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Doughnut model: a new way to think about the economy.

This model would change our vision of the economy and the way to take decisions. Think of it as a compass for human prosperity in the 21st century, with the aim of meeting the needs of all people within the means of the living planet.

What is Doughnut model?

The name comes from the shape of the diagram, with a hole in the middle. It’s reminiscent of a doughnut. That’s why it’s known as the doughnut model or doughnut economy.

On the outside of the donut, planetary boundaries are represented. On the inside, the social foundation is represented. The idea is to strengthen the social foundation and no longer affect the nine planetary limits. It is a visual way of integrating sustainability into economic choices and  project development. Between these two sets of boundaries there is space in which people can thrive.

The economist Kate Raworth implemented this theory. She dedicated her work to social and environmental challenges of 21st century. The doughnut model was first published in 2012 in an Oxfam report. Kate’s book: “Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist” go further in the explanation of the doughnut model idea.

It shows that the economy, societies and environment are interdependent. This reminds us of the three components of the sustainable development.

Doughnut model and sustainable development

Sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Doughnut model can be seen as a tool to incorporate sustainability in politics. This model aims to integrate sustainable development into economic decision-making. The economy needs to take social and environmental aspects into account. This concept is attractive for the policymakers to grow their interest for a fair transition, and it is also a way to unify stakeholders around a vision.

When I read about this theory, one question comes to my mind: is a realistic idea or just a dream way to think about economy? In other words: Is doughnut model helpful to take account sustainability in project?

Amsterdam: the first city to put doughnut in local decisions.

Netherlands capital’s is the first city to consider the doughnut model in local decisions. After covid crisis in 2020, the city’s ambition is to recover the economy by adopting the doughnut economics. A guide to rebuild the economy after the pandemic. Amsterdam’s wish is “to bring all 872,000 residents inside the doughnut, ensuring everyone has access to a good quality of life, but without putting more pressure on the planet than is sustainable.”

A lot of cities are inspired by Amsterdam such as Copenhagen but also Brussels Region and the New Zealand. The DEAL (Doughnut Economics Action Lab) was quickly full of requests. Other, such as Nanaimo, a Canadian city oppose the inclusion of  doughnut model in local decision because it would say that the business is bad. The city which starts to rebuild economy after covid crise with the doughnut are satisfied and think doughnut can help to move of covid in a better way.

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