TIL (Today I Learned) about Doughnut Economics

I love doughnuts… Do you? Aside from the sweet, sweet doughnuts, did you know there is something called Doughnut Economics that can probably save the world?

What is the Doughnut?

The doughnut is bounded by two rings: A social foundation and an ecological ceiling. The two rings enclose a space that is socially just and ecologically safe, and the doughnut is the sweet spot (pun intended) where humanity and the planet can thrive. If we go below the social foundation, we see critical human deprivation (e.g., food insecurity, water crisis, political instability). If we go above the ecological ceiling, we see critical planetary degradation (e.g., climate change, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss).

How do we determine the 12 dimensions of the social foundation? With the good ol’ Sustainable Development Goals! What about the ecological ceiling? Those dimensions are 9 planetary boundaries that affect the stability and resilience of the Earth system.

Are we in the doughnut now? Short answer…No. We can see that we have overshot at least 4 planetary boundaries, and millions are still deprived of basic needs. To meet the needs of the planet and us, we need to tackle both sides of the doughnut at the same time.

What is Doughnut Economics?

Doughnut economics is not a set of policy, but a mindset to get us into the doughnut. It has 7 principles that can guide us into a regenerative and distributive system. 

  1. Change the Goal: Stop chasing endless GDP growth, but strive for the doughnut.
  2. See the Big Picture: The economy is not self-contained, but closely linked to society and Earth’s system. 
  3. Nurture Human Nature: Strive for diversity, inclusion, participation, co-creation, and trust.
  4. Be Systems Savvy: Know that we live in dynamic and complex systems that are sensitive to feedback loops and tipping points.
  5. Design to Distribute: The economy should create value for those who co-created it. Distribute power and improve equity.
  6. Create to Regenerate: The Economy should be regenerative. Be climate and environmentally conscious. At the same time, be caring to humanity.
  7. Think Thrive, not Growth: Growth should not be the sole goal.

Why is the Doughnut important?

We saw that several planetary boundaries are being violated. We don’t need science to tell us–we can feel that the world is out of whack. At the same time, as rich as the world is, millions are deprived of basic human rights to water, food, housing, and more. If we keep doing “normal”, what would the world become? The world urgently needs to regenerate, and the doughnut provides a way forward for humanity and the planet.

Want to learn more?!

Join us for an interactive Doughnut Economics workshop with Benita Chick, Founder & CEO at Encompass HK at WLAB. Learn how a sustainable, universally beneficial economy would look like and discuss how the Doughnut Economics model can help us to achieve the SDGs.

Places are limited. Sign up now: bit.ly/DoughnutEconAugust

Add Your Heading Text Here

Share this article via:


Stay Updated with our
Latest News

Climate Action: Race to Zero

The Siemens Stiftung Education Challenge Africa

Climate Action: Race to Zero

beVisioneers: The Mercedes-Benz Fellowship

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please confirm your subscription

Moving minds with Katherin Kirschenmann

Sign up for a monthly update from The DO Co-Founder Katherin Kirschenmann. Discover skills, learnings and mindsets to turn ideas into action and exclusive opportunities for new programs, events and fellowships.

Signing up will give you access to exclusive updates from The DO. We’ll send you emails sharing all that’s going on at The DO: Our latest events, tools, learnings, programs, and expert insights. You can also unsubscribe at any time.