Take my 5-day FREE mini-course on Getting Present

Doughnut Economics

Picture of donut with pink icing and sprinkles

This article is also available in the following formats:

Thriving not Growth

Have you heard of Kate Raworth’s economic model called Doughnut Economics? It’s delicious!

The Model

Shaped like a doughnut, I find it easy to digest. The inner circle shows our basic social needs: food, health, education, and housing (12 segments in total). The outer circle represents our ecological ceiling: climate change, ocean acidification, and chemical pollution (9 in total). We want to live in the doughnut. Outside the doughnut, we risk ignoring our basic human needs and destroying Earth’s life-supporting systems.

Unsustainable Growth

Raworth argues that the 20th century economic models of endless growth are completely unsustainable. Just like children grow to a certain size and then stop, so too must our economic system. But what would an economic model look like that didn’t indicate endless growth?  That’s the part that piqued Raworth’s interest.

Social:

Economic growth over the last 100 years provided the stability to deal with many of our social problems such as gender inequality. Better healthcare and educational systems exist today but they’re in danger. There’s potential and actual backsliding taking place, not just in politically unstable countries but here in Canada. We need to take a stand to protect our social gains.

Thriving as seen through new lenses.
Photo by Jeremy Banks on Unsplash
Ecological:

Raworth argues that endless growth, used in discussions of GDP by all first-world countries, has resulted in devastation to our planet. We see the effects of it today:

  • forest fires in B.C. last summer and Colorado at Christmas;
  • massive flood in November in B.C. from the atmospheric river;
  • the extensive, largely man-made drought in California that is ongoing.

Endless growth is not sustainable. All of us know this intuitively and yet we feel trapped in a net of our own making.

The 21st century Doughnut Economic model she describes is dynamic, distributive, regenerative by design, and looks at the group not just the individual.

Our goal – Thriving

Live within the doughnut. When we do so, we thrive. We step away from “growth” and step into “thriving.” The inner and outer circles become the boundaries that give us the balance we need in order to thrive.

People are taking notice of Raworth’s work. In fact, the city of Amsterdam has created its business plan based on the model. They unveiled it in April 2020 right at the height of the initial public outbreak of COVID in Europe. They found this wholistic model brought different disciplines together in ways they hadn’t imagined before and brought new ideas as a result. For example, they designed a residence 1) combining different income brackets 2) built using sustainable materials 3) in a location that minimized impact on the environment.

Your Challenge

How can you adapt Doughnut Economics in your business, in your life? I’m a one-woman show so knowing how to adapt it isn’t immediately obvious.

I find the easiest way to move the macro to the micro is to concentrate on the key message. In this case, I focus on thriving versus growth. Yes, I want my business to grow and yes, I want to continue growing as a person. And yet, what if I looked at the same things through the eyes of “thriving?”

Thriving feels good. There’s a lightness – a joyousness – that comes from thriving. Growth implies effort instead of ease. I want more ease in my life, less force. Thriving feels communal. When I’m doing well, so are others around me. I care about my impact on others and the environment. There is balance within and without.

What would your life look like when you’re thriving? Email me and let me know.  

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.

MM

I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.

MO

Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.

LE

I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!

VB

Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.

MM

I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.

MO

Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.

LE

Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.

LM

Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.

CP

From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.

AG

Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.

VB

I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.

OS