  • Culture is key to making that happen at every scale (changing mindset) – we all have amazing gifts within ourselves irrespective of age, life circumstances etc and yet we grew up in a western culture that thinks of right v wrong, knowledgeable v non-knowledgeable which stifles our creativity and agency. Decision making becomes very stacked up and hierarchical instead of diffuse.  
  • We feel disempowered – at our own scale we can create a ripple through our families, neighbourhoods and organisations and we can all lead through dchanins of support and encouragement.  Feel that we can challenge things and have a constructive debate with those who have a different perspective.
  • How many of us are aware there was a govt consultation about the option for renewables. that ended at the end of May. Hardly anyone.  How do organisations that we are part of  to find out when govt consultations are coming out and organising effective responses to those – can we volunteer to be part of public voices are wanted and decisions are being made.  Keep the narrative alive.
  • Cynical about policy – and opportunity to feed into them – but doesn’t make much of a difference in the end … so we agree this is not a panacea
  • Re-focus on the microscale – opportunity to really make a difference – but frustration is at the macro level.  Want to be grounded in real things at the micro
  • There are opportunities – the Scottish Government priorities – they have been different from Westminster – opportunities in OU to act as an individual and I do.  
  • Involved in Trade Unions – MPs and MSPs are concerned about what constituents are prepared to write to them about – they are after good examples – so there are opportunities – our expectations and opportunities don’t marry up.  
  • Massive change at times of crises – e.g. WWII, Open Universities, etc. and there’s a  chance now to ask how they are factoring Wellbeing into the economy.
  • Systems issue, all interlinked, Charles Eisenstein -economy doesn’t value what is important giving terrible outcomes. how to change the system?
  • We are about to have a massive economic shock and leave a lot of people in very dire straits – we need something to give people hope and connection – access to land and space is really key – before anything can change on a systemic level – how do we keep that in focus through this period.  So those who have nothing have access to something.  We need to start using the tax system effectively to manage economic externality – food miles, transport, keep these on the agenda and not forgotten because convenient for big business.
  • Since 2018 there was a social tipping point – people are asking for a different mindset and everyone is becoming more aware of this – empowerment to empower individuals and stand up for ourselves.  Long-term changes are difficult and can’t make changes because political time scales are too short. 
  • Real Local democracy, bottom up decision making
  • See North Ayrshire example
  • Taxation system – review! Tax wealth. Remove tax havens

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 11 David Seel

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • Is this aimed at governments?  What can individuals do? 
  • National objectives – more difficult locally?
  • Universities etc with big budgets can they look at green spaces and active travel, bring in metrics to measure wellbeing
  • Communities involved in decision making
  • Can individuals ask if we are fitting within these models? 
  • Support local shops instead of big supermarkets
  • Good links to local councillors
  • Work at local level
  • North Ayrshire Council has adopted a wellbeing model – set up a wellbeing team, consumer chains, impact every aspect of local authority work, they are a source of resources and money. To have real influence it has to come from this level. 
  • Incentives for using renewable energy
  • Climate resilient communities – find individuals who are looking for new models and will act upon it. good opportunity now. https://www.ads.org.uk/pscf2020_climateresilientcommunities/ 
  • Human health & wellbeing and health of environment  

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Actively find out more about how to access wellbeing model
  • Spread knowledge, as a resident and staff member in an organisation
  • Support for local businesses and cooperatives, involve community, employment of local people, 
  • Electrical vehicles and active travel, look at emissions of businesses, human right issues, child labour, electric cars still bring traffic jams, look at inner city work/high air pollution but lower car ownership, 
  • Learning on sustainability across board
  • Go to local council or village elders/be an active citizen – facilities for outdoor learning
  • Communal gardens – start with communities
  • Transport for disabled people – how do we influence people further up the chain – do they respond better to an approach from an organisation or a collection of individuals. 
  • Better recycling schemes and education on recycling
  • How to try and make people think differently about wider issues.
  • How do we make our consumerist model work with and not against such models for the economy? 

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 12    Ninian Stuart

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • Needed to start discussions, informing people, making them aware
  • Empowering people and making them believe on the potential of their agency
  • Community ownership
  • Communicate the urgency of the issue: why we need to act now (sharing Climate Change facts, etc)
  • Transforming Falkland Estate into a Good place of the future where people love the land that gives life to people through focus on: Stewardship of place; Enabling of Folk; through Work that produces what we need with respect for people & planet. 
  • May not go hand in hand with climate & nature but may become obvious to implement as those two are being dealt with, currently economic change is the elephant in the room.

