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This report presents findings from the 2015 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey. It explores levels of social capital in Scotland by addressing a number of key questions: • How connected are people to their local area and to what extent do people belong to social networks? • Which groups are more likely to feel they belong to their local area and have strong social networks? • What is the strength of the relationship between place and levels of social capital? • Are people engaging in civic activities or volunteering and do they believe that things can change in their local area? • Are people in Scotland supportive of the idea of co-production?
This report explores the potential for the NI Executive to place wellbeing at the heart of its work through the new Programme for Government. The Carnegie Roundtable on Measuring Wellbeing in Northern Ireland, a partnership between the Carnegie UK Trust and Queens University Belfast, was convened in 2014 to explore how the NI Executive could better understand social progress and its role in improving wellbeing. The Roundtable reconvened in July 2016 to explore further how the NI Executive can better understand social progress and mechanisms to improve wellbeing. The report endorses the NI Executive Programme for Government and its commitment to improving wellbeing through an outcomes-based approach to governance. The briefing includes details of the response submitted to the NI Executive consultation on its outcomes, measures and indicators.
Eight Steps To Enabling Wellbeing If we are to continue to improve wellbeing a fundamental rethinking of the state’s relationship to citizens and communities is required. Certain areas of our wellbeing can be best improved through our interactions with friends and family and through community activity. The state should continue providing the public services that it excels at but it must also take on a new role that of the ‘Enabling State’ empowering and supporting communities, individuals and families to play a more active role in improving their own wellbeing.. In this Carnegie UK report, Sir John Elvidge presents the concept of the Enabling State and sets out eight steps that governments can take to improve the wellbeing of all sections of our society, to support individuals and communities to achieve positive change and ensure that the most vulnerable people are not left behind.
TOWARDS A REGENERATIVE ECONOMY - A report for The Capital Institute by John Fullerton April 2015 It is our view that the exponential growth of compound investment returns demanded by the financial system is in irreconcilable conflict with the finite boundaries of the biosphere. We believe this relentless and narrow pursuit of exponential growth of returns on financial capital, without reference to either the laws of science or to universally acknowledged moral and ethical values, is contributing to an ever-widening and destabilizing wealth gap, and security crises around the globe. Our mission is to provide a new theory grounded in real-world practice and accompanying narrative of the supportive, non-coercive role finance must play in the transition to a Regenerative Economy, an economy that harmonizes the multiple kinds of capital essential to human and planetary well-being. A multitude of innovators and entrepreneurs around the world are experimenting with practical ways to reimagine capitalism so that it works for all levels of society, as well as for the planet. Their common goal is to create a self-organizing, naturally self-maintaining, highly adaptive Regenerative form of capitalism that produces lasting social and economic vitality for global civilization as a whole. Over the last two years, Capital Institute has been working with many of these thought leaders and entrepreneurs in a quest to understand what a theoretical framework for regenerative economies would look like, and what conditions and processes contribute to their long-term systemic health. The report also explores how a Regenerative Economy would differ from today’s flawed theory of capitalism, and how it would compare to other New Economy ideas such as natural capitalism, sustainable capitalism, conscious capitalism, doughnut economics, circular economies, sharing economies, steady-state economies, etc. Our Regenerative story starts with a single core idea , "The universal patterns and principles the cosmos uses to build stable, healthy, and sustainable systems throughout the real world can and must be used as a model for economic system design"
The third and final State of Natural Capital report from the Natural Capital Committee recommends that the UK Government, working closely with the private sector and NGOs, should develop a comprehensive strategy to protect and improve natural capital. The report presents a series of potential environmental investments that offer good economic returns such as peatland restoration and woodland planting. It also sets out an innovative framework for corporations to take account of their natural capital. This report and the previous State of Natural Capital reports can be downloaded from: https://www.naturalcapitalcommittee.org/state-of-natural-capital-reports.html
Oxfam presents new evidence that the gap between rich and poor is growing ever wider and is undermining poverty eradication. This report delves into the causes of the inequality crisis and looks at the concrete solutions that can overcome it. Drawing on case studies from around the world the report demonstrates the impact that rising inequality is having on rich and poor countries alike and explores the different ways that people and governments are responding to it.
The Sustainable Development Alliance includes 28 Welsh charities, social enterprises and community groups whose work supports people and nature to thrive. We all work on different issues, but we’re speaking with one voice about why we think the Well-being of Future Generations is so important and how it can help futures generation of our families lead healthy, happy and safe lives. In this report we have a look at some of the ways in which we think Wales can get better through a strong Well-being of Future Generations Bill. An effective Bill could help reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, help people out of poverty, create and sustain meaningful employment and use our purchasing power for good – all would have a huge benefit on people and the planet in Wales and across the world. These are just some examples of the sorts of things we think public bodies should be doing together to ensure that future generations can live well in Wales.
