Recent updates: Wellbeing insights in Cleveland Lessons in centering community Viewpoint: Planning for wellbeing

Wellbeing matters. It’s a game changer.

In order to create durable change, we need to reframe how we think about issues and redesign systems to align with, tap into and amplify the human drive for wellbeing. That’s how we build a country where everyone has a fair shot.

FFI’s work is all about shaking up the status quo. Over the past decade, we’ve worked to:


Challenge narratives that drive us apart and hold problems in place

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Shifting faulty, harmful assumptions that uphold the status quo requires surfacing new, true narratives. The Five Domains of Wellbeing framework upends dominant thinking of what people need, and illuminates why this dominant thinking is holding social problems in place, despite trillions of dollars in spending. This framework has taken hold across sectors and systems, from juvenile justice and the civil legal system to the built environment and government procurement, to change the conversation from “Can we do this?” to “How can we do more of this?”

Address complex, essential, national challenges

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FFI partners with institutional leaders and communities to reimagine some of our country’s most complex and inequitable systems. Through ongoing assistance from FFI, Missouri’s statewide juvenile justice, child welfare systems and St. Louis Family Courts have improved assessment, treatment, decisions and outcomes such as law-abiding rates and education. As a lead partner in the University of Chicago Health Lab’s national Transform911 initiative, we joined community leaders, police, fire and EMS personnel, policymakers and public health workers in formulating a plan for centering equitable access to wellbeing in emergency response.

Support institutional shifts toward wellbeing

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Our partnerships often focus on a specific organizational challenge, prompting culture shifts that ripple throughout the entire organization. For example, at Maimonides Hospital in New York, FFI supported care managers on their pathway to patient-centered care by shifting their approach to patient care from “What’s the matter with you?” to “What matters to you?” Through a partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and a small group of sexual and domestic violence providers, we’re supporting practitioners as they move beyond safety planning to consider wellbeing when working with survivors.

Foster powerful, unlikely alliances

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We’ve seized moments of opportunity to foster unlikely alliances that spark movement instead of programs. Launched at the start of the pandemic and in the midst of America’s racial reckoning, our Wellbeing Blueprint has grown to more than 200 institutional and individual signers – civic and governmental leaders, artists, resident organizers and other changemakers who are moving toward advancing policy and structural change towards a fair shot at wellbeing in their communities. We’ve brokered city-to-city learning and innovation and developed content that is shaking up the status quo, like the Justice Determinants of Wellbeing.

Inform how our country emerges from crisis

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In the deluge of challenges facing individuals, families and communities, we’re making sure that universal access to wellbeing is at the center of how our country moves forward. We’re working with the City of New London, CT to deploy an influx of emergency federal funding in ways that support community wellbeing and transform – not prop up – the status quo. We’re also working with planners, engineers, climate experts and others to make the case for wellbeing as the necessary core of infrastructure investments.

Our work in action