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Wellbeing Economics Narratives for a Sustainable Future

Sandra Waddock ()
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Sandra Waddock: Carroll School of Management

Humanistic Management Journal, 2021, vol. 6, issue 2, No 2, 167 pages

Abstract: Abstract There is increasing attention to the idea of bringing about what is termed a wellbeing economy, and recognition that a coherent story or narrative is important in countering the strength of today’s dominant economic narrative--neoliberalism. Yet there has been relatively little consensus on what such an idea might mean in practice, despite the proliferation of many different initiatives attempting to bring such an economy about. Many of these initiatives have allied with an aggregator called WEAll, the Wellbeing Economy Alliance. In an effort to determine what new economics/next economies initiatives mean by wellbeing economy, this study assesses the statements provided by WEAll allies to WEAll when seeking membership to see whether there is a consistent narrative about wellbeing economy that emerges. Four nuanced, yet related, versions of the wellbeing economy narrative emerged. “Transformation” is mainly a critique of business as usual, emphasizing transformation towards a wellbeing economy that critiques neoliberalism and emphasizes wellbeing of all people. The Nature-Centric or Planetary Boundaries perspective takes a more ecological perspective, emphasizing humanity’s need to live and operate within planetary boundaries. The Good Life or People-Centric perspective offers a people-oriented narrative that emphasizes sustainability while ensuring that basic needs of all are met. The Integrated perspective is an integrated life-centered perspective that combines these interests and focuses on the wellbeing of both people and planet, recognizing the complexity and holistic nature of that task.

Keywords: Economics; Wellbeing economics; Narrative; Story; Neoliberalism; WEAll (Wellbeing Economy Alliance) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s41463-021-00107-z

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