NEF – New Economics Foundation

NEF is the UK’s leading think tank promoting social, economic and environmental justice. Our purpose is to bring about a Great Transition – to transform the economy so that it works for people and the planet.The UK and most of the world’s economies are increasingly unsustainable, unfair and unstable. It is not even making us any happier – many of the richest countries in the world do not have the highest well-being.

Prime Minister David Cameron 8 years ago first declared that “It’s time we focused not just on GDP, but on  GWB – general wellbeing”. Four years later the UK government began measuring how happy British people feel about their lives.

During September in their first report The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics in the UK where NEF is the secretariat, examined how wellbeing evidence can inform better decision making in running the country.

The 5 key recommendations from their report are:

  1. Focus on stable jobs, not growth
  2. Promote shorter, more flexible working hours
  3. More green spaces in our cities
  4. Mindfulness training for doctors and teachers
  5. Invest in Arts and culture

(Berry, 2014 )

Here in Australia Dr Nicholas Gruen the creator of our Economics Wellbeing Index uses the following 6 key components to measure our index. This provides a deeper measure of national welfare than the GDP alone.

  1. Income
  2. Knowledge ( called human capital )
  3. The environment
  4. Inequality
  5. Health
  6. Job satisfaction

(Wade, 2014 )

We are now becoming more aware through research in this area of the impact our wellbeing has on the planet and its effect on the human race. It is time to discuss and focus our attention on our wellbeing and the wellbeing of others.

Practicing mindfulness to manage our stress levels will cultivate a positive nourishment of our heart and soul.

Berry, C 2014 “Wellbeing in four policy areas” NEF blog 10th Sept. Wade, M 2014 “National wellbeing on the slide since coalition elected”, The Age, 6th Sept.




2 Responses to “NEF – New Economics Foundation

  • NEF sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing that. It is something I will research further. I would love to know how to get involved with this group. Do we have a Melbourne or Australian equivalent to this group? I’m not sure if Dr Nicholas Gruen is the same kind of innovator as NEF. He sounds more like an academic theorist. He might be worth researching further, but it feels like the NEF is really the place that is shaking things up.

    I think that sustainable economics is the way of the future. Capitalism is old and tired. It can not work for long term sustainability. Capitalism is based on the theory of consumption. Nature and all sustainable eco systems work on the harmony of give and take, input and output!

    Any more info on NEF would be a great ongoing source of information.
    regards Sandra

    • Hi Sandra,

      Thank you for your comments. I have been following NEF New Economic Foundation for a little while now and find them to be forward thinking. They are an independant organisation who continually research how we as a race can live on this planet in a sustainable way. It was heartening to hear that the UK government are now taking notice of their findings. I don’t know if we have a similar organisation here in Australia. Our banks and health insurance organisations do comment on a wellbeing index but I am not aware of where their reasearch comes from. Here is the NEF website, I know you will enjoy following them.