Skip to Content

GCPH Seminar Series 16: Lecture 3 - Katherine Trebeck

11 Mar 2020

200 SVS, 200 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5RQ, United Kingdom


A wellbeing economy: from survival and coping to system change

In collaboration with our colleagues from Economic Development at Glasgow City Council, we are delighted that Katherine delivered this seminar in which she outlined the story of the growing wellbeing economy movement and explore what a shift to a wellbeing economy entails. She suggested a wellbeing economy demands a bolder ambition than many social and environmental ideas being offered and reflected on the scope for the necessary transition to be realised.

Drawing on her most recent book, ‘The Economics of Arrival: Ideas for a Grown Up Economy’ (co-authored with Jeremy Williams), Katherine asked ‘what do we want from economic growth?’; and ‘what sort of a society are we aiming for?’

She outlined that in everyday economics, there is no such thing as enough, or too much, growth. Yet in the world’s most developed countries, growth has already brought unrivalled prosperity: we have ‘arrived’. More than that, through debt, inequality, climate change and fractured politics, the fruits of growth may rot before everyone has a chance to enjoy them. She argued that it is time to ask where progress is taking us, and are we nearly there yet? Katherine proposed that the challenge now is to make ourselves at home with this wealth, to ensure, in the interests of equality, that everyone is included and will urge us to move from enlarging the economy to improving it, and the benefits this would bring for all.

Katherine Trebeck headshot

About the speaker

Katherine Trebeck, Policy and Knowledge Lead, Wellbeing Economy Alliance

Katherine is Policy and Knowledge Lead for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance. She has over eight years’ experience in various roles with Oxfam GB - as a Senior Researcher for the Global Research Team, UK Policy Manager, and Research and Policy Advisor for Oxfam Scotland. Katherine instigated the group of Wellbeing Economy Governments; developed Oxfam’s Humankind Index; and led Oxfam’s work on a ‘human economy’. She was Rapporteur for Club de Madrid’s Working Group on Shared Societies and Sustainability and sits on a range of advisory groups, including for the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity and the Omina Foundation. Katherine has Bachelor Degrees in Economics and Politics and holds a PhD in Political Science from ANU. She is Honorary Professor at the University of the West of Scotland and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde. Her most recent book The Economics of Arrival: Ideas for a Grown Up Economy (co-authored with Jeremy Williams) was published in January 2019.

Back to