The very Foundation of our Societies and Economies is Human Potential.

Economy and wellbeing are in the best cases closely interlinked and mutually reinforcing.
Economic growth improves people’s wellbeing, whereas wellbeing and health of the population enhance economic growth and stability. This interlinkage must be better recognised. In Finland, we are putting forward a holistic approach to this question that requires horizontal thinking and cross-sectoral co-operation. We call this approach, the Economy of Wellbeing.
The Economy of Wellbeing is a horizontal approach, emphasising the importance of cross-sectoral cooperation. It is about understanding the role of social, gender, health, employment, education and environmental aspects in relation to economic growth, as well as the stability of economy and societies. It also contributes to the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030, which highlights the balance between economic, social and environmental policies.
A more holistic approach would be useful as we look for sustainable solutions to the current challenges of societies. This approach highlights the importance of evaluating how different policy measures may affect the health and wellbeing and thus employability, as well as the productivity of people. It can also increase our understanding of how investments in wellbeing generate savings, efficiency, productivity, and economic growth. The recent World Bank Human Capital index, released in October, provides results supporting this.
Investment in human capital and wellbeing can provide direct and clear results, for example, investments in health, including mental health, education, occupational health and safety, as well as gender equality. Together with sound public finances, they are relevant from both macro and micro-economic perspectives.
The Economy of Wellbeing is multidimensional, cross-sectoral and above all topical from global, regional and local perspectives. It is an approach we need in order to meet our future challenges. It’s time we engage in open discussion on how to use it – and make our future challenges today’s opportunities.
Pirkko Mattila –Minister of Social Affairs and Health,  Finland,  Finnish Government
Photo courtesy of the Finnish Government and Ministries Website
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