The Well Being In the Nation (WIN) Network is a growing collaborative of people in places across the country who confront challenges together. WIN partners are expanding the vital conditions that all people need to thrive – without exception. We believe that together, we can secure intergenerational well-being for all.
We know we need to make bold changes to advance intergenerational well-being, but it can be hard to know where to start. Communities WIN: A Community Guide for Dialogue and Action is designed to help local leaders, as stewards, translate the ideas and values of WIN into collective action. It moves stewards through several key modules:
- Understanding Legacies introduces the WIN theory of change. The three core mechanisms for advancing intergenerational well-being for all include: legacies, vital conditions, and stewards.
- Expanding Vital Conditions applies the WIN theory of change to our communities. Moving from abstract concepts to the legacies that shape our daily lives helps highlight opportunities to create change in our own backyards.
- Acting as Stewards showcases how WIN pacesetters have implemented the WIN theory of change to advance intergenerational well-being for all. These stories from diverse communities demonstrate how stewards are taking action together.
Module 1: Introduction
WIN begins with a recognition that the legacies of the past have shaped our present—and the decisions we make today will shape the legacies inherited by generations in the future.
WIN expands vital conditions, the properties of places and institutions that we all need all the time to reach our full potential.
WIN looks to stewards, leaders working together across differences, in places around the country to confront challenges and enrich well-being in ways that are inclusive of everyone.
Despite decades of investment by nonprofits, philanthropy, and others, we continue to face challenges to our collective well-being—and are losing ground as more people feel they are struggling or suffering, not thriving.
We find ourselves at a pivotal moment. Life expectancy in the U.S has recently decreased and there is a real, and once unthinkable, chance kids born today will live shorter lives than their parents. Americans are sicker than people in other rich countries. High rates of alcoholism, drugs use, and deaths by suicide, combined with obesity, poverty, and social isolation, lead to complex, interconnected health challenges.
We have the opportunity to make bold changes. There is growing recognition that we need to try different approaches and experiment with new models--and we know communities are confronting these challenges in innovative and inspiring ways.
Together, WIN Network partners are advancing intergenerational well-being for all across the county.
What is Well-Being?
Well-being is an increasingly popular way to describe all aspects of our health, giving us a term that simply and easily encompasses physical, mental, emotional, financial, and spiritual health.
The WIN Network defines well-being in two, related ways. Well-being is both personal—changing over time as we live our lives—and dependent on a system designed long before we were born:
Personal Experiences: Individual perspectives and experiences that affect how we think, feel, and function, as well as how we evaluate our lives as a whole.
Vital Conditions: Properties of places and institutions that we all need to reach our potential.
What is Equitable Well-Being?
WIN is committed to intergenerational well-being for all--no exceptions.
All people could be thriving, however millions of us across America are struggling and suffering. As we implement bold ideas and shape our communities for generations to come, we must ensure that all people and places are able to reach their full potential.
Module 2: Understanding Legacies
This module describes how the bold ideas of WIN are rooted in three core concepts that capture our community system and how we can take collective action to shape our choices, opportunities, and sense of well-being.
- Legacies for Living Together either affirm dignity and inclusion, or inflict trauma and exclusion. Each of us can create legacies of inclusion that we would be proud to pass along
- Vital Conditions are things we all need to reach our full potential. They persist over generations and their presence or absence affect who is thriving, struggling, or suffering
- Stewards are people and organizations who share responsibility for working together across differences to expand the vital conditions that all people and places need to thrive
Module 3: Expanding Vital Conditions
This module describes each vital condition and links to resources that help us understand the conditions we have inherited, identify strategies for expanding vital conditions, and introduce ways to track our progress.
The accompanying dialogue questions for this module focus on the current conditions in our own communities: What have we inherited? Who is thriving or not thriving because of these conditions?
As stewards, we start to apply the WIN theory of change in this module. We are working to understand our own legacies as we reflect the status of vital conditions in our communities.
Module 4: Acting as Stewards
Pacesetters are communities leading the way when it comes to advancing intergenerational well-being for all. Stewards work together in these communities to steer systems and shift mindsets, expanding vital conditions to create legacies for living together.
In the previous modules, we have defined the WIN theory of change, thought through ways legacies shape current conditions in our communities--and named shared stewardship as a pathway for creating legacies of dignity and inclusion.
The final module of this guide showcases ways that WIN pacesetters are moving toward their vision of intergenerational well-being for all.