Doughnut Economics: a more radical approach to 'Brede Welvaart'?

Image credits: Sander van Wettum, 2023 (for Erasmus University Rotterdam)

A dynamic 30-minute workshop at the 'Brede Welvaart' conference, organized by the Erasmus University on the 31st of October, brought attendees face-to-face with the intriguing world of doughnut economics. Hosted by experts Saskia Ruijsink, Ollie Bream McIntosh, and Maartje Bos, the session revealed that while many are acquainted with the doughnut economic model, there remains untapped potential in its exploration.

Opening the workshop, Ruijsink and MacIntosh provided a brief yet comprehensive introduction to the foundational principles of doughnut economics. They also outlined upcoming research initiatives by LDE CfS (Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Sustainability) and Resilient Delta, demonstrating a commitment to expanding the understanding of this innovative economic approach in the context of Zuid-Holland.

Maartje Bos, a key figure in citizen initiatives related to the doughnut economy and working for the Groene Hub in Amsterdam ZuidOost, offered invaluable insights into the daily tasks involved in utilizing doughnut economics and creating Doughnut Deals.

"A Doughnut Deal is a set of work agreements between two or more organizations, collaboratively addressing at least one ecological (outer) and three social (inner) themes to foster well-being for both people and the planet."

Her firsthand experiences, rooted in the vibrant community initiatives of Amsterdam ZuidOost, shed light on the diverse factors contributing to successful deal-making processes.

Check out the Groene Hub for more information

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Image credits: Sander van Wettum, 2023 (for Erasmus University Rotterdam)

While the workshop sparked enthusiasm among participants, it also raised critical questions about the scalability of doughnut deals and the evolving nature of their impact on sustainability and social aspects. The audience engaged in a lively discussion, probing into the challenges and opportunities presented by this emerging economic paradigm.

Despite not all questions finding immediate answers, the workshop concluded on a positive note, emphasizing the promising and versatile nature of doughnut economics. Attendees left with a sense that the doughnut model could be applied across various situations, but scaling up current pilots and projects requires substantial time, investment, and attention.

As the research into doughnut economics in relation to the Province of Zuid-Holland continues, collaboration with different partners is welcome. The exploration of doughnut economics is a collaborative journey, and the doors are open for those eager to contribute to shaping a more sustainable and inclusive economic future.