The Economics of Well-Being

Ellen Brown banking on the people, democratizing money

An episode of The Economics of Well-Being

By Mark Anielski
Hi I’m Mark Anielski an economist and the author of An Economy of Well-being: Common Sense Tools for Building Genuine Wealth and Happiness and the award-winning book The Economics of Happiness.
More places to listen
Hi I’m Mark Anielski an economist and the author of An Economy of Well-being: Common Sense Tools for Building Genuine Wealth and Happiness and the award-winning book The Economics of Happiness.

More places to listen

Dr. Philip Clayton: Building an Ecological Civilization
Dr. Philip Clayton is my next special guest. Philip and I discuss the concept of an ecological civilization. He and I have recently returned from Seoul, Korea where we were the guests of Seoul's Mayor Park Won-Soon presenting at a major conference to discuss how Korea might adopt the concept of an 'ecological civilization' which Philip along with John Cobb Jr. and others have been instrumental in advancing in China. Philip holds the Ingraham Chair at Claremont School of Theology and directs the Comparative Theologies PhD program. A graduate of Yale University, he has taught at Williams College and the California State University, as well as holding guest professorships at the University of Munich, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard University. His leadership roles in theological education over the last 15 years include serving as the immediate past dean of CST, obtaining funding for and launching the CST online program, and leading a Ford-sponsored program on “Rekindling Theological Imagination” and a Carpenter-sponsored program on “Reimagining Theological Education.” Clayton has been a leader in interreligious education and dialogue for more than two decades. He helped launch an early collaboration of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian scientists, expanding it into a global, seven-year program; organized conferences at Harvard on Judaism, Buddhism, and science; and has participated in programs on Islam and science and on Abrahamic partnerships in the Philippines, Indonesia, France, Turkey, Qatar, and the UAE. Currently he is working to organize the Justice track for the upcoming Parliament of the World Religions. Philip Clayton played a major role in conceiving and founding a multi-faith university, Claremont Lincoln University, serving as its first provost and Executive Vice President. He worked with religious leaders to set up administrative structures and to work toward accreditation for Bayan Claremont, a Muslim graduate school, as well as expanding the university’s programs to include the Dharma traditions of India and the religious traditions of Southeast Asia. Clayton has authored or edited 24 books and published some 300 articles. Dr. Clayton lectures widely, works with various religious and environmental organizations, and supports constructive partnerships across the world’s religious traditions. He is currently the president of, which works to lay the foundations for an ecological civilization, and a Chinese environmental organization, the Institute for the Postmodern Development of China, as well as serving on a variety of boards. Philip is married to Judy Kingsley, a teacher  and educational administrator, and father to their twins Adrian and Shawn. He enjoys cycling, refereeing children’s soccer, and wilderness camping with family and dog. Among his works are The Problem of God in Modern Thought; God and Contemporary Science; Explanation from Physics to Theology: An Essay in Rationality and Religion; Quantum Mechanics; Evolution and Ethics: Human Morality in Biological and Religious Perspective; Science and the Spiritual Quest; Religion and Science: The Basics; Transforming Christian Theology: For Church and Society; In Quest of Freedom: The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World; and Adventures in the Spirit: God, World, Divine Action, and The Predicament of Belief: Science, Philosophy, Faith.
December 5, 2019
Tami Hay (Part 2): Earth Gut, Healing Our Bodies and the Essenes as a Community of Well-being
Tami Hay joins me again for a more in-depth conversation about her insights into health, the ecology of our 'gut', eating a plant-based diet, the importance of soil health, the amazing work of Dr. Zach Bush,  as well as a brief inquiry into the Essenes, a Jewish community that once existed during the Second Temple period that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE, during the time of Jesus Christ.  Tami is an Alberta-based nutritionist, spiritual healer and author of her forthcoming book called EarthGut: The Story of Peace, Love and Microbes.