Since 2010 the government has made great strides in measuring population wellbeing. The question now is how to use that data and other evidence on wellbeing to create better policies. This project brought together members of the public to help do just that. By running three public dialogues on wellbeing in policy, this project found that the public were interested and engaged with wellbeing, and that the wellbeing lens enabled them to really consider what matters to them. This has the potential, not only to deliver better policy, but also to reconnect people to the policy-making process in a meaningful way. The project aims to answer the question: When and how should the public be engaged in the use of wellbeing in policy-making? It then looks at three policy areas and provides guidance and support for policy makers. The three areas are: - Increasing the incomes of low earners; - Reducing loneliness; - Increasing community control through community rights.
The UK food system today faces three major challenges: we need to ensure food security, domestically and globally; our production and consumption of food must be environmentally sustainable; and our food policy must promote public health. Only a socially just food system can meet these challenges, but considerations of fairness are largely peripheral to food policy debate, which instead tends to focus on economic and environmental issues. This report presents the findings of the Food Ethics Council’s Food and Fairness Inquiry, which was set up in order to remedy the relative neglect of social justice in public debate about food policy. It reveals the extent of social injustice in the food system within the UK and at global level, and demonstrates how this unfairness impedes progress towards sustainable food and farming. The problems are several and profound – but the evidence presented to the Inquiry also points the way forward, towards a sustainable, healthy, and fair food system. The report maps out this future trajectory for food policy, and identifies the respective responsibilities of UK government, businesses and civil society.
Is it any surprise that four out of five British citizens want the government to act on inequality? The richest 1% of the UK population are now wealthier than the poorest 50% put together – a disparity that has been growing steadily since the 1970s, and on current trends is set to get even worse. But this isn’t about the politics of envy; nor is it purely about what is morally right or wrong. We have convincing evidence that extreme economic inequality is contributing decisively to financial instability, wasted human capital, lower well-being and mental health, domination of politics by an elite few and low voter turn out. We can no longer afford to ignore our inequality problem. It’s time for action. The authors of this report call on the government to start with two key steps. The first is to set a tangible target to reduce economic inequality, as they have for child poverty. The second is to establish a high-level commission on economic inequality tasked with devising a broad policy agenda to tackle the drivers of inequality. They then identify five high-level goals that must be achieved to address some of the root drivers of economic inequality. Each goal is accompanied with a set of policy area priorities.
The research has shown that a significant minority of children in the UK have low levels of well-being. This will have severe impact on their childhood and life chances, as well as on the families and communities around them, and the agencies that support them. They also now know that policy makers can do something about this. The evidence shows that external factors play a major role in determining children’s life satisfaction and life chances. From this evidence, we have identified six priorities that promote positive well-being for children and can make a real difference to their lives. The six priorities for children’s well-being are: 1. The conditions to learn and develop 2. A positive view of themselves and an identity that is respected 3. Have enough of what matters 4. Positive relationships with family and friends 5. A safe and suitable home environment and local area 6. Opportunity to take part in positive activities to thrive
Adapting to the profound effects of climate change, lifting one billion starving people out of hunger, addressing the escalating obesity crisis – these are just three of the many formidable economic, social and environmental challenges confronting the food system. One thing is clear: if society is going to successfully meet these challenges, something has to change – ‘business as usual is not an option’. This assessment – a key message from the 2010 report Food Justice – has gained widespread, cross-sectoral endorsement in recent years. To date, however, this growing consensus has not been translated into the transformative policy and practice that is urgently required. What, exactly, does getting beyond business as usual mean in practical terms? That is the question the Food Ethics Council’s Beyond Business As Usual project has sought to answer.
Over the last half century, economic growth has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty and improved the lives of many more. Yet it is increasingly evident that a model of development based on economic development alone is incomplete. A society which fails to address basic human needs, equip citizens to improve their quality of life, erodes the environment, and limits opportunity for its citizens is not succeeding. Economic growth without social progress results in lack of inclusion, discontent, and social unrest. A broader and more inclusive model of development requires new metrics with which policymakers and citizens can evaluate national performance. We must move beyond simply measuring Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, and make social and environmental measurement integral to national performance measurement. Tracking social and environmental performance rigorously will inform and drive improvement in policy choices and investments by all stakeholders. Measuring social progress will also help to better translate economic gains into better social and environmental performance, which will unleash even greater economic success. The Social Progress Index aims to meet this pressing need by creating a holistic and robust measurement framework for national social and environmental performance that can be used by leaders in government, business and civil society at the country level as a tool to benchmark success, improve policy, and catalyze action. Our vision is a world in which social progress sits alongside economic prosperity as the twin scorecards of success.
