Connecting Five Ways to Wellbeing to qualities of creativity

During the researching of a Teacher’s Resource Pack for a Time to Change project I’ve been part of in Leeds (with Space2) – I came across the New Economics Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing, written in 2008.

The 5 ways are:
• Connect…
• Be active…
• Take notice…
• Keep learning…
• Give…


Image from

I was struck by the connections between these five actions to enhance positive wellbeing and their relationship to qualities and actions frequently associated with creative activity. For example much of my own project Waymarking strongly references these qualities and actions.

Connect… Waymarking goals – Making connections and enabling dialogue and collaboration between disciplines

Be active… Waymarking goals – Exploring performance/the performative in place-making and place-shaping

Take notice… Keep learning… Curious City Dwellers projects

Give… Leeds Creative Timebank

I’m highly interested in this link between the factors associated with wellbeing and creative skills and attributes. I think it is especially relevant when it comes to thinking about developing resilience, both for individuals in relation to mental health and also for communities in relation to the ability to thrive in these challenging times (the triple crunch). See Waymarking’s Manifesto.

‘…resilience: A culture based on its ability to function indefinitely and to live within its limits, and able to thrive for having done so.’
Transition Handbook; From oil dependency to local resilience,
p.13, Rob Hopkins, Green Books, 2008

See other posts referencing Transitions Towns.


About waymarkingthesketchbook

Sarah Spanton is director of arts organisation Waymarking -
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