A growing number of consultancies (including individual consultants) and NGOs are keen to include DEAL’s concepts and tools as part of their professional advisory services to other organisations.

DEAL warmly welcomes this interest, while taking care to ensure integrity in the process so that the concepts, tools and practices of Doughnut Economics spread wide and spread well. In short, we aim to ensure that these concepts and tools are used for transformative innovation and practice, not for branding or greenwashing.

This policy describes how consultancies and NGOs can engage with the concepts and tools of Doughnut Economics when offering professional advisory services.

What are professional advisory services?

Professional advisory services include all advisory and supporting activities (paid or unpaid) that consultants and NGOs may offer to other groups or organisations in relation to Doughnut Economics (DE), such as:
  • general advice on DE concepts and tools, including their adaptation and implementation in practice.
  • organisational design and strategy using the tools and principles of DE.
  • specialist sectoral advice based on DE, for example in the built environment, mobility sector, climate change, health, data analysis etc.
  • systemic change processes engaging with the concepts and tools of DE.

We do not include under the category of ‘professional advisory services’ (and therefore under this policy) the vast majority of activities taking place in the DEAL Community, namely - outreach and sharing of ideas, convening, facilitation or teaching hosted by open networks, individuals and not-for-profit organisations (including educational and public sector institutions). 

We also don’t include under this policy any activities that organisations do when applying tools of Doughnut Economics to themselves - not to others - usually in processes of internal reflection and transformation.

What do we ask?

DEAL asks every organisation intending to provide professional advisory services (as defined above) to first affirm that their vision, values, and ways of working are aligned with those of Doughnut Economics, by completing and sharing a public declaration that will remain publicly accessible on DEAL’s platform. 

The public declaration asks organisations to:

  • Show how their record of work shares the values and ambitions of Doughnut Economics.
  • Show how their organisational design is aligned, or aims to be aligned, with the ambitions of Doughnut Economics.
  • Agree to follow DEAL’s guidelines for this work, including:
    • Following DEAL’s guidelines and licensing rules, which includes the Doughnut Principles of Practice, other relevant guidelines to your context, and use of the DEAL logo.
    • Sharing back their innovations, experience and learning by contributing stories to DEAL’s platform, and through peer-to-peer exchange sessions.
    • Adhering to DEAL’s requirements about public association and naming rules.

Organisations that complete and share this public declaration will be visible on DEAL’s platform and can:

  • work with DEAL’s concepts and tools as part of their offer to clients.
  • join peer-to-peer learning spaces and other opportunities offered by DEAL.

Any organisation with annual revenue exceeding €50m must additionally demonstrate that it has mission primacy through its legal form, such as being a registered non-profit, or a Community Interest Company in the UK, or a L3C in the US. This additional requirement aims to ensure the integrity of DEAL’s concepts and tools particularly when used by very large organisations or consultancies.

A note on consulting for businesses. DEAL is currently creating a core tool for engaging with businesses on Doughnut Economics and until this tool is published (expected in Q2 2022), no organisation can offer consultancy services for businesses based on Doughnut Economics, as set out in DEAL’s business policy.

A note regarding other organisational profiles on DEAL’s platform. DEAL is planning to launch a major update of the DEAL Platform in the coming months, and our intention is to allow other not-for-profit organisations, including those not affected by this policy, to have the option of creating a public profile, if they wish. This process will be optional – which is distinct from the required process for consultancies and professional advisors laid out in this policy. 

DEAL will provide more details about this optional process for enabling not- for-profit organisation profiles when the functionality becomes available. Stay tuned and let us know if you have questions about this through the DEAL’s Contact Form.

How does the process work?

To provide consultancy and professional advisory services using the ideas and tools of Doughnut Economics, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Download a copy of the public declaration form. 
  2. Complete it and send it to consultancies-and-advisors@doughnuteconomics.org 
  3. The DEAL team will confirm receipt and, if needed, ask you to clarify any relevant questions about your declaration.
  4. The DEAL team will list your organisation below including a link to your public declaration, which will be publicly available to the wider community.
  5. We aim to process your submission and list you on the platform within 3-4 weeks of receiving your application, but please bear with us since we might receive a high volume of applications, especially in the early days. 
  6. When you are ready to share a tool or a story on behalf of your organisation, let us know by sending an email so that we can add your organisation name as a custom byline (e.g This tool was posted by {your organisation}).

In future, organisations will be able to create their own organisational profile on the platform directly (without the need to go through the DEAL team) and will be able to publish tools and stories directly too. 

If you have any questions about the public declaration or about the process, please get in touch via consultancies-and advisors@doughnuteconomics.org.

This approach is a starting point; we will learn with you and evolve as we go. We invite any suggestions for improvement of this policy at any point via this survey.

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