The American food system rests on an unstable foundation of massive fossil fuel inputs. It must be reinvented in the face of declining fuel stocks. The new food system will use less energy, and the energy it uses will come from renewable sources. We can begin the transition to the new system immediately through a process of planned, graduated, rapid change. The unplanned alternative-reconstruction from scratch after collapse-would be chaotic and tragic. The seeds of the new food system have already been planted. America's farmers have been reducing their energy use for decades. They are using less fertilizer and pesticide. The number of organic farms, farmers' markets, and CSA operations is growing rapidly. More people are thinking about where their food comes from. These are important building blocks, but much remains to be done. Our new food system will require more farmers, smaller and more diversified farms, less processed and packaged food, and less long-distance hauling of food. Governments, communities, businesses, and families each have important parts to play in reinventing a food system that functions with limited renewable energy resources to feed our population for the long term.
Our economy is geared, above all, to achieving growth. In times of recession especially, economic policy is all about returning to growth. But a financial crisis can also be an opportunity for some basic rethinking about what the economy is for, and how through some fundamental restructuring of our financial system we can safeguard our economic stability in the future, as well as achieving wider social and environmental benefits. In recent years, other objectives such as sustainability and wellbeing have moved up the political agenda. Over two years, the SDC's Redefining Prosperity project looked into the connections and conflicts between sustainability, wellbeing and growth. Following a series of seminars and commissioned think pieces, we published the report Prosperity without Growth? The transition to a low carbon economy, written by Professor Tim Jackson, the SDC's Economics Commissioner. Prosperity without Growth? analyses the complex relationships between growth, environmental crises and social recession. In the last quarter of a century, as the global economy has doubled in size, increases in consumption have caused the degradation of an estimated 60% of the world's ecosystems. The benefits of growth have been distributed unevenly, with a fifth of the world's population sharing just 2% of global income. Even in developed countries, huge gaps in wealth and well-being remain between rich and poor. Our report proposes a twelve step route to a sustainable economy, and argues for a redefinition of "prosperity" in light of our evidence on what really contributes to people’s wellbeing.
Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years. The World Economic Forum has identified economic inequality as a major risk to human progress, impacting social stability within countries and threatening security on a global scale. This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a real threat to inclusive political and economic systems, and compounds other inequalities – such as those between women and men. Left unchecked, political institutions are undermined and governments overwhelmingly serve the interests of economic elites – to the detriment of ordinary people. In this paper, Oxfam shows how extreme inequality is not inevitable, with examples of policies from around the world which have reduced inequality and developed more representative politics, benefiting all, both rich and poor. Oxfam calls on leaders at the 2014 World Economic Forum at Davos to make the commitments needed to counter the growing tide of inequality.
Seismic events have convulsed global markets since 2008, when From Poverty to Power was first published. World news has been full of stories reflecting a profound sense of uncertainty about global futures. In response, this new edition of From Poverty to Power has been fully revised and now includes an in-depth analysis of the human impact of the global financial and food crises. From Poverty to Power, 2nd Edition argues that a radical redistribution of power, opportunities, and assets, rather than traditional models of charitable or government aid, is required to break the cycle of poverty and inequality. Active citizens and effective states are driving this transformation. Why active citizens? Because people living in poverty must have a voice in deciding their own destiny and holding the state and the private sector to account. Why effective states? Because history shows that no country has prospered without a state structure that can actively manage the development process. There is now an added urgency: climate change. We need to build a secure, fair, and sustainable world within the limits set by scarce resources and ecological realities. The book is accompanied by a list of blog resources. The From Poverty to Power blog played a key role in shaping the second edition of the book. Selected posts have now been indexed thematically to create an effective list of background material that can be read alongside the book.
This report gives an overview of the arts and health field, with particular reference to the UK and New Zealand. It provides a review of the evidence for the benefits of the arts to health, as well as the policy context of commissioning arts and health initiatives. It also highlights the potential role arts can play within professional education contexts (for example within medical training) as well as within therapy, healthcare and community settings. It includes case studies and subjective reflections on how the arts can interact with health and wellbeing, and also suggests ways forward for development of the arts in support of culture, health and wellbeing.
