A Donut Day Breakfast

May 2020
Story by Isabella Jansen and Pauline Westendorp
Posted by the DEAL Team


Pauline Westendorp, Isabella Jansen and the children of Geert Groote school 2 at our Donut Day Breakfast



Introduction


Amsterdam has embraced Kate Raworth's Doughnut Economics and especially the donut itself. Thoughts about the donut find their way in our system through different initiatives. At the Geert Groote school 2 in Amsterdam we introduced the very first ‘Donut Day’. As far as we know. And everybody ate it!

Pauline Westendorp, entrepeneur, and myself, Isabella Jansen, artist, are mothers who love to work on cleaner energy in Amsterdam. We started working on a school project with children. Our Donut Day combines two dimensions of the donut model; the ‘shortage of teachers’ and ‘clean energy‘. The average elementary school in Amsterdam is two teachers short.
 

The Investigation


Our goal: bring the school on clean energy and give children the opportunity to learn from their natural interest.

We have been working with 12 year old children for seven months starting with a little research on questions like What is energy? How do we relate to it? And do we know where our energy comes from? Do we like it? Do we have alternatives? Can we change our behavior? And how can we reduce the energy we take from our earth.

Investigating ourselves and our school by looking at our own energy consumption. The children discussed together about what they could do to reduce the consumption. They decided to work in the dark and turn of the light. This was how their world looked like while they were thinking about energy reduction. We supported them to take those ‘small’ steps….. the thinking process had started. 

After exploring their own world, we went outside and explored our neighborhood, asking people and companies about their energy consumption, energy knowledge and alternatives concerning their energy use. (Do you have solar panels? You don’t know?) By doing so we enlarge our ecosystem and inspired our neighborhood to join us in our quest to make the city clean! 

You cannot imagine how happy the children were to get out of the class and be able to interact with professionals about a subject they truly care about!

In all their enthusiasm the class started to work on different projects such as an Energy Challenge. They researched energy related subjects, wrote tremendous essays about how animals use nature opposed to how humans uses nature. Also essays about some big listed companies who we might condemn for treating the environment badly but we still buy their products or work together with them. They interviewed, made poems, drawings, songs and even short films. We finished with a real newspaper ready to be read by the world, however it is in Dutch.
 

Working on the Donut Economy


We learned about the concept of the Donut Economy which made our head spinning… what is it about? Why a donut? By giving the children the chance to explain the theory to each other we have been able to grasp the concept. And came a great way.

We do not only love Donut Day, we also love to eat donuts every Donut Day. That is why we also have a sustainable donut recipe. Children clearly understand that we should take care of each other as we should take care of our world and in that balance we as humans can make a difference. In short, we are an example in combining two aspects of the donut; shortage of teachers and the energy transition which children are so ready to make! and meanwhile we developed talent!

This is Donut Day!


Our Donut Day Breakfast


The project culminated in a breakfast webinar with Kate Raworth to share the students' projects. Here's a video of the morning.

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We started with almost 175 attendees, including some new friends of other countries as well! 02025 is becoming famous in Amsterdam! 

After introduction by 02025 project director Thijs Haverkamp, one of 02025 cofounders, Pauline Westendorp, took us by the hand of how Donut Day can support 'action perspective' for people who want to work on real solutions.

I then elaborating on a few cases: Donut Day in practice at school, energy challenge in local area and working in Hubs.

The theory of Donut Economic was simple but also cleverly explained by Raphael, an Amsterdam school kid, proving this theory works for all of us and we all can take this as an great example and no excuse!


The Student Newspaper


I also made a call to action to all attendees to organise your own Donut Day. And as a proof of the pudding I revealed a special newspaper made by the school kids. This will be shared at a later stage, but here is a short movie "faces behind the newspaper" that showed the personal input on this nice piece of art:

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In line with the school challenge next panellist Herma de Walle, Independent strategy consultant & member of the Amsterdam Doughnut Coalition Task Force, elaborated on how Donut Day can be part of an emergency plan for teachers shortage in Amsterdam! Also some more interesting insights on the Donut Day principle were pointed out by her. 

In a short Q&A we had a good warming up to the main stage: Kate Raworth! No introduction needed, Kate Raworth put the bullet points on the Donut Economy straight on at full speed. Very inspiring, best to look back at the webinar footage (above) to get the real Donut vibe!

Although this was an online event, Timo & Ravi (Amsterdam school kids) prepared a thank you present for Kate Raworth, a sustainably made one-piece suit for her kids, which will be sent over to the UK off course (goedvantoen.nl). 

The official opening of the Donut Day by eating a real Donut by all attendees & panellists concluded this event, food for thoughts!


The Student Rap


We closed this webinar with an impressing rap (video below), also made by Amsterdam school kids edited by Ilja van Saane (check out also their other videos @ youtube energiekrant)

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After the webinar, Kate Raworth had spared some overtime to answer questions directly, which has been great opportunity for us all to have visionary guidance on our burning questions and pending issues. Still, some questions could not be answered live.

We hope this inspires you to make your own Donut Days and we've created a 7-step guide to help you! Just click the link in the 'Tools' section below.
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