December 5, 2019
Well-being Budget for Canada 2020-21
Following the Canadian national elections on October 21, 2019, economist Mark Anielski has prepared this fictional well-being budget and speech for 2020-21. The idea of a Well-being Budget for Canada is based on New Zealand's recent Well-being Budget 2019 tabled by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her coalition Government of New Zealand in May 2019. This proposed budget speech is meant to promote an important discussion across Canada that would orient our nation's economic development compass towards well-being. Adopting a well-being-based approach to budgeting and governance like New Zealand is an idea worth pursuing to renew hope in this great country we call Canada.
November 20, 2019
David Dodge: Stories of hope for a renewable energy future for Canada
David Dodge is the producer and host of Green Energy Futures, a multimedia storytelling project which has now been running over 7 years sharing stories about the clean-energy revolution in Canada and around the world. As an environmental journalist, he produced more than 350 Ecofile episodes for the CKUA Radio network (Alberta), edited Borealis magazine, and was the production manager for a Canadian nature publisher. David joins me today to speak about his perspective on renewable energy futures, the climate emergency, overcoming the growing politics of fear in Alberta, and shares the amazing story of how a group of high school students and their teacher have turned a rural Alberta high school in Lacombe (Alberta) into the Greenest high school in Canada. David continues to be one of the most hopeful voices in Canada that a renewable energy future in possible and economical.
November 17, 2019
Tami Hay: Food as Spiritual Medicine
Tami Hay joins me in conversation from her log-home just east of Edmonton to talk about food as medicine. Tami, a former social worker, is a Spiritual Massage Therapist with 20-years of experience. Tami has been successful in  transcended years of debilitating and painful digestive challenges, including Crohn's disease, by learning how the food we eat is critical to our state of health, including our spiritual well-being. In our conversation she talks about how our bodies are too often fooled by designer foods and fast food. We need to teach our bodies how to enjoy healthy local foods, plants, and microbes (literally her local pharmacy). Tami's forthcoming book (December 2019) titled Earth Gut: The Story of Peace, Love, and Microbes provides us with her personal insights into how to improve our personal state of well-being. Tami teaches food classes and integrative health practices.
October 30, 2019
Dr. John Cobb Jr. Process Theologian (Claremont School of Theology) on a Transition from Industrial Civilization to an Ecological Civilization for Korea
Dr. John Cobb Jr. (94) presents his ideas at the October 2019 Ecological Civilization conference held in Seoul, South Korea (October 1-3, 2019) on how countries like China and Korea can transition from the current industrial civilization to a new Ecological Civilization. I also attended this important conference presenting my ideas on how Korea can adopt new measures of progress such as well-being and happiness indices and incorporate these into the City of Seoul and Korea's budgeting and governance systems.
October 23, 2019
California legalizes public banking, like Alberta and North Dakota
My next guest is Walt McCree with the US-based Public Banking Institute (and Associates). Walt and I discuss the importance of this weeks decision of California's State Governor Gavin Newsom that allows California cities and counties to create their own public banks, making the state one of just two (after North Dakota in 1919 and the province of Alberta (Canada) in 1938) to legalize institutions of that kind. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Public Banking Act, or AB 857, which will allow city and county governments to create, or sponsor, public banks. Those banks will in turn provide public agencies access to loans at interest rates much lower than they could find at private banks. Supporters say the change sets the stage for funding infrastructure demands or providing loans to developers to help meet affordable housing needs.  Walt and I discuss the importance of this historical victory for public banking and why public banking is a key piece of the architecture for building flourishing economies of well-being.
October 13, 2019
Ellen Brown banking on the people, democratizing money
 Ellen Brown is the founder of the Public Banking Institute,  a Fellow at The Democracy Collaborative, and the author of a dozen books and hundreds of articles.  She developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles.  In the best-selling Web of Debt (2007, 2012), she turned those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust,” showing how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves and how we the people can get it back. In The Public Bank Solution (2013) she traces the evolution of two banking models that have competed historically, public and private; and explores contemporary public banking systems globally.  Today most of our money is created, not by governments, but by banks when they make loans. Her new book Banking on the People published June 1, 2019 takes the reader step by step through the sausage factory of modern money creation, explores improvements made possible by advances in digital technology, and proposes upgrades that could transform our outmoded nineteenth century system into one that is democratic, sustainable, and serves the needs of the twenty-first century. Ellen joins me today from her home in Los Angeles to talk about the important role of public banking and explores why Alberta has such an important competitive advantage with North America’s largest public bank, the Alberta Treasury branch which was founded in 1938 by Alberta’s Social Credit government.
