Join the conversation and find out more about how organisations all around Australia are working to build a well-being economy at NENA’s 2021 conference!

The 6th annual conference will be held from 5-7 November in person in Brisbane, Australia, and online. The conference, ‘Building a wellbeing economy for Australia’ will explore new economic systems and social initiatives that can address social injustice, respond to climate change, and the growing ecological crisis while building community resilience and ensuring people have happy, secure, thriving communities.

You can find out more about the conference here.

The New Economy Network Australia (NENA) brings together a wide range of individuals and organisations working to transform Australia’s economic system. The network aims to promote ecological health and social justice as the core principles and primary objectives of the economic system.

NENA supports these goals through building connections, showcasing and promoting innovative projects, building peer-to-peer learning, developing networks and systems to create and advocate for change. NENA supports hubs in key geographic or sectoral areas, working together to demand, create and benefit from a “new” economy.

NENA’s work draws on the principles of a well-being economy, seeking to transform economic policy, business, and service delivery to focus on human and ecological well-being rather than economic growth

NENA’s work in transforming the economic system is based on five foundational principles:

  • Ecological Sustainability: That economic activity respects and operates within ecological limits, bioregional health and planetary boundaries, and also supports the regeneration of natural systems and recognises and upholds the inherent rights of nature to exist, thrive and evolve.
  • Social Justice: That everyone can participate and benefit from economic activity in inclusive and equitable ways and that this requires working in solidarity to address the historical and ongoing marginalisation of certain groups by racism, imperialism, classism, patriarchy and other systems of oppression.
  • Democracy: That economic decision-making is participatory, inclusive and transparent and emphasises collective stewardship and management of economic resources, activities and outcomes.
  • Place-based/ Emphasising Locality: That building strong, local/place-based economies is important for Australia’s communities; rooting wealth and power in place through localised economic activity.
  • First Nations People in Australia: That working in solidarity with First Nations Peoples’ is vital to creating a new economy in Australia. NENA acknowledges that the sovereignty of the First Nations People of the continent now known as Australia was never ceded by treaty nor in any other way.  NENA acknowledges and respects First Nations Peoples’ laws and ecologically sustainable custodianship of Australia over tens of thousands of years through land and sea management practices that continue today.  NENA also acknowledges and respects the ancient, Earth-centred, steady state economic system that was created and managed by First Nations People across the continent for millennia. Australian society is in debt to First Nations People for many aspects of the modern economy.


By Sian Townend