This report explores the complex issues hidden behind two simple questions: what is progress and what is prosperity? It argues that GDP is an insufficient and misleading measure of whether life in Scotland is improving or not. The report takes the findings of the 2009 Stiglitz Report, which emerged from the Commission set up by President Sarkozy to advise on how better to measure economic performance and social progress. It recommends that the new Scottish Government applies these to creating a performance framework better able to deliver, measure and report on economic performance, quality of life, sustainability and well-being. The report also shows that over-reliance on GDP as a measure makes it difficult for politicians to back policies that are good for society or the environment if they might hamper an increase in GDP.
Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen’s Government Report on the Future explores Finland’s long-term future challenges and opportunities, as well as outlines the Government’s common vision of the future we are seeking to build. The report homes in on the keys to sustainable growth that will secure wellbeing in the period up to 2030. It also focuses on the leading edge of new activities which require attention now and in the future. The Government Report on the Future focusing on well-being based on sustainable growth includes decisions in principle, based on which concrete steps can be taken in various areas of society.
The British Academy presents a collection of opinion pieces on health inequalities from leading social scientists. Each of the authors has written an article, drawing on the evidence base for their particular area of expertise, identifying one policy intervention  that they think local authorities could introduce to improve the health of the local population and reduce health inequalities. The report seeks to help local policymakers improve the health of their communities by presenting evidence from the social sciences that can help reduce inequalities in health. With a foreword from Sir Michael Marmot, the report further explores what The Marmot Review confirmed: that socio-economic inequalities affect health outcomes and that there is a social gradient in health. In some senses this is a social sciences dialogue companion to The Marmot Review. With the current structural changes to public health in England, we hope that this report will be a useful source of information on the evidence base for local policymakers and Directors of Public Health.
There are significant opportunities to embed the wellbeing agenda across the Northern Ireland administration, and the models adopted by Scotland and the Republic of Ireland demonstrate what can be achieved with a wellbeing approach. But what are the next steps for embedding the wellbeing agenda in Northern Ireland? This discussion paper reports on the outcomes of the conference the Trust hosted in Autumn 2013 in Belfast on measuring economic performance and societal progress in Northern Ireland, and outlines the next steps of the Carnegie Roundtable on Measuring Wellbeing in Northern Ireland.
The State of Happiness brings together four years of groundbreaking work based on in-depth pilots – from teaching resilience to children in schools to promoting neighbourliness – with three councils in very different areas of the country: Manchester, Hertfordshire and South Tyneside.This report from the Young Foundation and Local Government and Improvement highlights that promoting and influencing happiness is no longer an airy aspiration. As the recession forces difficult public spending choices, services focused on wellbeing are delivering widespread economic and social benefits – especially to children.
One of the key aims of a democratic government is to promote the good life: a flourishing society, where citizens are happy, healthy, capable and engaged – in other words with high levels of well-being. But in prioritising economic growth at all costs, government has lost sight of this ultimate aim. This manisto seeks to put well-being back at the centre of policymaking.
All over the world communities are grappling with two different agendas: on the one hand how to make their areas environmentally sustainable; on the other how to promote the wellbeing of local residents. Sometimes these agendas reinforce each other. But sometimes they clash. This discussion paper explores ways in which local government can use practical initiatives that support wellbeing as a way to encourage local residents to be more green. It is based on a review of activities in three very different parts of England – Hertfordshire, Manchester and South Tyneside – and discussions with a number of local government representatives and environmental sustainability experts. This work came out of the Local Wellbeing Project, a unique initiative working with three local authorities to test out practical ways of improving wellbeing.
In recent decades increased mobility, longer life expectancy and the breakdown of the extended family have changed the way we live our lives, and the extent to which we are able to be ‘neighbourly’. This think-piece reviews the way people interact with their neighbours (neighbouring) in contemporary Britain and questions whether we still need good neighbouring relationships (neighbourliness) to improve our wellbeing and our happiness. It explores what we know about neighbouring and identifies issues for further research.
This working paper considers a recent paper by Professor Angus Deaton (2011) of Princeton University which suggests that advocates of well-being measurement should be more cautious. We argue that Deaton is right to caution governments against expecting large rapid changes in reported national average well-being as a result of changes in economic conditions but that this does not detract from the value of measuring well-being and we discuss the reasons.
If everyone in the world lived as people do in Europe, we would need three planets to support us. Beyond this broad sense in which the environment is fundamental to our lives, there is now an emerging body of evidence that suggests that the local environment, and particularly natural environments, meet a wide range of human needs and promote well-being. In the first part of this paper we draw together some of this evidence looking at the relationship the broadest sense – including physical, resource and perceptual aspects to the relationship. In the second part of the paper, we turn to the question of how we can achieve ‘One Planet Living’ – where we all live within our environmental means – and yet maintain or increase our quality of life.