Good for the economy... but is it good for us?

Yes, Kinder Morgan, pipeline spills are good for the economy. So is cancer, and so are natural disasters like last year’s Calgary flood. But this is no way to measure human progress.

So how can we transition to an economy that prioritizes not just commercial goods, but human and environmental good?

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Upstream Thinking for GenSqueeze Problems

Younger working-age Canadians are being squeezed. Our incomes are lower than a generation ago. We’re struggling to adapt to a changing job market. Many costs of living, and of starting a family, are higher. And we are feeling under-represented in our politics. (see here for details)

It is these challenges that have inspired Generation Squeeze – a pan-Canadian movement that aims to bring people of all ages together to create a better intergenerational deal for Canadians.

The thorny question is, how can we fix these big, complex and deeply rooted intergenerational problems in our social and economic structures?

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What happens when low-wage workers suddenly get a living wage?

When we start thinking health in upstream terms, we can see the implementation of a living wage as a long-term investment in the well-being of our communities! Read about the impact of a living wage for 5 of the 1,400 World Resort Casino employees who went from earning $10 an hour to $20+ overnight. 

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NFLD's Food Insecurity Dramatically Reduced

A new study has reported fantastic news from Newfoundland-Labrador! The province is now experiencing the lowest levels of food insecurity of any province in the country, with particular progress seen among those receiving income assistance. This shifts correlates directly with the implementation of NFL's poverty reduction plan. This is wonderful 'upstream' news, as we know that access to affordable, healthy food is an essential component to our health. 

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Healthy, Wealthy & Why: The social determinants of health, explained

The notion that health and illness are determined by life circumstances is not new, and in recent years this idea has become a staple of health theory and teaching.

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Rx: Bike-Share Membership

Upstream thinking means considering the key ingredients of healthy communities, and preventing illness at its source. Here's a great example! Boston docs are now able to prescribe 5$ bike-share memberships to low-income patients in need.

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Green Carts in NYC

Bringing good things to the people: Green Carts is an upstream initiative with the goal of bringing fresh produce to low-income neighbourhoods. 

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Ontario election platforms analysed through a health lens

How seriously do Ontario’s political parties take the health and wellbeing of Ontarians?

An examination of their platforms indicates ‘not very’

 

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We're Asking Healthcare to Fix Something it Didn't Break

When we talk about creating a healthy society, we're not talking about healthcare. Healthcare is what we need when we've failed to keep people healthy. So where do we start? We start upstream. The article below challenges us to consider why we're still asking healthcare to fix something it didn't break in the first place. 

 

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Failing Economy, Failing Health

“It’s quite stunning we haven’t been hearing more about this...“We talk about poverty and inequality resulting from the recession, but we do not take the next step. We do not extend that logic to the effects on health.”

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Connect upstream.