What a doughnut can teach us about economics
By Justin Birenbaum
Partnerships team, TED
I am one of those people who you'll find at any social gathering commenting on how we need to redesign "the system." What system in particular? Great question.
I didn't have the framing to put substance behind my rants. That is until I watched Kate Raworth's TED Talk.
In a succinct, persuasive and witty talk, Kate gave me something to reference and reinforce. She offers a concise call to action:
"It's time to choose a higher ambition, a far bigger one, because humanity's 21st-century challenge is clear: to meet the needs of all people within the means of this extraordinary, unique, living planet, so that we and the rest of nature can thrive."
Using the term "thrive" and not "grow" as a new modus operandi may feel unusual at first. But as Kate explains, our addiction to growth has serious implications for how we treat each other and the planet. Finding a dynamic balance between humanity and everything else will light the path for a healthier economy and a more prosperous society, she says.
The challenge to meet the needs of all within the means of the planet invites a new shape of progress, she tells us -- a doughnut. We shouldn't chase the ever-rising line of growth but rather search for the "sweet spot for humanity," where we can thrive in balance with the planet's ecological limits.
Now I know what I mean when I'm talking about redesigning "the system" -- and the shape it should take. Where can we put into action this new blueprint for a sustainable, universally beneficial economy? And how could this new view of progress inform how we make decisions?