Case Studies in Adoption of the Well-Being Measures

Communities, regions, and states around the country are measuring well-being to strengthen their realtime understanding of community needs, and to help catalyze necessary changes.

The Fox Cities Region of Wisconsin

Imagine Fox Cities (IFC) is an inclusive, community-wide initiative committed to shaping the future of well-being for Fox Cities residents for generations to come. In late 2018, IFC leaders embarked on a process of deep listening. They invited the community to rate their levels of physical, social, emotional, and financial well-being and asked what ideas there were to ensure all people and places had the opportunity to thrive. Over a six-month period, IFC community volunteers hosted over 90 community dialogues and collected more than 3,000 well-being surveys.

All residents were encouraged to complete the well-being survey and strategies were employed to ensure strong participation and outreach to those in the community whose voices often go unheard. The survey could be completed online or via paper and was offered in English, Spanish, and Hmong. Community organizations including the library, faith institutions, food pantries, businesses, hospitals, and cultural organizations, among others, helped to spread the word.

The well-being survey findings showed 59 percent of community respondents were thriving, while another 41 percent were either struggling or suffering. The findings ran counter to the oft-used phrase for Fox Cities– “happy valley” with the percent struggling and suffering higher than the national average and those who identified as multiracial, Native American or American Indian, and non-binary more likely to be struggling or suffering. Communities, businesses, and government leaders saw this as a call to action for advancing belonging and inclusion and strengthening investments in the vital conditions everyone needs every day to thrive.