How is our well-being affected by the legacies of policy and investment choices made by prior leaders? What are we doing now to shape the vital conditions that we all depend on to reach our full potential? What legacies will our choices leave to the next generation?

Personal experiences may rise and fall, from birth to death. However, the vital conditions persist over generations. In fact, as a group, the following seven vital conditions strongly shape the exposures, choices, opportunities, and adversities that each of us encounter on day one and throughout our lives.

Basic Needs for Health + Safety

This VC focuses on what we need to live healthy lives, what makes a community safe and free from violence, crime, and hazards, and how to build and support communities
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Belonging + Civic Muscle

This VC focuses on fulfilling relationships, the social support people need to thrive, encouraging people to be part of a community and contribute to its vibrancy
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Thriving Natural World

This VC focuses on creating a clean, healthy environment, free of environmental hazards & resilient to future changes & threats–one that fulfills our needs to connect with nature
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Humane Housing

This VC focuses on stable, safe places to live, including diverse, vibrant communities capable of providing what we need to live full, productive lives
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Lifelong Learning

This VC focuses on good education, which ensures all young people, regardless of background or ability, are set up for success, and have the opportunities to reach their full potential
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Meaningful Work + Wealth

This VC focuses on personal, family, and community wealth that provides the means for healthy, secure lives across the lifespan via good-paying, fulfilling jobs and careers
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Reliable Transportation

This VC focuses on compact, walkable, accessible communities, in which mobility is ensured no matter a person’s means, mode or ability, streets are safe, and transportation systems are sustainable
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These conditions are characterized as “vital conditions” because they are unequivocally important for all people to reach their full potential. They are anchored in contemporary science, as well as ancient worldwide wisdom about what it takes to survive and thrive in a common world.

Thousands of contributors helped to articulate and refine this set of vital conditions through years of collaborative action-learning, data analysis, and message framing, coordinated by ReThink Health, and with support from the Rippel Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Well Being Trust, and the WIN Network. Since 2017, these vital conditions have become more widely studied and embraced through venues as the Healthy People 2030 framework for the nation, the National Academies for Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, as well as the Surgeon General’s Report on Community Health and Economic Prosperity.

Vital Conditions

How is our well-being affected by the legacies of policy and investment choices made by prior leaders? What are we doing now to shape the vital conditions that we all depend on to reach our full potential? What legacies will our choices leave to the next generation?

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