Neighbourhood Doughnut Celebration + Portrait Launch (Past)

Join us 27th — 29th October 2022 as we launch the first ever Neighbourhood Doughnut Portrait in Ladywood, Birmingham UK.

“We have work to do, and the world to win.”

—Arundhati Roy

Following over 3 years of taking the ideas of Doughnut Economics off the page with neighbours, researchers, partners and visionaries, join us Thursday 27th - Saturday 29th October 2022 to celebrate all those working to move us towards safe and just futures for our neighbourhoods as we launch the first ever Neighbourhood Doughnut Portrait in Ladywood, Birmingham UK.

Together we invite you to explore the data, stories and methodologies emerging from the Neighbourhood Doughnut work thus far at this immersive celebration. Here you will find speakers and performances, installations, spaces to make and learn, fun intergenerational activities, screenings, visits to amazing local initiatives and more. There will be lots to discover and add to through the 3 days together, whether you can join us for the whole time or for more focused sessions; whether you are visiting us from near or far.

Are you a passionate or curious neighbour; a fellow believer in a new economy; someone already working to usher in socially and ecologically thriving neighbourhoods; someone who wants to; someone who wants to find out what lies behind the doughnut portrait; or someone ready to invest in next steps? If you have skills to share, offer, or simply want to find out more and celebrate our first three years together, you will be right at home. We’d love to have you with us at what we know is going to be a special moment to give thanks and look forward together.

Register Your Place Here

Explore The Schedule


Thursday 27th October, 10am - 7pm

The Signing Tree, 100 Ladywood Road, Birmingham, B16 8SZ

We’ll start by taking a step back and looking at the big picture. Hear what happened since Kate came to visit us in 2018, and step into a festival-style first day packed with inspiration. We’ll share more on how we started to unroll the doughnut, co-create community portrait, and bring the ideas off the pages. We invite you to explore the data portrait and hear from our group of international researchers who started to ask: if we can do this at a city level, what might happen at a neighbourhood level?

This will be a chance to get a taste of what happened when we invited people to explore the new economy in their place, from everyday ecological care in Room To Grow to unpacking the IPCC report through zine making. Discover what happened when we tried to run a doughnut After School Club and visit our pop-up neighbourhood publishing house to dream and surface stories. Hear from visionaries imagining beyond Doughnut Economics through reparative economics. sacred civics, visions for queer futures and more, speaking from the heart of Ladywood at one of the most inspiring venues doing great work to create opportunities and hold space in the area.


Friday 28th October, 10am - 5.30pm

x + why, Foundry, 6 Brindley Place, Birmingham, B1 2JB

Given the context we find ourselves in, we can’t afford to first know, then act. It’s not true that we have all of the answers, but working as openly as possible and contributing as generously to the DEAL community as possible is important to us.

On this second day together, we’ll create the conditions to go deep into how the data portrait was made and learn about how methodologies have been shaped as we share as much as possible about the journey to here. We invite anyone who wants to take things further, whether funders, neighbours, or visitors from another city, to join us for a day of deep dive sessions with key practitioners from across the work. By the end of the day, CIVIC SQUARE and partners such as Huddlecraft should have opened as many hints, tips, tools, behind the scenes, thoughts and ideas as we can to think, in the smallest and biggest ways, what to do next in our places.


Saturday 29th October, 10am - 4.30pm

The Floating Front Room, South Loop Park, Rotton Park Street, Birmingham, B16 0AF

One of the biggest things that felt important to us is being present where we call home: starting here we are. Our work took an unexpected start in 2020, and whilst having to pause some parts of the work, we pulled other things forward, and created a pop-up on the site with our future buildings. Come and experience The Floating Front Room for one of the last times this year, meet our neighbourhoods and amazing initiatives nearby to relax, have fun, share stories and ideas about how to unlock any space in your neighbourhood.


Starting Tuesday 25th October

The Floating Front Room, South Loop Park, Rotton Park Street, Birmingham, B16 0AF

Join us for an immersive, interactive, intergenerational neighbourhood quest, exploring the superhero capacity of worms, and ideas around the importance of soil health.

Open all week, the aim of the WormQuest is for you to find 12 worms which can be found around the neighbourhood and collect the audio stories they all carry through the Overhear App. Upon completion of the trail, each team will receive a prize which will be awarded on Saturday 29th October as part of the 3 day celebration and launch.

Meet at The Floating Front Room to find out more and begin the challenge.

What Do We Mean By A Portrait?

“The future can’t be predicted, but it can be envisioned and brought lovingly into being.”

—Kate Raworth

What happens when a neighbourhood starts to tell its own story, from all its different vantage points, through the many lenses we see our lives, our place, its challenges, its opportunities? The chance to paint our own portrait gives us an opportunity to not only see ourselves and celebrate our strengths, but also notice where we fall short, share stories and hopes of how we wish to be together in the future, and reframe what might be possible.

As we find ourselves in increasingly difficult, uncertain, complex times with many crisis being felt all around, what power do we have together? When we can tell a new story of who we are, reframe our collective goals, and build out civic power we can unlock the collaborative, creative, courageous communities that we know we are. The beautiful thing about a portrait is it doesn’t have to perfect, there doesn’t just have to be just one, it can be created by looking through many lenses and from a range of vantage points. When we make our portraits visible to one another, we can also see what and who is missing, where we like what we see and want to do more, where we don’t and want to change and, when we invite our imagination, we can dream of who wish to be and lovingly bring it into being.

