Business and the Doughnut: A DEAL Update

What next for DEAL’s work with business? Policy update, upcoming plans and an invitation to share your insights

Action Items: Read our 📃 updated Business & Enterprise policy and ✅ complete our survey to share your insights.

Business and enterprise has been a theme of work we’ve been very careful with at DEAL. We are keen to protect the integrity of Doughnut Economics and ensure its potential remains truly transformative. 

Meanwhile, we know there are already many important organisations and initiatives targeting business that focus on impact measurement, human rights and sustainable and responsible practices. We at DEAL want to ensure our contribution respects this work and avoids replication. We think we have a good way forward and we would really value your help.

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To pivot business from a force that focuses on extracting maximum financial value to one that generates maximum benefits we will focus on the deep design of enterprise; including its purpose, how it is networked and governed, and crucially how the enterprise is owned and financed. 

A thriving economy needs businesses that have regenerative and distributive practices and impacts in the world. To achieve this, we at DEAL are convinced that it calls for enterprises designed to unlock and enable these practices. Here’s where you as the Doughnut Economics community come in.

What innovations in enterprise design have you seen that are enabling a host of regenerative and distributive practices? 

Do you see interesting ways of sharing ownership, shaping governance, relating to finance, embedding networks and defining purpose? Has this enabled a new model of production, sharing benefits, designing products, impacting society or our planet? 

We are looking for the innovations in enterprise design that enable the bold practices our planet and societies need from business. 

Please help us by filling out this survey.

We are developing DEAL’s first main toolkit applying Doughnut Economics to business and your insights will contribute towards the examples and steps in the toolkit that we will publish. We will draw together the most illustrative examples as evidence of innovations in enterprise design that demonstrate new economic forms are possible.

We will spend the first half of 2022 identifying the innovations in enterprise design that are taking place around the world, across sectors and communities. 

We are planning a set of pilot workshops with ambitious business leaders, where together, we will push the boundaries of enterprise design. The first of these will be co-hosted with the Centre for Economic Transformation at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Other pilot workshops are being planned around the world with communities of existing businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. 

The workshops will be a discrete and safe space for a bold exploration of what is possible. They will not serve to profile, validate or judge the credentials of any participating business but to facilitate a journey of enterprise design innovation. 

Following these workshops, we will create and publish a toolkit that more comprehensively unpacks the implications of Doughnut Economics for the business world, allowing any business to work through their impacts and dependencies to create a plan for transforming the design of their business to enable the next generation of bold regenerative and distributive practices we urgently need from businesses everywhere.

An update on DEAL's Business & Enterprise policy

Across our work, we at DEAL are aiming to balance openness with protecting the integrity of the concept of Doughnut Economics. This is particularly important in the field of business and enterprise where the concept is most at risk of getting greenwashed or co-opted. If that were to happen, Doughnut Economics would be devalued and discredited for all changemakers. 

To open this area of work in a transformative manner, DEAL is now creating its first main toolkit on business and enterprise. Until this is published, DEAL’s updated policy applies to businesses (including consultants in their work with business clients) and anyone engaging with the topic of business and Doughnut Economics. 

This current policy limits the use of Doughnut Economics by businesses to internal reflections that focus on enterprise design. It also currently prevents public claims, trainings, events, tools and stories relating to business and Doughnut Economics. 

We recognise these limitations can cause some frustration but we are confident that the below principles will help us together, to realise the transformative potential of Doughnut Economics as we fully develop our approach to business and enterprise. 

You can read the updated business policy here.




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