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The Wellbeing Information Project Scoping Document 12/05/12

Introduction This document sets out the proposed scope for the new wellbeing information project. These proposals have been formulated after consultation with the trustees of the ERA charity, the ‘New Economics Foundation’, the ‘Transition Network’ and other interested parties. We would very much like to acknowledge the support and encouragement we have received from so many parties. Background The world faces unprecedented challenges with the economic and environmental crisis, and this could seriously worsen with climate change and ‘peak oil’. Humanity now consumes more resources than the planet can sustain. Something has to give, and millions of people will be forced to cope with fundamental and dramatic change until a natural balance is restored. Wellknown initiatives like ‘Friends of the Earth’, ‘Action for Happiness’, ‘New Economics Foundation’ and the ‘Transition Network’ have already recognized the scale of these challenges, and are already responding with major projects and policy initiatives. This still leaves a need to guide individual people through all these changes, by helping them to retain, and even improve, their personal well-being in the face of all the pressures they will have to face. It is therefore proposed to set up a Wellbeing Information Project within the ERA charity that will provide a multimedia-based information service on all aspects of well-being, with a particular emphasis on video case studies, learned articles and practical guidance from the many experts around. The aim of this service would therefore be to raise peoples’ awareness of personal, social, economic and environmental wellbeing, and give them the tools and information they need to make positive changes to both their own lives and the lives of others as well as respecting the planet we live on. People today know something is very wrong. The evidence is all around them, from the rising cost of food and fuel to all the negative imagery of wars and natural disasters. In the face of all this negative bombardment, people need to know how we will all cope and adapt to the changing situation. They need to know how we can be happy and retain a sense of well-being and normality when the world around them appears to be falling apart. This project aims to fill the void being created by these concerns, restoring hope and direction to many people.


Proposed Objectives/Tasks Our proposal for objectives and tasks can be summarized in three main areas:1) Establish a Wellbeing awareness campaign using a variety of media - including television, radio, internet, newspapers and magazines – according to their availability and relevance to the target audience. The cost/effectiveness of various media will also be a vital factor. Strong emphasis will be placed on ‘real-live’ case studies (e.g. Totnes) and articles/commentary from experts and communities of people who are achieving real gains in wellbeing. The project will also publish basic information about wellbeing and sponsor individual research and writing projects as appropriate. There will also be a need to quantify and qualify (where feasible) the gains in wellbeing being made through this awareness campaign, using Nef metrics where appropriate. All of this activity will be underpinned by good up to date “intelligence” on wellbeing related initiatives in different parts of the World, achieved through collaboration with Nef, Resurgence, Transition and other wellbeing-related charities (all of whom have their own international contact networks) as well as through our own research. 2) Trial a wellbeing improvement project in the town of Totnes, with support from Nef's Centre for Wellbeing organization and the Transition Network. This project would gain valuable hands-on experience of raising wellbeing through a local community project, providing the factual basis for a first major case study in our project. The Totnes project would also provide a ‘test-bed’ for developing detailed working processes with Nef and Transition to facilitate mutual cooperation on wellbeing awareness campaigns in different parts of the World. Nef, Transition, Resurgence and other major charities such as FoE already have valuable international contacts, which could be helpful in our awareness campaigns. 3) Raise additional finance to supplement our initial start-up funding. Additional funds would be required to pay for - or supplement – the extensive media campaign that this project is likely to require. This could also help to supplement the funding required for major projects that may emerge from the proposed wellbeing initiative in Totnes. Conclusion We hope you find this project of interest and recognize the important contribution it can make for the future of humanity in the challenging and turbulent times that are currently emerging especially when one considers the possibility of an impending global financial crisis. We welcome your comments and any offers of support and would appreciate it if you could address these in the first instance to Nigel Woodward at