Well Being Legacy

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Well Being Trust and partners traveled across the country, hearing from community members and national leaders about what it takes to enhance health and well-being. Ultimately, we hope to lift up a “living agenda” of practices, policies, and investments that can assure the vital conditions for intergenerational well-being at the community level.

Much of this work formed the basis for Well Being Legacy, which is being advanced via a growing partnership of more than 50 local communities and national organizations.  In July, Well Being Trust convened the inaugural gathering of Well Being Legacy in Oakland, California. With our co-hosts and partners, we brought together 180 youth, community, and national leaders to advance a nationwide conversation on creating the conditions for intergenerational well-being for all.

Among the underlying questions: What needs to be asked of each generation to leave a legacy of well-being for future generations? How can we best ensure benefits accrue equitably to all? What are the implications for leaders to contribute to “living legacies” worthy of our lives and roles?

Over three days, we explored what it could mean for the nation if every person had the opportunity to realize their fullest potential for well-being — mentally, physically, spiritually, socio-culturally, and economically. Rooted in the lived experience of the attendees, the learnings of diverse communities across the nation, and the growing evidence base on what works in advancing comprehensive strategies for well-being, we addressed impactful ways to increase equitable access to living wage jobs; affordable housing and active mobility; lifelong learning opportunities; healthy environments and safe places to live, work, and play; and meaningful ways to engage in our democracy.

The event unpacked the seven vital conditions for intergenerational well-being, examined the legacies of past decisions, and explored what it will take to create new living legacies.

This legacy work is at the core of the community transformation focus of Well Being Trust. As our most “upstream” strategy, it complements our portfolio of other more “downstream” investments in clinical transformation for whole person care; policy advocacy for increasing affordable access to quality mental health services; and social engagement with tweens, teens, and their families to “normalize the conversation” and build well-being and resilience skills.

In just one year since the inaugural gathering, much has occurred:

  • Leaders from many of the 26 participating communities have shared with us the ways they are increasing the comprehensiveness/dose-sufficiency of their place-based efforts to have a population level impact, with a focus on the most vulnerable. You can read about some of these locales here.
  • Leaders from 20 national organizations are crafting “compacts” as bold commitments to forming a “Well Being Alliance” dedicated to accelerating systemic change. Many have shared with us the ways they are shifting organizational practices to create a culture of well-being; deepening understanding of healthy public policy potentials to ‘co-benefit’ their mission; and exploring evidence-based uses of private capital to fuel impact.
  • The newly released Well Being in the Nation Measures will help leaders at all levels dig into the data to see what shapes well-being for different groups, connect with others to understand, develop solutions, act, and track outcomes.
  • The birth of the Well Being in the Nation (WIN) Network as the inheritor and logical next step for Well Being Legacy, is designed to braid several interconnected cooperative streams of work into an integrated force for change. The WIN Network currently includes:
    • Living Agendas – Policy and investment agendas at the community, state, and national level that advance intergenerational well-being and equity.
    • Dialogues, Storytelling, and Narrative Change – A set of initiatives to build intergenerational dialogue and storytelling to help connect the nation and shift understanding about who we are, how we got here, and how we might create well-being and equity.
    • Measurement, Evaluation, and Learning – A cooperative that helps measure, understand, and improve intergenerational well-being over time, assuring that data is equitably available to communities to generate the vital conditions for well-being.
    • Pacesetters – Pacesetter initiatives, organizations, and communities that can demonstrate what intergenerational well-being looks like and can help others scale what works.
    • A Capacity Building system – A system that can support communities on this journey, regardless of where they start, and helps them adopt/adapt what works for their community.
    • A Well Being Alliance – A tighter network of leading organizations and communities that are committed to demonstrating these principles, adopting shared measures, and advancing a social movement for investment and policy changes that can achieve population-level outcomes.

Going forward:

  • The WIN Network will feature a Support Team to convene, coordinate, and resource these efforts.
  • A more complete description of the WIN Network, a website with robust resources, and ways for leaders of all stripes to meaningfully engage will be forthcoming soon.
  • Well Being Trust is serving as a co-convener and ‘seed funder’ of the WIN Network, and will place it’s community-facing emphasis on co-leading the Living Agendas and the Well Being Alliance.

Learn About Transforming Conditions for Intergenerational Well-being, Visit the Well Being In the Nation (WIN) Network website.

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