🍩A doughnut that everyone has a share

Gökçe Ertuğrul
3 min readJul 27, 2023

This article covers Doughnut Economics which is invented by Kate Raworth and my humble ideas about it.

⬇️ For the introduction, please check the thread:

Let’s start with Doughnut Economics and what it means to me.

Figure 1: Doughnut Economics

This economic model has been proposed as a criticism of traditional economic foundations and building blocks that have done so much harm to people and the planet.

And this model similar to a doughnut in terms of being both memorable and easy to understand, can be explained as follows:

1️⃣ The doughnut’s inner ring represents 12 essential human needs/social basis.

2️⃣ The outer ring is an ecological limit below which humanity should dwell.

3️⃣ And just a decade ago, significant earth system scientists designed the outside of the doughnut: Earth’s life-sustaining processes for maintaining a stable temperature, thriving seas, and replenishing fresh water.

As you can see in Figure 1, humanity’s focus on “growth” during its economic journeys prevents us from maintaining ecological and biological balance. The economy is therefore largely unstable, resulting in millions of people must live under the social foundations.

🎯At this point, we come to the purpose of this model: The goal of the Doughnut is to meet the needs of all people within the means of the planet.

I’d like to share a simplified version of the model as well so everyone can understand it easily.

Figure 2: The simplified version of the Doughnut Economic Model: Wiedmann, T., Lenzen, M., Keyßer, L.T. et al. Scientists’ warning on affluence. Nat Commun 11, 3107 (2020)”. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16941-y)

Let me this simplified model of the Doughnut Economy starting from the hole to the outside of Doughnut:

People living under these social foundations lack access to basic needs of life such as food, electricity, education, and health services.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

❗️In 2023, more than 345 million people face severe food insecurity. This is more than double the figure from 2020. (World Food Programme)

❗️Globally, 2 billion people (26% of the population) do not have access to safe drinking water, and 3.6 billion (46%) do not have access to appropriate sanitation. (UN 2023 Water Conference, 2023, UNESCO)

❗️Today 770 million people live without access to electricity, mostly in Africa and Asia. (IEA, 2022)

Doughnut Economics aims to bring all humanity to the level of social foundations and while aiming at this, it sees the planet as valuable as people, contrary to what today’s traditional economic model does.

How do we know that the Doughnut Economics sees the planet as more than a resource to be consumed uncontrollably?

The answer is simple. Because there is “environmental ceiling” which is a upper limit to guarantee that humanity does not collectively exceed the planetary boundaries that protect Earth’s life-sustaining processes.

Lastly, the part between the environmental ceiling and the social foundation is a safe and just space for humanity. We have adapted to “growth” instead of “balance”, but “growth” was a huge illusion in economics. We understand this from the point of the planet.

In current situation, everything is clear with climate change, ocean asidification, ozone layer depletion, air pollution and fresh water withdrawals and more. These adverse impacts on any kind of inhabitants and the planet, are the products of current economic model and accordingly our consuming habits.

💡I hope this article has provided you with a different perspective on the issues that have never left us with a question mark about their accuracy until now.

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time. I’d like to connect with you on social media as well.

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