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Get communities involved to lead change
  • Bring inspiring examples and models (like Amsterdam) into the dialogue
  • Coordinating educational workshops, activities and provide informative material
  • Mobilizing citizens to demand the Wellbeing Economic model within their local regions
  • Hard graft on and with the land – with fire in our bellies – and leaders who listen and hear everyone – so no-one is left out
  • Start with where we are, do what we can, start close in
  • Read the Common Weal reports recommending a low carbon economy (and Zero Carbon Britain)
  • Making people aware of their impact on the local and global community, eg imports
  • Lobbying local & national government
  • Lightbulb moments as you make people aware of what GDP is and why it’s well pas

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 13 Alison Stuart

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • Bring in Universal Basic Income. This would provide security and provide people with the time and headspace to become involved in their communities, be involved politically, allow time for self care and health and well being.
  • Make democracy participatory – ensuring that there is power in communities. With the time afforded from UBI, there is more time for people to be involved in Community Councils, community groups.  Participation and democracy has to be at the heart of this but needs to be associated to power – so that collective decisions lead to action.
  • Re-localise economies but with good connections to power and agency, community led initiatives, supported by local businesses. Support local businesses, to be nimble and adapt to the needs of the communities they are in.
  • Community land transfers, restore the power and agency to communities and people who live in them. Bridge the gap between the land initiative and people.
  • Connect rural areas into the economy, referring to the Common Weal concepts.
  • Empower communities to respond to the climate emergency.
  • Invest in existing buildings, converting and reuse first, using this as part of a green and just transition.  Capitalise on the opportunities these old building could offer – around apprenticeships, community reuse, climate adaptation.  Examples from Historic Environment Scotland.  Repurpose high streets for the new normal – increase residential. flexible uses.
  • Connect local growers to suppliers, shorten food chains. 
  • Redistribution or predistribution of resources to ensure equality.

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Value health and social care, and caring work.
  • Value social care more, look at the Preston Model as an example.
  • Invest in anchor institutions.
  • Use resources for the common good – social capital.  The income accrues to all of us, justification is needed for the use of resources.
  • A root and branch renewal of local councils.
  • Value ecosystem services offered by functioning ecosystems – repair damaged systems (such as grouse moorland, burnt for sport) to function for the common good (e.g. carbon capture and biodiversity).
  • Use collective buying power to buy from organisations and companies that have ethical values, and support a world that we want to live in.

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 14 Katherine Trebeck

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

  • City – Tourism? Students – recovery based on these ???? (not?)
  • ‘Town Wide’ approach
  • You talk about setting new goals. How do the SDGs fit in with the doughnut economy? – See https://Wellbeingeconomy.org – ideas here!

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Measurement systems need to change (eg Thriving Places Index): local government needs to changes
  • Even current measures of jobs or income tell them they will benefit but don’t have the information – blinded with promises, too secret behind corporate doors.
  • Need proper conversation about projects- need more democracy, scrutiny, participation, for planning etc. Participation is vital
  • Reclaim places from tourism for people to live in – need to reduce mindset around city breaks
  • How to make new measures truly relevant? Need to be highly communicable. SDGs – risk companies will cherry pick favourite SDGs. ideas need to be digestible.
  • How to localise SDGs? How to connect to people’s lives? No local community when people are too busy.
  • Working against a linear patriarchal way of thinking.
  • Cornerstone indicators – eg girls who ride their bikes to school, being able to drink wine by sea, if as close as wish to be to family (housing issues – “Lower Love Miles”), outside space
  • Health – specific areas of the city more affected due to poverty, ethnicity etc – some people can’t access parks.
  • Not good enough that gaps filled by charities – will that be sustained when people return to work. Food security. City council declaring bankrupt. 
  • Transition Towns – what measures do they use? Build on this
  • Need media to ask different questions – need leaders to promote different ideas.
  • Businesses? What role for them? People demanding products from firms which haven’t been brilliant during Covid. How to challenge people to think about their behaviour without becoming a blame game? Margaret Cook: we need to help open up the space? And call out what is going on? 
  • Widening of the gap between rich and poor and systemic racism is sparking new awareness – need to be expansive, even when it is hard and there are immediate survival challenges. 
  • Need to recognise the level of trauma.
  • Convergence of crises – demands thinking about them at the same time. 
  • Burnout of people who are trying to change? Are people giving up? Eg turning to c consumption, littering. How do you help people feel able to care? Onus on all of us to cherish each other more
  • Gaps widening more – the powerful companies will become more powerful
  • Spare room tax
  • Systemic unfairness
  • Reteaching economic
  • How to pay for change? – start enforcing, hold account, enforce big companies  – is this consumer’s responsibility or the government’s? Workers could be paid, poverty reduced etc. The maths adds up! There is plenty of food – distribution is the problem.
  • Risk middle classes complicit – need more than woke!
  • Women conversations matter – and are different. And cause for optimism!

