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In My Field

We are all hardwired to seek wellbeing. Every field has a role to play in eliminating barriers that undermine equitable access to wellbeing. Whether in healthcare, child welfare, housing, finance, or transportation—you can make change that aligns with people’s innate drive for wellbeing.

Fix systems not people.

All of us are more than the worst or best thing we’ve done. Too often we reduce individuals, families and communities to the problems or challenges we’re trying to help alleviate. We are informed by— not defined by— our problems, illnesses, experiences, history, and more.

Build on assets and address tradeoffs among the Five Domains of Wellbeing

How I meet my needs for wellbeing are my assets. The same is true for you. All of us have assets– at the individual, family, community and institutional levels. But our systems are structured in ways that force unsustainable tradeoffs among the Five Domains that harm individuals and communities and deepen inequities.

Drive structural change and shift narratives.

It is not enough to simply want to work in a wellbeing oriented way. The narratives we have about people are enmeshed in how these structures get built, and they reinforce each other. Structures and narratives dictate the way the “current” is flowing and it’s critical that we change them so that we don’t have to swim against them.

Here are some questions to consider to get started.

Do my efforts focus on fixing systems or fixing people?

How do we seek to understand and hold the complexity and contradictions of people, communities and contexts?

When we think about outcomes are we thinking about outcomes of our program or outcomes for people?

Do we take into account the impact of racism and other oppressions on individuals and community?

Do we work to dismantle white supremacy which is causing the harms and help people cope who have been hurt, rather than erroneously thinking the people who have been hurt are the problem?

Are our systems built to help people make change or sustain change?

When someone is “not willing to give something up” or “resistant to change,” is this seen by the field as “not caring” or “being unmotivated” or “not ready”?

Do we assume that our understanding is the right understanding of a situation, or do we use tools to make sure we’re not taking mental shortcuts? Do we pay attention to how one experience may mean different things to different people?

What information do we regularly gather that helps us understand the tradeoffs people experience in complying with requirements or following case plans? That staff experience in complying with new processes, requirements, etc.?

What are the policies and structures in my field, organization, or system that are limiting people’s access to wellbeing?

What are the prevailing assumptions and narratives about people, particularly people in poverty, that are baked into my field? How does this show up in our policies, structures, and practice?

Things I can do:

Explore FFI resources to find tools, guides, research, and other content that will help you dig deeper, build knowledge, and apply wellbeing concepts in your field, system, or organization.

Join an FFI event  to gain perspectives and insights from and with other changemakers.

Contact us about potential partnership and ways we can work together to address a pressing challenge or issue through a wellbeing lens.

Sign on to the Wellbeing Blueprint and take action to drive structural and systemic change.


The system is rigged, and the solution isn’t just to create more programs for people harmed by these unfair systems. The solution is to reimagine these systems to make our country fairer and more equitable for everyone — which means ensuring that the places where we work, live, play and pray tap into people’s drive for wellbeing, instead of undermining wellbeing for some and enabling it for others.

That’s what we do.