Act: Inspiration

What if every city used Doughnut Economics?

August 18, 2020

Doughnut Economics is rapidly moving from the fringe to the mainstream. Amsterdam in Holland was recently confirmed as the first ‘Doughnut City’, using the model to underpin its economic development strategy. Many other cities are also moving towards adopting this powerful and fascinating tool for reimagining cities and their economies. Our question in this episode, your mind-expanding piece of summer listening, is “what if every city used Doughnut Economics?’

As usual, I have sought out the two very best people to help me explore this. Kate Raworth is an economist focused on making economics fit for the 21st century. Her book Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist is an international bestseller that has been translated into 18 languages. She is co-founder of Doughnut Economics Action Lab, which works with change-makers to turn Doughnut Economics from a radical idea into transformative action. She teaches at Oxford University and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Marieke van Doorninck is Alderman for Sustainability and Urban Development for the City of Amsterdam. From 2006 until 2014, she was a member of the Municipal Council for the GreenLeft party, of which she was the party chair since 2009. Before that, she worked for different organisations focusing on refugees and women’s rights. She is one of the key people working with Kate and the Doughnut Economic Lab team to bring the Doughnut model to Amsterdam.

The conversation that followed, and the new vision it opened up, is fascinating, and I hope you really enjoy it. Doughnut Economics creates, by identifying the ‘safe space’ in which our city economies need to operate, a powerful imaginative space. As usual, do let me know what you think.

Rob Hopkins

Rob Hopkins is a cofounder of Transition Town Totnes and Transition Network, and the author of The Transition Handbook, The Transition Companion, The Power of Just Doing Stuff, 21 Stories of Transition and most recently, From What Is to What If: unleashing the power of imagination to create the future we want. He presents the podcast series ‘From What If to What Next‘ which invites listeners to send in their “what if” questions and then explores how to make them a reality.  In 2012, he was voted one of the Independent’s top 100 environmentalists and was on Nesta and the Observer’s list of Britain’s 50 New Radicals. Hopkins has also appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Four Thought and A Good Read, in the French film phenomenon Demain and its sequel Apres Demain, and has spoken at TEDGlobal and three TEDx events. An Ashoka Fellow, Hopkins also holds a doctorate degree from the University of Plymouth and has received two honorary doctorates from the University of the West of England and the University of Namur. He is a keen gardener, a founder of New Lion Brewery in Totnes, and a director of Totnes Community Development Society, the group behind Atmos Totnes, an ambitious, community-led development project. He blogs at and and tweets at @robintransition.

Tags: doughnut economics, imagination, new economy