NICOLA Sturgeon’s resignation comes less than a month after Jacinda Ardern resigned as New Zealand’s prime minister. Both leaders cited the toll of their positions as factors in their decision, and both departures have sparked an overdue conversation about the need to transform political culture and discourse.

The two also share a wider positive legacy, as advocates for economic thinking that prioritises the wellbeing of people and planet.

Alongside Icelandic prime minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Sturgeon and Ardern co-founded the Wellbeing Economy Governments Partnership (WEGo) which has since grown to include Finland, Wales, and Canada.

READ MORE: FM leaves behind 'positive' legacy on putting people over profit, academic says

New Zealand’s Wellbeing Budget and Wales’s Future Generations Act are just two of the promising practices implemented by these countries and providing inspiration worldwide.

One of the ideas behind WEGo was the recognition that governments don’t always need to compete with each other in the “global race” (often largely about GDP). No government has all the answers in how to translate wellbeing into economic policy, so WEGo offers a space where they can learn from each other, share experiences, and tackle common challenges.

This mission to transform our economy, shared in Sturgeon’s TED Talk on the subject, has gained huge momentum in Scotland and beyond.

The National:

Policymakers around the world interested in this agenda now look to Scotland and the other WEGo nations for inspiration. At a national level, Scotland has taken the first steps towards redesigning our economy. The soon-to-be-reviewed National Performance Framework provides a foundation for valuing what matters, while the new Wellbeing Economy Monitor will help us measure what matters.

A new generation of business leaders is demonstrating what enterprises look like in a Wellbeing Economy, redefining success and putting collective prosperity before narrow metrics of profit.

Recently, 115 civil society leaders outlined the next steps Scotland needs to take to truly transform our economy. And the public is hungry for change. A survey found almost two-thirds of people in Scotland believe the pandemic demonstrated the need to move to a wellbeing economy.

Upcoming bills on Wellbeing and Sustainable Development and Community Wealth Building are opportunities to demonstrate robust implementation of the ideas Sturgeon and Ardern. In her resignation speech Sturgeon said “no one individual should be dominant in any system for too long” and the same is true in long-term redesigning our economies.

Governments are more than their leaders. Much of the work of the Wellbeing Economy agenda is done by civil servants.

So while Sturgeon and Arden will no longer make speeches from despatch boxes, the vision they articulated and the policies they ushered in will be built on, developed and refined by their successors – and by everyone committed to an economic system with wellbeing at its heart.

Dr Katherine Trebeck is co-founder of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance and author of Economics of Arrival