a short recap of a week full of inspiring doughnut initiatives, talks, encounters and lasting relationships
"Don't wait, act now" With this message, we ended a week that was all about the Doughnut Economy in Amsterdam: the Amsterdam Doughnut Days from September 28 - October 1, 2021 with speakers, workshops and activities spread over the whole city.
Kate Raworth and her team from the Doughnut Economics Action Lab came all the way to Amsterdam especially for this week to talk to doughnut thinkers and doers. The goal of this week full of doughnut events: Make visible what's already happening in Amsterdam around the doughnut, connect doughnut changemakers and help the city to get 'into the doughnut’ faster.
An important moment prior to the doughnut days was the State of the City, in the International Theater of Amsterdam. In the State of the City the concept of the well-being economy was central, with a prominent role for our Professor of Practice Kate Raworth. Pim Slot of the Information, Research and Statistics Office presented the results of the first Amsterdam-wide welfare monitor. The city’s population is stagnating, the economy is shrinking, there is increased unemployment and decreased quality of life and safety. Amsterdammers are less happy than two years ago, and the already big divide between 'haves' and 'have nots' is increasing. During this city event, Kate Raworth gave an inspiring speech in which she discussed the deeper system layers on which transformation is needed in the city. She clearly set the tone for the whole week. It has to go deeper and, above all, faster.
As Kate Raworth writes at the opening of her book: the most powerful tool in economics is not money, nor even algebra. It is a pencil. Because with a pencil you can redraw the world. That is what we did during the Doughnut Design Jam. With the inspiration of the Doughnut, we looked at different design practices and that of the creative sector at large. What do you imagine these will look like in 2030? And what are the strategic ideas to give the desired transformation a boost? These and more questions were discussed during the workshop.
The Doughnut Action Agenda Workshop focused on the 'Powers to Act': Purpose, Networks, Governance, Ownership, Finance. In this intensive day-long workshop we brought together thirty highly motivated participants from all stakeholder groups. Transforming a city only succeeds if all stakeholders share the same goal and are equally committed. What is the purpose of the city? How is it networked, governed, who owns the land, how is it financed? We asked the difficult questions and dived deeper on a systemic level. During this workshop an action group was formed which will work out all the findings and will publish them when the time is ripe.
The Doughnut Meet & Greet Event was all about connection: between the national and the international network. With more than 30 international cities and 40 people in the Culture Club on the Marineterrein, we reflected on the Amsterdam and global doughnut movement and the doughnut stage was officially opened by Kate Raworth and art student Ummi Renteria Wouters. The doughnut stage will be the venue of the Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK) for art projects and lectures in the spirit of the doughnut: sustainable development and strengthening social values. You can watch the entire event here.
During the Doughnut Pioneers event, various doughnut-inspired initiatives, projects, neighbourhoods and organisations in and around Amsterdam got on stage to share their story and journey with the broader community. Think of initiatives such as De Kaskantine, De Warren, Forteiland Pampus, BedAffair, Community Land Trust, Climate Cleanup and ReFlow. Kate Raworth reflected on this together with Amsterdam alderman Marieke van Doorninck. You can watch the event via this link. It was great to see so much positive energy! You can see all doughnut inspired projects on our Amsterdam Doughnut Coalition community platform.
The last day of the Amsterdam Doughnut Days was all about the 'Doughnut School' in collaboration with the new Center for Economic Transformation (CET) of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). In her role as Professor of Practice at the AUAS, Kate Raworth and the Faculty of Business and Economics are busy transforming the curriculum. Teachers have started creating new minors where the doughnut economy plays a central role so that students will be equipped with practical tools and critical thinking. And with more than 45.000 students at the entire university, the new generation will be prepared for the ecological and social problems of the 21st century.
The Amsterdam Doughnut Days are over but the movement has only just started. No one is too small to make a difference. Every one can play a role in this economic transformation. We can inspire each other peer-to-peer, student to student, CEO to CEO, neighbour to neighbour, city to city and from grassroot movement to another community. Amsterdam is not the only city in the world that is embracing the doughnut on a city-level and the Amsterdam Doughnut Coalition is certainly not the only doughnut grassroot movement. Let's keep learning from each other and inspiring each other!
From Amsterdam Doughnut Days to a Global Doughnut Festival! Who's in? :-)