June 24, 2019
Tim Nash: Impact Investing for Good
Tim Nash is the founder of Good Investing and blogs as The Sustainable Economist. As an expert on socially responsible investing, impact investing, and the green economy, he is regularly featured in publications such as CBC’s The National, BNN Bloomberg’s Market Call, and the Globe and Mail. He earned his BA in Economics from Dalhousie University (Canada) and his Master's in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability from the Blekinge Institute of Technology (Sweden). He is the lead researcher for Ethical Market’s Green Transition Scoreboard® research report, which details more than $10.3 trillion of private investments in the global green economy. Tim joined me May 31, 2019 from Toronto to share his insights into impact investing and how you and I can start orienting our investment choices to building a better economy of well-being.
June 10, 2019
Takota Coen: Permaculture farming as a model for an economy of well-being
 Takota Coen is one of Canada's youngest and innovative pioneering permaculture farmers. Takota along with his family farm 250 acres of prime agriculture land just east of Ponoka Alberta near Red Deer Lake. They practice a form of land stewardship called Permaculture.  Permaculture is a set of design principles centered around whole systems thinking simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems. Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; looking at the interaction of plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system, which has been the basis of industrial agriculture for decades. Takota was born, raised and now helps steward Coen Farms using permaculture principles. The Coen family has been transforming their farm into an agro-ecological oasis since 1988.   Their story began in 1988 the Coen family could no longer ignore the declining health of their land, their animals, their family & their community.   They decided to eliminate all chemical fertilizers & biocides.  Today, Takota along with his parents continue that tradition, & with the addition of permaculture design & holistic management their 250 acre award winning farm is proud to be a part of the growing regenerative agriculture revolution that is healing the planet & its people. He holds a Permaculture Design Certificate from The Permaculture Research Institute, a Holistic Management Certificate, and a Red Seal Certificate for Carpentry. When he is not busy farming, Takota works to empower others with the tools and resources to design, implement, and manage resilient living systems that are Earth restorative.  Takota spoke with me about how he envisions permaculture being the basis of not only a new era in growing food and healing our bodies but also as a model for the economy; a key platform for building an economy of well-being.
April 25, 2019
Marilyn Hughes: A Christian mystic talks about how to build an economy of love and well-being
 Marilynn Hughes is my next guest on an economy of well-being podcast. Marilyn is a Christian mystic. She has experienced, researched, written and taught about Out-of-Body Travel and Mysticism since 1987 and has appeared on innumerable radio and television programs to discuss her thousands of out-of-body experiences. She is featured in the documentary film ‘The Road to Armageddon’ which was released in the Fall of 2012 and has been included in ‘The Encyclopedia of the Unseen World,’  Marilynn Hughes founded ‘The Out-of-Body Travel Foundation’ in 2003 (Mission – Reduce Spiritual and Physical Hunger Worldwide). Marilynn has written 98+ books, 40 magazines and around 15 CD's on Out-of-Body Travel and Comparative Religious Mysticism. These books, along with accompanying music and art, are all available for free download.  She has studied the Ancient Sacred Texts of all Major and Minor World Religions extensively, as well as the fullest breadth of mystical teachings and works. She has one of the most extensive library of mystical works I’ve ever seen. Marilynn came across her vocation as a mystic unexpectedly. When she was nine years old, she had her first profound vision wherein she saw the heavens open and a beautiful marble staircase surrounded by angels led to the throne of God. In this experience, she was told many things, among them that He would return to her later in her life and give her a mission.  When she was 22 years old, she had her first out-of-body experience completely unexpectedly which began a process of journaling which would unleash thousands of out-of-body travel and mystical experiences over the next decades which began and led the process which changed her life, her career and her focus from then forward. Marilynn joins me today from her home in the US to talk about how she sees an economy of well-being and love emerging in our world that often seems so dark and hopeless. In the face of these seemingly overwhelming challenges she gives us what just might the ‘red pill’ for a more joyful future.
