Katherine Trebeck

Katherine Trebek

Learn about the global Compassion Initiative

We are committed to delivering impact for society – through our knowledge and how we lead. 

Edinburgh Futures Institute and the Global Compassion Initiative | The University of Edinburgh is hosting Dr Katherine Trebeck as a ‘writer-at-large’.

Working closely with Professor Liz Grant | The University of Edinburgh (co-director of the Planetary Futures MSc and the Global Compassion Initiative), Katherine will explore the overlap between compassion and the economy. Over this three-year project, Katherine is producing a suite of written pieces, taking part in discussions about a more compassionate economy (for example, supporting the U21 Health Sciences initiative), and co-delivering a course on the Wellbeing Economy as part of our postgraduate degree programme Planetary Health.  

If you would like to get in touch, you can do so via Katherine’s website: katherinetrebeck.com.

Latest writings


Compassionate change strategies: Can compassion help as a system change strategy?

Wellbeing economy
Ripple in water

How can the stages of compassion offer approaches, tactics, and strategies to those working towards economic system change?


Is compassion something we can ever expect in the economy?

Wellbeing economy
A view looking up at several tall skyscrapers with varied architectural designs against a clear blue sky. The buildings feature glass windows, steel frames, and concrete facades, converging upward from the edges of the image.

Can compassion be something we can expect – and even nurture – in the economy?


The hopeful scaffolding of a wellbeing economy 

Wellbeing economy
A building under construction is covered in white protective sheeting, with scaffolding visible at the top. The roof features rows of protruding structures and chimney-like shapes. The sky is clear and bright blue, casting a distinct shadow on the sheeting.

Amidst world crises, there is cause to hope that changes underway will gain momentum.


Why a compassionate economy is a wellbeing economy and a why a wellbeing economy is a compassionate one 

Wellbeing economy
Man giving change to beggar with backdrop of St Paul's Cathedral in London

Is the term ‘compassionate economy’ an oxymoron?  


Compassion demands we change the economic system 

Wellbeing economy
Vintage silverware on linen napkins

Why – in wealthy countries where food is plentiful – do people go hungry?


Compassion and business: an oxymoron or an opportunity?

Financial Services & FinTech | Wellbeing economy
People in a meeting

A new programme of work is developing the thinking and training on the science and practice of compassion in relation to a Wellbeing Economy.

About Katherine 

Katherine has long been working to change how people and policy makers think about and shape the economy. In recent years she co-founded the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) and its Scottish hub, WEAll Scotland, and instigated the Wellbeing Economy Governments partnership, WEGo.  

Alongside her time as writer-at-large at the Edinburgh Futures Institute, Katherine is a member of, and advisor to, the Club of Rome, a Strategic Advisor for the Centre for Policy Development, and Economic Strategy Advisor to The Next Economy. She is a thinker-in-residence at the Australian National University’s Planetary Health Hot House, a New Economics Senior Fellow at the ZOE Institute, a Fellow of The Post Growth Institute, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Schumacher Institute.  

Katherine has Bachelor Degrees in Economics and in Politics (University of Melbourne) and holds a PhD in Political Science from the Australian National University. Her board roles have included a range of groups such as the C40 Centre for Urban Climate Policy and Economy, the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity, and The Democracy Collaborative. 

Image credit: Robert Ormerod

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