‘Doughnut Economics’ refers to the visual and conceptual framework created by economist Kate Raworth, when she drew the needs of humanity, inside the circular diagram that had been created by the scientists who developed the critically important concept of Planetary Boundaries. Kate’s framework invites people to re-frame our economy and our economic future, by changing our goals: to enable all people to live well, within the ecological ceiling of our planet. The Doughnut helps people rethink the myth of endless growth, and begin seeing economics for what it is: a tool to support humanity.
The hole in the middle of the ‘doughnut’ diagram represents the people that lack access to life’s essentials (healthcare, education, food etc). The ‘crust’ of the doughnut represents the ecological ceiling – our 9 Planetary Boundaries. In Doughnut Economics, an economy is considered prosperous when all 12 social foundations are met, without overshooting any of the nine ecological ceilings.
Kate developed the diagram and her core ideas in her 2012 Oxfam paper – ‘A Safe and Just Space for Humanity’, and she elaborated on the concepts in her 2017 book, mentioned above, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. In late 2021, the creation of the ‘Doughnut Economy Action Lab’ or DEAL, has translated Doughnut Economics into resources and tools so that thousands of people and hundreds of organisations have engaged with and used ‘the Doughnut.’