Picture your favorite doughnut. Whether it’s chocolate glazed with sprinkles, vanilla pastry cream, or red velvet, you’re inadvertently invoking one of the most important reimaginings of our economy of the last 20 years: Doughnut Economics. It posits that our economy should remain in balance with our communities and the planet, and visualizes that balance in the shape of the much-beloved pastry. This theory is the brainchild of Abby’s guest this week, the brilliant, renegade economist, Professor Kate Raworth. Raworth initially set out to study economics because it is “the mother tongue of public policy.” But over time she became disillusioned with the field and its inability to see beyond markets and growth. It was working on projects to alleviate problems like poverty and climate change and also becoming a mother, that led her to find a new way to frame ideas about the very purpose of the economy and who it is meant to serve. That was 11 years ago. While Raworth has been dismissed outright by some of her more conservative colleagues, the ideas in her book, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist, are not only shaking up conventional economic thought, they’re being put into practice. These days, communities and cities across the world—including Amsterdam, Brussels, Melbourne, and Berlin—are trying to make their local economies look like a doughnut.
Economist, Author of Doughnut Economics. Co-Founder of Doughnut Economics Action Lab.
Kate Raworth (‘Ray-worth’) is an ecological economist and creator of the Doughnut – a concept that aims to meet the needs of all people within the means of the living planet – and co-founder of Doughnut Economics Action Lab. Her internationally best-selling book Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st-century economist has been translated into over 20 languages and has been widely influential with diverse audiences, from the UN General Assembly and Pope Francis to Extinction Rebellion.
Kate is a Senior Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, where she teaches on the Masters in Environmental Change and Management. She is also Professor of Practice at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Over the past 25 years, Kate’s career has taken her from working with micro-entrepreneurs in the villages of Zanzibar to co-authoring the Human Development Report for UNDP in New York, followed by a decade as Senior Researcher at Oxfam.
She holds a first class BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, and MSc in Economics for Development, both from Oxford University, and has honorary doctorates from the University of York, KU Leuven, and Business School Lausanne. She is a member of the Club of Rome and currently serves on the World Health Organisation Council on the Economics of Health for All.