Can a doughnut save the world?

Wildfires, massive inequality, systemic racism, rising food insecurity… you know, ecological and societal collapse.

These are big problems. And they can’t be solved by companies ‘greening’ their offices or donating a percentage of their profits to charities alone.

I do believe those actions matter. These are steps that businesses of all size and type can take today, but they’re just the beginning.

Our collective future deserves—and needs—more. Now.

Thankfully, there are lots of good people out there working on this problem. Developing new theories of change and economic systems that give us better ways of thinking about solutions and taking action.

Doughnut economics is one of these ideas.

An economic model for the challenges of the 21st century

Developed by British economist Kate Raworth, doughnut economics combines the idea of an ecological boundary—nine environmental limits, such as climate change and air pollution—with a social one—measures of human wellbeing, such as access to enough food and gender equality.

Diagram showing a green ring or 'doughnut'

The ‘doughnut’ is the sweet spot between those two boundaries, where everyone has what they need to live happily and within our environmental means.

In this economic model, the goal is to get into and live within the doughnut. While economic growth might be a tool to do that, it is no longer the fundamental goal, the driving force guiding business and government policy.

Instead of thinking, “How can we extract as much financial value from this as possible?”, we ask “How can we design things to create as many benefits for society and the planet as possible?”

What might your business look like if you started from there?

Build a better business

Better for the environment, better for people and—yup—better for your pocket.

Every week, I put together a collection of practical and thought-provoking resources designed to help us grow our impact as small and solo business owners. 

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