The Republic of Wellbeing? Life Beyond GDP!

A participatory talk with Lorenzo Fioramonti and Martin Whitlock

7.45pm, Thursday 4th February 2016
Totnes Methodist Church
Entry by donation

What is real wealth?
What are the conditions for growing wellbeing?
How does Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the most powerful number in the world – make growing wellbeing more difficult?

It is time to move on from GDP, but despite the many alternative measures of progress on offer there is little public engagement or government action on the key impediment to the development of a wellbeing-focused economy – GDP itself! It is even enshrined in the treaties of the EU!

rfkProfessor Lorenzo Fioramonti and Martin Whitlock take us on a journey to ‘the Republic of Wellbeing’, exploring how the focus on GDP obstructs good economic outcomes, and what we can do about it.

Lorenzo Fioramonti is Professor of Political Economy at the University of Pretoria and the Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation. The author of Gross Domestic Problem: The Politics Behind the World’s Most Powerful Number, he is a global thought leader in the development of the Wellbeing Economy and the Beyond-GDP movement. He is co-founder of

Martin Whitlock is a writer and campaigner, and co-founder of He is the author of Human Politics : Human Value, a detailed critique of the GDP economy and the political, social and economic harms that it causes.

This event is a co-promotion by the Network of Wellbeing and the Totnes REconomy Project. For more information see or call 01803 849107  or text 07702 633687




1YT Social Enterprise Tea Party

January 14th 4:30pm at the REconomy Centre

1ytThe One Year in Transition cohort will be in town for their social enterprise and local economics module and we’re throwing a little party for the occasion. What’s 1YTY? An innovative educational programme for young people.  During the afternoon, we’ll be exploring current issues in social enterprise and economic relocalisation. Then we’ll shift into party mode. If you are involved in a social enterprise, please come and share your experience – your chance to ‘give back’. If you’re a young person interested in alternatives to university, then here’s your chance to gain a new perspective.  For more information, see the 1YT website:

Land, Democracy & the Economy: talk by Andy Wightman

Monday 7th December 2015 19:30 – 21.30

Methodist Church

Fore Street, Totnes

andywightmanThe Henry George Society of Devon host a talk by Andy Wightman, Scottish land reform campaigner and author of The poor had no lawyers: who owns Scotland and how they got it as well as many policy papers about land reform and Land Value Taxation in Scotland.

Land provides the fundamentals of our existence as individuals and communities. It provides places to live, to grow food, to derive important natural resources, to play, and to sustain all life.

Who should own the land? How should it be governed? How should decisions about its use be made? How should it be taxed?

Andy Wightman will explore these questions and relate them to the state of the UK economy, the housing crisis and community development. He will outline the current land reform process in Scotland and the prospects for reform beyond the 2016 Holyrood election.

Why Brew Things Locally? Totnes Triple Tipple

Friday, Nov 20 4pm – Beer Tour

IMG_3894Totnes boasts three local craft-breweries.  Nine years ago there were none.  100 years ago the Lion Brewery was one of the largest employers in town.

Join us on this fun, Friday afternoon trail and we’ll test out the hypothesis that this humble resurgence of local breweries is not a passing fad, but part of a subtle yet significant shift in our economic culture.

Doing things on a smaller scale and closer to home is making more and more sense to more people. The benefits include creating more fulfilling livelihoods, making businesses more sustainable, circulating more money locally and bringing communities together.

IMG_3563Join us to explore how Totnes has become recognised as a bit of a centre for local food and drink. We will walk the new ‘Totnes ale trail’ visiting each of the breweries, making some interesting stops along the way.

> The now famous High St and Friday market

> Finding out about Transition Town Totnes and its history of working with food

> REconomy Centre, an ‘incubator’ which supports new and emerging small-scale, local enterprises with food being a priority sector

IMG_4267> ATMOS, an ambitious bid by the town to take their now redundant dairy into community ownership and develop it to meet local needs, including spaces to accommodate food businesses.

> And of course, the three breweries along the route:

* Totnes Brewing Company *

* New Lion Brewery *

*Bridgetown Brewery at the Albert Inn *

We will meet the workers and / or owners of the breweries and hear their stories while we sup their fine produce!   We’ll chat  and make merry as we go.

You need to be able to walk, but we can make special arrangements with advance notice, if necessary.

Date: Friday 20th November 2015

Meet:  4pm at the tree in the Civic Square (Market Square) on Totnes High St.

End: 8-9pm approx. at the Albert inn, Bridgetown

Cost: Donation – pay what you can or you think its worth. Suggestion is £10 for locals, £20 for visitors, but it is up to you.  Bring some cash to spend at each bar!

We’ll meet by the tree in the Market Square at 4pm.