March 24, 2019
Jacqueline Cardinal: Stories of hope from an indigenous entrepreneur.
Jacqueline Cardinal is a gifted young (28) indigenous woman. Jacqueline was recently named as one of the top people under 40, along with her brother Hunter Cardinal (24), by Avenue Magazine. Jacqueline is a serial entrepreneur. She is the co-owner and Managing Director of Naheyawin, and indigenous owned and operated consulting firm that creates and searches for tools to assist indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in their effort to reclaim the spirit of the Treaties and to build a new relationship (a new story) for a better and more vibrant future for Canada.  She spoke with me today (01.21.2019) in Edmonton about what gives her hope and about her journey and challenges as an indigenous entrepreneurial woman.  She and her brother Hunter have produced a new play called Lake of the Strangers. Lake of the Strangers was Inspired by ancient Nehiyaw mythology; the story follows two brothers in their last summer adventure, through forests, rivers, and not knowing. Lake of the Strangers is a journey of two brothers finding each other and themselves. Lake of the Strangers is playing at the  ATB Financial  Arts Barn (Backstage Theatre) until February 2, 2019.
January 29, 2019
Carol Anne Hilton: Indigenomics and Canada's $100 Billion Indigenous Economy
Carol Anne Hilton is one of the leading First Nations thinkers and leaders in Canada. Her concept of 'indigenomics' is gaining more attention in Canada and around the world. In 2018 she launched the Indigenomics Institute, the leading research, education, and engagement platform for supporting the rebuilding  and design of Indigenous economies of Indigenous peoples worldwide. The Institute works to  facilitate the realization of Indigenous modern political, economic, legal and community development objectives. Indigenomics is a dialogue and design platform to bring attention and focus to the growing Indigenous Economy; estimated to reach $100 billion in Canada in the years ahead. An Indigenous economic growth future is good for everyone and will bring new hope for all Canadians.
January 17, 2019
Lil MacPherson: Better Lives Through Eating Good Local Food
December 22, 2018 My next special guest is Lil MacPherson, a businesswoman and restaurateur based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lil is the the co-founder of the Wooden Monkey restaurant. I first met Lil in Halifax in 2007 when she hosted a book salon in her restaurant for my first book, The Economics of Happiness. The Wooden Monkey believes that sustainable agriculture protects our environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare.  Lil believes that sustainable agriculture also produces foods that are better for you than the highly processed industrial alternatives--and you sure can taste the difference!  Lil is passionate about food; she believes that serving good, local and healthy food is the base of better lives. In 2016 Lil ran for the mayor of Halifax against the incumbent Mike Savage. She did very well considering this was her first crack at politics. We spoke today about her current interests and her vision of the future for Halifax and Canada.
January 7, 2019
A Vision for an Economy of Well-being for Alberta
What would an economy of well-being for Alberta look like? Author Mark Anielski outlines his vision for a new economic future for Alberta.
December 18, 2018
Bonnie Trottier: How to measure well-being in a small town
Bonnier Trottier, a former child-care social worker and Valleyview community coordinator, has been a major part of the fledgling Valleyview Well-being Coalition. Bonnie was asked by Town Manager, Marty Paradine, to become a key architect of the Coalition as part of her applied studies in community planning at McEwan University (Edmonton). Bonnie was instrumental as a connector and catalyst for getting the Coalition up and running. Bonnie has become a champion of well-being in Valleyview (a small community of 1800 people) and sees well-being communities as the future for development of communities across Canada. I spoke with Bonnie from her home in Valleyview Alberta on July 13, 2018 to reflect on her experience with the Valleyview Well-being Initiative.
December 17, 2018
Suza Singh, Calgary-based Action Film Maker
Suza Singh is a remarkable women. Suza is an action film maker originally from Manchester UK living in Calgary, Alberta. She has some bold ideas about this interesting genre of film and casts women as modern action heros. Her recent film, Replican, cast her own daughter. We spoke about how to present ideas like well-being and soul craft in film.
