On the 22nd of February 2023 we organised our very first Donut Neighbourhood Day . We started in the afternoon with nice coffee, snacks, music and family activities. Added Donut workshops into the mix, invited everyone to share some food together and closed with a few panel discussions.
Who is we? And why did we organise this? Read on and find out!
In Amsterdam there has been a group of donut enthusiasts from the very first year the book was published. The donut desire motivated us to organise meetups and support the Amsterdam donut movement. We soon discovered that a lot of community action was already aligned with the principles of donut economics. It just wasn't called a Donut initiative. Does this matter?
At first the Donut is usually perceived as just another model, perhaps even something trendy that has its moment in the spotlight but then goes out of fashion. We can make it come to life by going beyond the model and make it a mindset. Then we can truly unlock the added value of the Donut.
Changemakers, that already know the Donut, still have a need for a better understanding of how it can add value to the good work they are already doing and how to put it into practice.
We discovered that taking the metaphor a step further with the Donut Bakery provides a respectful, playful and inviting way to connect organisations, citizens, civil servants and entrepreneurs. Respectful because it celebrates the pioneers that have been working on making society more just and green, way before they heard about the Donut. Inviting and playful, because higher participation is necessary to get every voice heard, and to combine the different types of activities and expertise within the holistic, uniting framework of the Donut.
With the Donut Bakery we can discover and make use of existing recipes, but also work together, using our insights around the common hurdles to find new recipes required to create change on a more systemic level. This sparks strategic and tactical collaboration, without losing sight of creating societal value at the neighbourhood level.
In 2021 we organised three events to explore the metaphor of the Donut Bakery, the recipes and the existing bakeries. In 2022 we got a modest budget form the municipality of Amsterdam to kickstart three experiments: how to localise the Donut even more on a neighbourhood level, how to set up a Donut fund that recognises and supports the value created by neighbourhood companies and how to organise a co-learning process with citizens, organisations and civil servants to tackle the bottlenecks when confronting the "living" world with the "systems" world and foster holistic policy implementation.
Inspired also by the festival in Birmingham, we decided to share our results by organising a Donut Neighbourhood Day and publish our first Donut Bakery newspaper. Keeping it inclusive, fun and as we say in Dutch "gezellig" was instrumental to its success. We managed to reach more citizens, connected changemakers and had meaningful discussions. The day has become a positive and inspiring memory for many local changemakers.
All three experiments now have a good foundation on which to continue building. We are currently searching for additional funding, but the beauty of the Donut Bakery coalition is that it is based on strong relationships and trust. The work does not stop, our passion and purpose keeps it alive regardless of the funding, but the funding of course would accelerate the work and help us disseminate it broader.
The elements of Donut Economics certainly are not new, but there's a message that needed repeating and Kate has done this in a beautiful way, giving us a powerful metaphor to help us remember what the main goal is for the 21st century: meeting the needs of all within the planetary boundaries. This might seem like a big and loftly goal, but at the neighbourhood level you can actually sense it, see it, hear it, feel it. At this local level it becomes real.
Important lessons learned so far are:
Let's all take on the invitation to become economists. The economy is not a scary thing, we are part of it and we have to reclaim our say in it.
Happy Donut baking!
Read more about us on donutbakkerij.nl
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