Previous stories in this article series, Centered Self, have explored the connection between inner well-being and social change, the different ways people working in social change can engage in a process of self-inquiry, and how funders can support grantees’ well-being. But despite growing recognition that well-being has positive impacts on individuals, organizations, and society, not everyone is on board. Many people continue to view well-being support as a luxury, or at least not a necessity, or as immaterial to creating social change.
I know this because, over the last few years, I’ve tried to put well-being on the agenda of the German social sector and create initiatives that address the well-being needs of our community. Despite having a broad network and deep experience in the field—as the founder of both Germany’s largest crowdfunding platform for social projects and a think tank that researches digital technologies for the common good—it’s been difficult. In my many conversations with funders and executives, I’ve met with evasiveness and resistance, and encountered a whole range of critiques related to the legitimacy and effectiveness of a well-being orientation.
This is an excerpt from the article Addressing the Critiques of Well-Being by Joana Breidenbach.
This article is a part of a special series on the connection between inner well-being and social change, in partnership with The Wellbeing Project, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Schwab Foundation at the World Economic Forum, and Skoll Foundation.