FlipChart Notes for Breakout Room 15 Mike Wignall

Q.1   What if you could implement the Wellbeing Economy in your …  [household / organisation / neighborhood / council / country] ?

Q.2   What can we do to bring about these changes …
[at each level / where you feel comfortable / where you have agency] ?

  • Need better measurement
  • Better environmental measurement 
  • Do we, as individuals, have a responsibility to start recording/measuring/capturing data ourselves. Decide what we think is important and will help to monitor progress at a more local/granular level (rather than relying on national measurement such as GDP). We have more ownership of our own data and can decide what we choose to hand over 
  • Mobilise public opinion and pressurise 

Feedback for the organisers:


What Went Well

  • Such a rich and sustaining  conversation  – thank-you to all in group 14, you know who you are…and to David for organising and Katherine for always being so inspiring! I have to go…meeting friends for a swim and a glass of wine – a great indicator of wellbeing! Grateful for the gift of connection to you all.
  • Thank you. I’m glad to have been a participant even for a part of the event.
  • thank you all.
  • I have to go, great conversation
  • Yes to break out sessions with a facilitator to keep everyone on track!
  • That was great. Very difficult to handle that number. Good response too.
  • Thank you so much — really good to spend this time with you all; and thank you to the organisers and Katherine for inspiring and helpful evening
  • thank you all, very interesting and motivating
  • Thanks David et al. very useful event. Bye
  • great event this evening thank you 🙏🏾
  • Yes thank you, very interesting and inspiring!
  • Well spoken Katherine it was a delight to hear you. Thanks David and all for this
  • Thanks very much – inspiring !
  • Thank you [x8!]
  • Thank you all for all your hard work and your sharing
  • Thank you so much.
  • Thanks so much for organizing!
  • Thank you all for a great meeting
  • Thanks David and Katherine – and of course all the others
  • Spend local 🙂
  • Great evening everyone thanks – agency & community: We lead – Gov follows
  • I really enjoyed that talk, thank you!
  • Thank you Katherine – really interesting

Could Be Better?

  • There are no politicians here……?
  • how do you get big business along to these workshops! I’d love you to do one with volume house builders to change their business models.
  • I’m finding it startling that I’ve not heard the word “Taxation” used much if at all.
    I was half expecting progressive taxation to be a feature of this discussion and wondered if Katherine could say a bit about taxation and a doughnut economy?

Plenary Responses after the Breakout sessions + Chat links:


  • Use an alternative to Gross Domestic Product (GDP):  Cornerstone Indicators?
  • Use new measures of progress that resonate with citizens – a dashboard?
  • Full Cost Accounting – “Cheapest” often has the ecological burden hidden from view
  • Keep taxes local. We are not retaining our wealth in our communities. 
  • Tax: Re-distribute AND Pre-distribute
  • Incentivise via taxation to promote the “goods” and hold back the “bads”
  • Tax is key. Tax has the power to incentivise and discourage behaviour. Tax helps with measuring the true cost of things. 
  • Reinvigorating the local system / Being proactively local. 
  • Try not to reinvent the wheel – Transition Town Network offers a big toolkit. 
  • We need community decision making that benefits the WHOLE community. 
  • Banking choices and how money is invested. 
  • Community Investment Funds
  • Grow your own food and provide for yourself. 
  • Create local case studies (e.g. Rewilding). Not just do it but also put it out there. 
  • How Scotland is a good country for Grassroots type activities. 
  • Access to food.  Telling stories is key – and talking about food? 
  • COP26 is an opportunity to showcase best aspects of Wellbeing Economy in Scotland. 
  • Globalism is not resilience. New localism is the way. 
  • Be a better steward of places. Working and producing what is needed. 
  • How to make democracy participatory. 
  • Common Weal’s “Resilient Economy” and “Our Common Home Plan
  • North Ayrshire Council ‘radical’ economic strategy for Community Wealth Building
  • The “Preston Model” and CLES on Role of Anchor Institution cooperating together  
  • Shift in values in society:  Core values – Sufficiency – Circular Economy – Spend local
  • Read: “Radical Help” by Hilary Cottam  
  • Using resources for the common good and valuing ecosystem services. 
  • Full cost accounting. We need to account for the true cost of things (the fashion industry and the food industry in particular). 
  • Women’s work is undervalued: in Hawaii, a Feminist Recovery Programme is planned. 
  • Examples from Holland: Collaboration with Govt, LAs & Institutions
  • North Ayrshire How to capture the imagination? 
  • Get in touch with Councilors
  • On consumer culture: the need to shift from extrinsic to intrinsic values (e.g. not valuing status based on material possession and symbols of material success). What is the role that culture and various ‘role models’ play in this?