January 11, 2018
Stewart: Thank you all for joining us today. We’re going to spend 25 minuets presenting to where we have got to and then we will have another 25 minuets for Q&A. I will start by asking Hunter to tell us about what happened at the Colorado conference.
Hunter: This whole effort grew out of a meeting with had in Bhutan when the King of Bhutan took the Bhutanese concept of Gross National Happiness and wanted to make it the basis of international development.
That lead to the creation of the group called the Alliance for Sustainability and Prosperity (ASAP). That has had a series of meetings over the years trying to get an economy in service in life. About 3 years ago, Michael Pirson and I talked about the role of wellbeing in all of this. We created a group called Leading for Wellbeing (L4WB). Last May in Colorado, ASAP and L4WB joined up together for the Regenerative Future Summit and agreed to merge.
Many of you agreed to provide seed funding for this. Any of you who have not gotten your pledges in, please do so. You’ll see throughout this call why that matters, we’re in the process of forming a secretariat. We debated for a while what to call this new beast. The combination of ASAP and L4WB. We settled it at a meeting in South Africa hosted by Lorenzo Fioramonti, a member of ASAP. We decided to call it WE-All (Wellbeing Economy Alliance). We are in the process of setting up a web-page, and will be getting that up and functional in the next month or so. In the Colorado meeting, the group universally agreed that Stewart Wallis should head this new program. In South Africa we began to put together the basics of a secretariat to serve Stewart and all of us. That’s where Katherine Trebeck, and Michael Weatherhead and Diego Isabel came in. I’ll let Diego speak for himself and talk about NESI. Again, I think you’ll see what has been some less than traction gaining conversation is now truly gaining traction. I’m incredibly excited about this and very excited you’re all with us.
Stewart: Why don’t you introduce yourself, Diego? Diego is the founder of NESI (New Economy in Social Innovation)
Diego: Thank you Stewart. I have an engineering background am the founder of EMOTIVA, an NGO dedicated to international cooperation, entrepreneurship and social business. Some years ago I was leading the expansion of the “Economy for the Common Good.” I have worked with the new economy movement for some time. We decided to work together to discuss what we could be doing together that we aren’t doing ourselves. That is the basis of NESI. We built it with 700 people from 40 countries. Our partners include: Global Alliance for Banking on Values, Economy for the Common Good, Next System Project, International Network, BCorps. All of them working together. 2018 is the 10th anniversary of the financial crisis. Let’s talk about changing the system.
Stewart: We were very successful in getting policy changed. On another level, for an organization hoping to change the system, the goal of WE-All is mad, its hubristic but on another level it’s the most crucial thing we have to do. This is the time to actually push for change. We know a lot about how systems change. We know the critical things you need to do are to first of all, come up with a compelling, positive story. We’re in deep “whatever” we’ve actually got to come up with solutions of how we want to live together. The second thing is we need to start working together. We need to start playing our instruments with common scores and with one broad orchestra. There is still more work to do to communicate new economics and make it a compelling theory and practice.
The fundamentals are to create a new economic narrative. We want to make new economics a new theory of economics. If we can do that, then we have a real fighting chance to get the global new economic movement to fight for social change.
People will be able to do all they’re doing but be a part of a global effort. The amazing thing is how much people have resonated with that. I could hardly get 10 groups to collaborate years ago. Recently, we have huge enthusiasm. I’ve been truly amazed at how enthusiastic people are and how much they want to collaborate. It’s given me real hope. It’s crunch time. The time is now to stop talking and start doing.
Katherine, want do give a quick introduction?
Katherine: I’m currently a senior researcher. But at the end of March I’m planning to be full time working with Stewart, Diego and Michael. I have a background in poverty and social justice in Scotland, indigenous and mining communities in Australia.
What’s exciting is the response we’ve been getting. As a group to other networks. We want you to a part of this journey, a part of this movement. We already have a list of 20. I’ll list them here:
- Tellus/ GTI initiative
- Sistema B
- Economy for the Common Good
- Next System Initiative and the Democracy Collaborative
- New Economy Network Australia
- B Corps
- Local Futures/International Alliance for Localisation
- Presencing Institute
- REPISS (Social Solidarity Economies)
- Reclaim Our Economy
- Global Alliance for Banking on Values
One of the highlights was back in October in Glasgow we were able to bring together key governments from around the world. We were able to reach out to countries that want to put wellbeing economics at the forefront of their agendas. Senior representatives from governments in Costa Rica, Sweden, Scotland, Slovenia, New Zealand, Wales and OECD as an observer.
We only had an hour but we made a commitment from governments to work together. It’s not just about having a fast-growing GDP but putting wellbeing at forefront of development. Can we work together and share/exchange/collaborate to find best solutions. We’ll meet in Slovenia in mid-march. What was a lovely surprise was the minister of Scotland said she met with this group and that Scotland is going to play a major role. She talked about the push from the government at a later point as well.
Michael: My name is Michael Weatherhead I work on the consulting side of the NEF. I worked alongside Stewart when he was CEO. The goal was to take new economic thinking and operations mindset. I wanted to take the kind of thinking and narrative and bring that directly to WE-All.