December 12, 2018
John Cobb Jr. on China's Ecological Civilization
John Cobb Jr. is one of world's most important theologians of our era; a master of Alfred North Whitehead's process theology. At 93-years of age Cobb's mind is remarkably sharp. His wisdom is unparalleled. He joined me today from his home in Claremont, California to talk about his most recent journey to China and South Korea, where he gave 14 public addresses on the subject of building an ecological civilization in Asia. He explores how a resurgence in classical Chinese thought and Confucian ideas in China is a sign of hope for Asia and the world.
December 12, 2018
Peter Block (Author of Flawless Consulting and the Abundant Community)
Peter Block, a 78-year-old master of public sector governance consulting and someone passionate about communities, joins me from Cincinnati on a far-ranging, wisdom-filled conversation. Peter has been my mentor and friend. He has been working with John McKnight and Walter Brueggemann on the Economics of Compassion and the Jubilee Project in Cincinnati.
November 6, 2018
John McKnight: Building Neighbourhood Assets
Author John McKnight joins me today in a special interview about his legacy of work as a community organizer. His work inspired me to think about community assets differently; assets are the diversity of gifts, skills and competencies we all have to share with others without compensation for money. McKnight is the author of The Careless Society, a classic critique of professionalized social services and a celebration of communities’ ability to heal themselves from within. He is co-author of Building Communities from the Inside Out (with Jody Kretzmann), the Abundant Community (with Peter Block) and An Other Kingdom (with Peter Block and Walter Brueggemann). McKnight is Co-Founder of the Asset Based Community Development Institute and a Senior Associate of the Kettering Foundation. John has been helped inspire the Edmonton Abundant Community Initiative led by my friend Howard Lawrence. Howard was inspired by the work of McKnight and Peter Block.
September 20, 2018
Walter Brueggemann: A Gospel of Hope
Legendary Old Testament scholar, theologian and teacher Walter Brueggemann joins me today from his home in Michigan to talk about his life's work and his new book A Gospel of Hope. At 85 years of age, Brueggemann is one of the most important voices of our age reminding us of the importance of embracing the truth of abundance and challenging the dominant economic paradigm of scarcity, indulgence and fear of lack. He calls us all to practice each day with our neighbours acts of love, charity and sharing in our individual and collective gifts and assets. He argues that society today is in a state of collective amnesia having forgotten the words of both the Old and New Testaments in which God continues to reveal the truth of abundance not scarcity. Walter calls us to find our voice and sing a new song, just as the Israelites had to find their own voice to say no to slavery of ancient Egypt trusting in divine providence and Manna (food from heaven).
August 22, 2018
Robert Dellner: Investment Banking and Well-being
Robert Dellner, a London-based investment banker, impact investment expert and master of credit risk, joins me on my show exploring new avenues for impact investment that would take a well-being perspective. Robert joined me from his home in Woking just south of London.
August 17, 2018
Dr. Muhammad Amjad Saqib founder of Akhuwat the world's largest interest-free micro finance program
Today (July 15, 2018) I'm pleased to have a pre-recorded interview between my previous guest, Aneeqa Malik, and Dr. Muhammed Amjad Saqib, the founder of Akhuwat ( Dr Muhammad Amjad Saqib is the Founder and Chairperson of Akhuwat, the world’s largest Qard-e-Hasan Trust, the world's largest interest-free micro-finance program. He has also worked as a consultant for various international development agencies, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Labor Organization (ILO), UNICEF, the World Bank, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), USAID and DFIDDr. Dr. Saqib talks about the unique merits of Akhuwat in providing over 2.9 million poorer families in Pakistan with interest-free loans so they can become more self-reliant. Akhuwat aims to alleviate poverty by creating a bond of solidarity between the “haves” and “have nots." How might this model of zero-interest banking be applied in Canada, the US and other countries?
