Building A Wellbeing Economy From The City Up

Building A Wellbeing Economy From The City Up

The role of cities in creating an economy fit for the 21st century

Can the economy be redesigned with the purpose of serving the wellbeing of people and the planet first and foremost? Around the world business leaders, government agencies, and citizens are moving beyond the focus of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and economic growth as being the primary markers of success and are instead shifting their thinking towards other indicators that could contribute to a healthy economy. 

Join international expert Dr Katherine Trebeck in a discussion on why a wellbeing approach to measuring success and progress for the economy is gaining momentum and what it looks like in practice. Drawing on insights from overseas, Dr Trebeck will examine what various sectors can do to help build a wellbeing economy. She will share some examples of actions that other cities have been taking which demonstrate what a wellbeing economy means at the city-level and will discuss the implications and benefits this approach could bring. 


Rod Oram

Business Journalist

Business journalist Rod Oram contributes weekly to Newsroom, Nine to Noon, and Newstalk ZB. He is a public speaker on deep sustainability, business, economics, and innovation. Rod is a member of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, which brings together people from here and abroad who seek to contribute to global change from Aotearoa.In Citigroup’s annual global journalism awards, Rod was the winner in 2019 in the General Business category in the Australia and NZ region for his columns in Newsroom on Fonterra; and he was the NZ Journalist of the year.In the New Zealand Shareholders’ Association Business Journalism Awards, Rod won the Business Commentary category in 2018 and 2020 for his Newsroom columns.Rod was a founding trustee and the second chairman of Ākina Foundation, which helps social enterprises develop their business models in areas of sustainability. He remains actively involved with the foundation and the ventures it supports.In 2016, Bridget Williams Books published Rod’s most recent book, Three Cities: Seeking Hope in the Anthropocene, details at

Dr Katherine Trebeck

Co-founder, Wellbeing Economy Alliance

Katherine is a political economist, writer and advocate for economic system change. She co-founded the Wellbeing Economy Alliance and also WEAll Scotland, its Scottish hub. She is writer-in-residence at the University of Edinburgh’s Edinburgh Futures Institute and a Strategic Advisor to Australia’s Centre for Policy Development. She sits on a range of boards and advisory groups such as The Democracy Collaborative, the C40 Centre for Urban Climate Policy and Economy, and the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity.

She is a New Economics Senior Fellow at the ZOE Institute, a Fellow of The Leaders Institute and a Distinguished Fellow of the Schumacher Institute. She has over eight years’ experience in various roles with Oxfam GB, where she developed Oxfam’s Humankind Index and led Oxfam’s work on downscaling the ‘doughnut’ for various national contexts.

Katherine instigated the group of Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo) – comprising Scotland, New Zealand, Finland, Wales, Iceland, and Canada. She was Rapporteur for Club de Madrid’s Working Group on Shared Societies and Sustainability, was a member of the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Renewal Advisory Group, and Zero Waste Scotland’s Demystifying Decoupling Advisory Group.

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