Doughnut Economics Action Lab encouraged us to explore our portrait and, along with hundreds of neighbours and partners over 3 years, we unrolled the doughnut and surfaced our community and data portrait of place. We are incredibly inspired and thankful to the work of Leeds, Amsterdam, Brussels, Cornwall and others who pioneered this work, and encouraged and supported us to build upon it. We of course will do the same to others who follow afterwards.

Leeds Doughnut | Towards a safe and thriving Leeds

Amsterdam City Doughnut | DEAL

Doughnut-Shaped Recovery - A Good Life For All Within Planetary Boundaries

Recognising The Time We’re In

“I know everything is bleak and I’m not being idealistic when I say it, but what I have most evidence of is ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I feel powered by the level of organising I’m surrounded by. We will organise and we will win. We are so capable and we need all of us.”

—Farzana Khan

We find ourselves in a polycrisis, where multiple globalised systems are entangled in ways that have cascading impacts on our lives and the natural world we rely on. Times feel and are dark for many, as economic illiteracy, corruption, inaction, and a cruel, regressive government lead us into one of the darkest winters in living memory, and we recognise how hard it is to imagine or build alternative futures boldly together against this backdrop.

Doing so may sound like a big dream or bold words given the existing systems around us and the ever-increasing pressures on those most vulnerable in our communities, and this is a tension we hold and believe makes dreaming and intentionally building near and longer term futures that take us further than we dare possible are even more important right now.

As part of our wider mission at CIVIC SQUARE, we have constantly been exploring how we can go to wider more holistic and plural set of goals and outcomes. This was particularly driven by experiencing hierarchical, often illogical, inequitable relationships with deep extractive and colonial remnants of how philanthropy understood change. We, as communities, as changemakers rooted in our places, simply couldn’t understand the metrics we were working towards and the power structures we found ourselves in. Why on earth aren’t we shoulder to shoulder, accountable to one another, facing towards a mission bigger than us both and recognising the scale of polycrisis, and pace of action needed? Why don’t we work towards planetary goals, and measure how well we were all doing against that?

What if instead of creating inappropriate KPIs and metrics towards 20th century change that continue to extract, we could all orientate ourselves together across public, private, civic towards moving our homes, streets, and neighbourhoods into this safe and just space?

What if we could understand, share and make the data and research open for communities and neighbourhoods; neighbours young and old, could be part of unpacking that, creating new knowledge and dreaming up bold futures?

What if we could get into more equitable relationships with funders and investors to hold each other accountable to goals bigger than ourselves?

These questions have been ongoing, and It’s now time for us to share how we have been exploring them and where it has lead us. In a time of crisis, we know that having moments of clarity, coherence and legibility can help us to ground, reorganise, and move towards the plural, bold goals of transforming our current reality.

To unpack this in our place in many different ways, and in wanting to share how it’s going, we’d love for you to come and experience this with us. We want you to walk away with every tool and story about how we’ve been thinking about how our neighbourhood gets into the doughnut. Not only do we want you to be inspired, but also to know how we’ve critiqued, what’s missing and where the areas for further iteration and experimentation are.

This is an invitation to our neighbours, families, children and more as a celebration of what we have all done together to get to this moment. There is also an invitation to those within the doughnut movement globally to imagine together how to take these portraits forward and keep contributing to the portrait methodology and wider commons. Data scientists, researchers, artists, storytellers, council officers, city leaders who want to help take this forward in a moment where we are feeling viscerally around us the collapse of a 20th century extractive economy, please be sure to connect by visiting the launch or drop us a line at

What’s Next?

“Our Ancestors set us this path - all we have to do is pick up the "baton" and run our race - as fast and as best as we can - then pass it on. And remember that our Ancestors include all beings: we carry all life inside us.”

—Araceli Carmargo

This first portrait is far from the end of the journey, and this collective work can act as a compass and pathway forwards with neighbourhood science and storytelling at its heart as we deepen our practice in our places over the coming decades. We hope to take with us all the wisdom of those who came before us, and build for future generations, with convening like this this to be an annual event where we can reflect on the year gone by, re-roll the doughnut every year, track and celebrate progress, and continuously shift our direction to where we can do better, invest more time, money and attention towards safety and justice for all beings.

The Neighbourhood Doughnut Portrait will be made available as a digital resource in parallel with a print edition and the in person launch event, so we look forward to seeing where you take it.

Further Resources

DEAL - Creating City Portraits
Doughnut Unrolled: Data Portrait of Place

Doughnut Unrolled: Community Portrait of Place




    Birmingham, England, United Kingdom

    To share open invitations and learnings as generously as we can, and learn from amazing work happening around the world too.

    Roisin Markham

    Gorey, Leinster, Ireland

    Designer, bridging from X we are here -> regenerative futures where nature & humanity thrive in the places we live, work & play.

    Shannon Coles

    Otley, West Yorkshire

    We are hoping to both Lear from and support the DEAL community


    Join the DEAL Community!

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