July 14, 2018
Aneeqa Malik: Soul-i-darity, Sufi Mysticism and Akhuwat (interest-free lending) in Pakistan
My guest is Aneeqa Malik, a London-based, Pakistani-born Transformation Management Consultant and Soulidarity Stewardess. She is Akhuwat UK’s Senior Research and Development Strategist. She is an Action Learning (ILM) & Research Facilitator and a Research Fellow at TRANS4M’s Centre for Integral Development, Hotonnes, France. She is currently on a PHD (Personal Holistic Development) program for TRANS4M’s ‘CARE-4-Society’ module. Aneeqa is also a practising Sufi. She spoke to me today from her home in London about her work, what it means to be a Sufi in our complex world as well as introducing us to Akhuwat, a interest-free micro finance system based in Pakistan. Akhuwat is the world's largest interest-free microfinance program founded by Dr. Amjad Saqib in Lahore, Pakistan, started in 2001.
July 14, 2018
How do you measure well-being in a small town like Valleyview, Alberta?: with guest Bonnie Trottier
Bonnier Trottier, a former child-care social worker and Valleyview community coordinator, has been a major part of the fledgling Valleyview Well-being Coalition. Bonnie was asked by Town Manager, Marty Paradine, to become a key architect of the Coalition as part of her applied studies in community planning at McEwan University (Edmonton). Bonnie was instrumental as a connector and catalyst for getting the Coalition up and running. Bonnie has become a champion of well-being in Valleyview and sees well-being communities as the future for development of communities across Canada. I spoke with Bonnie from her home in Valleyview Alberta to reflect on her experience with the Valleyview Well-being Initiative. I hope you find her reflections meaningful regarding the importance of building trust and engaging citizens in helping to improve the well-being conditions in their community.
July 13, 2018
Marty Paradine - Measuring Well-being in the Town of Valleyview Alberta
Join my next guest, Marty Paradine, an engineer and the town manager of a small Alberta town called Valleyview (2000 people). Marty was instrumental in envisioning and leading the Well-being Project for the town of Valleyview between 2016-2017. The project resulted in the development of a Well-being Index for the towns citizens and a Well-being Measurement and Governance system, perhaps the first municipality in North America. Marty and I explore the challenges of measuring well-being, incorporating well-being impacts into planning and budgeting, how to demonstrate value for taxes through a well-being lens, and how to orient municipal asset management to improving the well-being of a community.
July 12, 2018
Laura Musikanski (The Happiness Alliance) on Measuring Happiness and Well-being
My next guest on The Economics of Well-being podcast show is Laura Musikanski. Laura is the executive director of The Happiness Alliance and former executive director of Sustainable Seattle. A lawyer by profession, Laura is passionate about measuring the well-being and happiness of communities and nations. Laura shares some of her recent experiences in measuring well-being with her non-profit organization having surveyed over 80,000 people around the world. Discover what new things Laura has learned from assessing the well-being of young people and countries like Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. How can we genuinely incorporate well-being measurement in the process of governance of communities and nations?
June 15, 2018
John De Graaf, Beauty and Well-being
John de Graaf is my new guest on An Economy of Well-being podcast. John is a Seattle-based independent producer of the award-winning television documentaries Affluenza and Escape from Affluenza, and is the national coordinator of Take Back Your Time Day. He spoke to me today measuring happiness and about his new project call And Beauty for All. Intuitively we know there is a connection between beauty and our sense of well-being and happiness. We believe all Americans appreciate beauty, regardless of their political views, origin, economic status or creed, and that working to restore beautiful landscapes and create beautiful places is a non-partisan cause that can bring us together and build community in polarizing times.
June 8, 2018
The Well-being Corporation: Introduction
In this short podcast I introduce the idea of how businesses can incorporate well-being principles and practices into their operations. Can a new Well-being Bottom Line become the fundamental measure of success of a new generation of business leaders that aspire to contribute to the genuine well-being and happiness of their clients and communities they serve?
May 26, 2018
Well-being By Design
In this second podcast I explore the concept of incorporating well-being attributes in the architecture and design of buildings, office spaces, our homes and even on the 'internet of things.'
May 26, 2018
Personal Happiness and Well-being
This is my first rough cut podcast about my personal perspective on personal happiness and well-being.
May 26, 2018
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