Local Entrepreneur Workshop

skillingup_wrkshp_aug22-23 005The Local Entrepreneur Workshop is designed to stimulate, inspire, and support enterprising change makers develop their business idea and maybe even to help prepare to pitch at the next Local Entrepreneur Forum.  This workshop is a full-day session on November 21 from 9:30am – 4:30pm at the REconomy Centre. It will focus on four themes: Leadership, Innovation, Business Models, and Pitching Your Plan. The day will be productive and fun with interactive discussion, activities and lots of resources.  Cost is £20 with bursaries available. To book, email

Finding the Right Work

This one day stimulating workshop with Gill Coombs is for anyone wanting to explore what you want to give through your work, as well as what you want to get from it. Everyone has unique qualities and skills to offer – but in today’s highly commercialised and individualistic society, many find themselves in work that isn’t fulfilling, or doesn’t fit their values. Through discussion, creative activity and individual reflection, you’ll gain greater clarity about how your life at work could develop. You’ll create a plan to take the insights you gain about your potential back into your daily life, launching you gently towards realising your vision.

Saturday, September 26
10am – 4pm
REconomy Centre
Cost – by donation
Max group size: 12

Gill Coombs
Gill Coombs

Gill Coombs, in response to feedback she often receives, describes herself as a Thought Provoker. Author of Hearing our Calling, she brings a diverse work history, many years of coaching and group facilitation, a relaxed, friendly, compassionate approach and a deep commitment to the importance of finding our calling in the world.


To book a place:
More info at:

How should we live? A dangerous invitation

How should we live?  A dangerous invitation
by Belinda Seaward

Philosophers have been asking this question for centuries and arriving at various theories that aim to promote human flourishing. Self-examination started early in ancient Greece with Socrates, the big daddy of philosophy, whose playful and provocative approach to asking the most fundamental questions such as: what is true knowledge, drew scores of young followers inspired by him to open their minds and think for themselves.

Considered the most dangerous man of his time, Socrates was given a death sentence for corrupting the teenagers of Athens and told by the court that he could escape the penalty on the condition that he give up philosophy. He chose to drink hemlock rather than give into a system that wanted him to stop making people think.

A few thousand years later, a contemporary Socrates, the Australian philosopher Peter Singer received death threats for daring to suggest that not all human life is sacred. Among Singer’s so-called outrageous ideas is the claim that some highly evolved mammals such as whales or chimpanzees should be considered persons.

The Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess, another controversial thinker who spent most of his years as one of Norway’s most eminent professors living in a remote mountain hut, believes that is it painful to think, but necessary if we are ever to wake up and find the solutions to some of the most pressing problems such as how we should preserve life on our planet.

If the above fails to put you off, then you have passed the first test of philosophy, which is to realise that thinking properly is challenging, mind-expanding and potentially, illuminatingly dangerous. If you would like to learn more and try out some philosophy in practice then come along to a free taster session at the REconomy Centre in Totnes on Thursday September 24th from 7pm to 9pm.

The theme of the evening is: What is Philosophy for and what can Philosophy do for me? An introduction to philosophical thinking through the ideas of Socrates. The seminar is led by teacher, author and social entrepreneur Belinda Seaward, who has taught philosophy and ethics for more than fifteen years. Two years ago she launched learning for life social philosophy seminars, which are growing across the South West. For further information contact: Belinda Seaward, Thinking Through Philosophy. 07968904256/01626 778049.

Applying for Jobs – as if work matters

Applying for Jobs –

as if work matters

Wednesday, 22 July 2 – 4.30pm

The REconomy Centre


This is a practical mini workshop, designed to help you get the job you want. We’ll explore:
  • What kind of work are you looking for?
  • Writing an effective CV/application form
  • Successful interviews: a two-way, quality conversation

gillGill Coombs is a professional coach, facilitator and author. She has spent many years on both sides of the recruitment story: helping organisations across the sectors with recruitment, and training interviewers; and helping people find the right work for them, apply for jobs or start their own businesses. Her book Hearing our Calling was published last year.

Skilling Up for Local Economic Change

Join us for the first two-day intensive course offered through the REconomy Centre. August 22-23

Skilling Up For Local Economic Change – this two-day course is designed for members of community groups, organisers, activists, local leaders – anyone, really, who is interested in making real economic change where they live. Based on our experience in Totnes and elsewhere, this course will include useful ideas and theories, and lots of practical tools. Participants will come away with a solid understanding of local economics, how to organise change making project, and a real feeling of confidence. Topics include:

  • economics – assumptions and aspirations
  • community engagement
  • key ideas in local economics
  • mapping and assessments
  • networks beyond the usual suspects
  • messages and frames
  • design charrette

This is course is offered on a sliding scale basis from £ 5 – £100.

Booking is essential –