Key groupings that have been identified with various conveners with various efforts to L4WB to ASAP to NESI. All with the view to help them develop transformative strategies, and create powerful visions in these particular areas. In no particular order, we are working with the W7 (government), businesses, new economy practitioners (cities and long areas), city societies, transformative groups, academia, institutional provocateurs—anyone that is in-line with our way of thinking and wants to work in new economics. Our work is not full time because we’re very busy trying to raise funds to dedicate more time. But, different efforts and groupings are moving along at different rates. In Slovenia, in March, we want to make a task force that will take their work forward in a more coherent and consistent way. We’re just trying to find the assets to support this group. The secretariat roles is to be a facilitator or supporter role. They key part of 2018 is getting all these grouping together to help develop the vision and alternative strategy with the view to ultimately launch the movement in 2019. Accompanying all those groups is a desire and plan is to push a global citizens movement. In the next month, through NESI’s effort, we’re going to launch an effort to really start individuals to sign up with one of the two steering documents (NESI Charter & Meadows memorandum) but getting them to sign up and to commit to action through a very nice platform starting to connect these individuals geographically to start forming local movements and groups.
How are we doing this?
We’re struggling a little but we’re finding time. We met in Scotland. We’re planning to meet again in Malaga (Spain) where I am based, and Diego will be soon. We want to continue with our efforts to shape and finalize a suggested governance model for you all and then further our efforts around funding. In terms of our theory of change, we need core funding to get the launch together by next year. We aim to bring the 6-7 groups together to launch in 2019. The launch is a significant conference that we are planning. We will bring these different groups with plans/visions with developing actions.
Stewart: Fire away on questions:
Question #1 Paul Sutton: I’d really like suggestions on how to help without being able to donate. Is there anything I can do as a member of city council in a small town that would support WE-All.
Michael: A key contribution that you all made in South Africa was to refine what our theory of change and planned actions are in the different areas to create consistent research, working with actors on the ground and building this narrative. We want to get that in as good shape as possible and refine further. Getting the working groups off as quickly as possible so we can give a coherent plan to give individuals like yourself in the positions that you are, both in academia and the council advice on what to do.
Hunter: One of the working group areas has to be around government and governance. How to bring these ideas into pragmatic application in real places. So, one thing you can do early on, begin the conversation up to the council. What works what doesn’t work? How do you raise these kinds of issues in a small town, political setting? What kinds of arguments get traction? What kinds of arguments are divisive? We’re going to pull together tool kits of everything that any of us have done and making them available to anyone in this group. Example: Local Action for Sustainable Economic Renewal. It’s already on the website at NCS and we will be putting it on the WE-All website as soon as it’s running. Any of you who know of or have access to these practical tools that you can use in your town, academy, company, make us aware so we can create a working library to find out how to make this happen on the ground.
Katherine: We want to push the message out in as many different platforms as possible. This means speaking to communication outlets. Our role is to do the pioneering work. Show people how it’s working, possible and desirable.
Question #2 Jackie: I’m curious about all the people working together, playing in the same court, having some unifying something or having story—where are you at on that? Where new economy solutions are talking but what’s the common thread? Purpose? Vision?
Stewart: There won’t be one story. There will be one set of values, one set of goals but it’ll be based on the same set of values/principals. We want to bring the founding members at the alliance and coalitions of interest together and get inspiring stories from each of those groups. We will be working with communication specialists. We don’t speak in inspiring ways for the whole community. We need to work with others to get the story agreed upon and work with people to feel inspired by it.
Hunter: We have a massive platform to start disseminating these ideas. Potentially through Huffington Post and working with Jo Confino.
Question #3 J-Paul : Trying to find my place in this. I’m eager for places to share this new economic/regenerative story. How do we connect story tellers? Make these ideas real and human?
Hunter: Write it, I’ll get it to Jo.
Stewart: We’ve got this amazing vision. This thing is ballooning. We’re still asking, how do the story/story-tellers bring the bigger message? When you look at system change in the past, it’s a set of stories or a single story that is an effective power base. We’re not just consumers/owners we really need to shift the story and tell people who we are.
Question #4 Carrie Norton: I so appreciate all this amazing work. I feel very fortunate to be in the midst here. I am similarly in the design phase of this new project. I’d love to hear from any of you that have thoughts/ideas about ways to design the project. The project is Regenerate Central Valley. It’s going to look to model a micro-regenerative economy in Central Valley of California. It’s very place based agriculture and entrepreneurship focused. It’ll be on the city. I’d love thoughts on how to construct and design this from the onset on how to embody all these wonderful ideas that we can model/demonstrate. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stewart: As we develop local economy practitioners grouping we’ll talk about what’s appropriate. We’ll hopefully be able to answer your questions. Maybe some people on this call can contact you immediately.
Michael Weatherhead: The ultimate aim of the secretariat – is connecting. If anyone like yourself, Carrie, we would hope to be able to find and connect you with similar initiatives so others can share advice and share experiences, lessons learned that can help others accelerate their process.
Carrie: I am anticipating one of the greatest challenges of modeling this on the local level in Central Valley are the political, perhaps different points of view than those we’ve been espousing in this group and on this call and in this work. This is where story comes absolutely critical and bringing people into the conversation and inviting them into the proposition that don’t necessarily share our point of view—it’s critical.
Stewart: We want to facilitate these conversations. There are going to all sorts of different ways to participate. We need the structure to make this happen. I’m inpatient, I want to see us go up exponentially. Can we see this take off of the global movement? That’s what we’re aiming to do. It feels really great to have all of you here. I hope it’s blessed you with a feeling.
Hunter: Oh by the by—There is the Regenerative Organization Summit—I’ll be speaking at in Denver on Tuesday (1/15). Also there is a Regenerative Conference in San Francisco in May. Whole lot of stuff starting to happen in this realm. We’ll be better about getting regular mailings. If you don’t want to be a part of it, let us know. We’ll be building that mailing list.