The Well Being In the Nation (WIN) Network looks to the leadership of people in places across the country who confront challenges and enrich communities in ways that are inclusive of everyone. We believe that together, we can secure intergenerational well-being for all.
WIN Network partners value intergenerational well-being and are working to expand the vital conditions that all people need to reach their full potential—now and for generations to come.
People and organizations are working together to do business differently.
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.
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.
- Decisions by previous generations have led to profound disenfranchisement and discrimination, creating legacies of trauma and exclusion.
We have the opportunity to make bold changes:
- Given the continued downward trends for many of our most important indicators of health, there is growing recognition that we need to try new approaches and experiment with new models.
- We have many pockets of hope: places where communities are coming together across the lines that divide them to solve real problems and advance community health.
- We understand the importance of strengthening belonging and civic muscle so that all people feel that they belong—and can contribute to enhancing the well-being of the people and places they love.
What’s different about our approach?
We believe in the power of working across boundaries. We know communities are confronting challenges in innovative and inspiring ways. The WIN Network builds on these core principles of the place-based movement to advance a new way of expanding intergenerational well-being.
WIN places equity at the center by creating legacies of dignity and inclusion through strong stewardship.
WIN distinguishes two related ways of viewing well-being:
Personal Well-Being: Individual perspectives and experiences that affect how we think, feel, and function, as well as how we feel about our lives as a whole.
Vital Conditions for Intergenerational Well-being: Properties of places and institutions that we all depend on to reach our full potential.
We have no say in how our communities were shaped by people who lived before us. We inherit the decisions of the past, making the legacies of previous generations the starting points for our lives. We have a choice to reconcile the past and the present to create inclusive legacies, legacies for intergenerational well-being.
Legacies for intergenerational well-being are rooted in dignity and inclusion. These values guide how we address the decisions of the past and how we increase our belonging and civic muscle in the present.
Stewards create inclusive legacies, leading with equity and well-being to ensure all community members can reach their full potential today—and tomorrow. Stewards work together across sectors to strengthen connection and to share power with fellow stewards in a common world.
What are the WIN principles?
1. Our focus is on creating the vital conditions for intergenerational well-being for all. WIN seeks to create the conditions such that everyone has multiple opportunities to prosper and live well. It also means that we commit to additional supports for those who have the farthest to go to take advantage of these opportunities.
2. Our goal is to bring our efforts together to secure intergenerational well-being for all. We cannot achieve these conditions alone. It is our ability to come together, across differences, across initiatives, and in partnership with those who are most affected by poor outcomes, that will determine our pathway to well-being. We are interconnected, stronger because of our diversity.
3. Past and future legacies matter. Just as the legacies of generations past have brought us to where we are, our decisions today will shape the future of our children and future generations. Some past legacies have given us amazing improvements, like environmental protections and civil rights. Other legacies—such as disenfranchisement and discrimination—have meant that well-being and the opportunities to improve well-being are unevenly distributed. We have no say in the choices that our predecessors made. However, we possess an enormous capacity to transform those conditions—for better and for worse—both for ourselves and for those that follow. With so many lives at stake, our choices have profound significance. We can choose new paths and priorities that create legacies of well-being for generations well into the future.
4. We must accelerate our progress in improving well-being and addressing inequities. Despite decades of work by nonprofits, philanthropy, and others, many conditions have improved only very slowly and many have moved in the wrong direction for some groups. New approaches are needed. Choosing not to act in the face of poor well-being and inequity is the same as being complicit in perpetuating these inequities. The generations to come deserve better.
5. We can accomplish more by working together. The vital conditions that everyone needs—housing, health care, a good job, transportation, safe places to live and work, etc.—are intertwined and affect each other. Affordable housing in a location that requires a long commute can make it hard to hold down a job. Participating in exercise or community functions is difficult when basic safety is in question. Many different agencies and sectors hold the pieces of the puzzle needed to achieve these solutions.
6. Unifying solutions should be actively sought and promoted when possible. There are many places across the country, in every kind of political context, where ordinary people routinely confront shared challenges and reach across differences to work together to enrich their well-being as a whole community. We look to these communities and to their trans-partisan successes as models for our work together and seek to support their leadership with our own.
7. Equity is our “price of admission” in process and outcomes – We all commit to working together to achieve equity across sectors. This requires equitable processes and outcomes. Equity, in business, represents ownership over something. We believe that the ownership of people with lived experience of inequity needs to not only be included by actively grown in any process that improves well-being and equity for all.
How do we take action together?
WIN Network members to learn, share, and discover together through cooperatives.
Cooperatives are self-sustaining, self-governing implementation vehicles for the WIN Network. Cooperatives are led by WIN Network members working at different levels with different perspectives, generating new ways of thinking.
WIN cooperatives include: