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Formal institutions or systems aren’t the only environments for change – we need to cultivate environments that help us align with, tap into and build on our shared human drive for wellbeing.

You can make change in your own life, in your family, neighborhoods and community – here are some ideas of where to start.

Commit to seeing the full frame

Systems change is about far more than identifying problems and creating programs – it’s about people and their context. In your change efforts, commit to:

Think about your spheres of influence

All of us are connected to people, groups and communities where we have influence to help change thinking and actions that can lead to equitable access to wellbeing.

Who are the people and entities you are connected to that would benefit from using a wellbeing orientation?

Shift the stories you tell

Narratives impact our perspectives, our actions, and the initiatives we support. Many of the prevailing narratives in this country reinforce inequitable access to wellbeing.

Be aware of the story you and your communities are telling yourselves when explaining someone’s actions or why something is happening. And then consider:

  • Could there be alternative explanations?
  • Whose perspective might be missing?
  • Have I overlooked certain elements because they didn’t fit neatly into my narrative?
  • How would the end result change if my initial assumptions were incorrect?

Design your approach to transformation

Transformation is a journey and doesn’t happen overnight. We recommend starting by identifying current pain points and/or change efforts that are already underway.

Then, when you’re already revamping structures or processes, you can use the five domains of wellbeing and tradeoffs analysis as approaches to help you deliver better outcomes for the change efforts you’re already working on.

Make change in your field

A great place to start is in the industry or issue area you want to focus your change efforts in. Whether in healthcare, human services, the built environment, government procurement or public safety – you can make change that aligns with people’s innate drive for wellbeing.

Partner with like-minded changemakers

People are hungry for change – partner with them to multiply your impact. Here are some options: