We (Ryan Punamiya, Dev Kumar, Oishani Nandi, and Nandini Sharma) are students from Oberoi International School, Mumbai, and are studying economics at a higher level in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. As a part of our curriculum, we had to explore the evolution of economics from the 18th century to the 21st century. During the course of 2 weeks, groups in our class researched and created engaging presentations about the key theories and personalities of each of the eras of economics, from Adam Smith to Richard Thaler. We were assigned the 21st century, an era where the neoclassical school of thought was questioned by introducing sustainable and innovative ways of developing economic models, the most influential of which being the Doughnut Model.
We studied behavioural economics, the circular economy and most importantly, Doughnut economics. To truly understand the doughnut model, we observed and analysed Ted Talks by Ms. Kate Raworth, the book, “Doughnut Economics,” and various other articles. The fact that Ms. Raworth broke down each existing model, such as the Kuznets Curve, and explained their functional improvement through the seven tenets of doughnut economics truly inspired our interest for this revolutionary endeavour. While we were initially skeptical about the likelihood of such a society to even exist, we eventually became optimistic about our future as a generation through the solutions given by the doughnut model, especially when we analysed the improvements to the Amsterdam economy which were brought about through the successful implementation of Doughnut Economics. It allowed us to witness the theory in action, and it proved that Doughnut Economics was not just another rational actor theory, but was an eternal compass which described an important shift which is needed in the ways nations and their citizens should lead their economies.
We were so galvanized by this model that we decided to contact Ms. Raworth and her team for her to record a short message for our class when we would present this model to them on the 14th of September.
We were extremely elated when we saw that Rob Shorter, the Communities and Education Lead at DEAL, responded to us and asked us to write about our personal experience with Doughnut Economics and how our mindset regarding sustainability and economics was rejuvenated after the several hours we spent analysing and working on the concept. The incredible short video sent by Ms. Raworth only motivated us to further our knowledge and analysis on the doughnut so that we could represent her ideas as clearly as possible.
We spent countless hours practicing the presentation ensuring that we did justice to the 21st century economic models and Ms. Raworth, who so graciously gave us her time. On the day of the presentation, despite being extremely nervous, we put out the presentation with confidence and excitement. The highlight of the presentation however was bringing Ms. Raworth into our class upon which each student and even our teacher Ms. Vaishali Ajmera were beyond mesmerized and excited as it is not common for one to be acknowledged by their role models.
In retrospect, the Doughnut model has made a large impact on the way we approach economics. It teaches us to not be fooled by the promises of growth and we should instead think critically about every theory and principle to understand whether or not it’s beneficial to society. In fact, this is exactly the approach that Ms. Vaishali encourages us to take action while approaching any situation. She encourages us to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of every theory and think from all perspectives. This philosophy also lies at the heart of the IB diploma programme, where we have to look at all perspectives and be perceptive to the world around us.
To anyone that may be reading this, we highly suggest Ms. Raworth’s book, “Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to think like a 21st-Century Economist,” to see for yourself, how you can adopt the way of the doughnut economics model and become an innovative 21st-century thinker.
Here are some thoughts by our teacher Ms. Vaishali: Firstly, I would like to express how proud I am of Ryan, Dev, Oishani and Nandini, who have thought outside the box and have exceeded expectations by taking an initiative that reflects their enthusiasm and thorough involvement in the subject. They have stepped up to the IB learner’s profile and have proven to be inquirers.
I commend their involvement with the topic. Not only were they able to display complete and thorough understanding of the topic themselves, but were also able to communicate the same to their classmates in a highly effective manner. Their presentation not only motivated students to think like responsible global citizens of the 21st century, but also to keep being an active and engaged learner in times of online learning. Their presentations have definitely made a lasting impression.
I would sincerely like to thank Rob, and the entire team of DEAL for making this interaction possible. It was absolutely mesmerizing to see Kate Raworth herself addressing our class and it is not an opportunity everyone would get. Most importantly, I would like to thank Ms. Raworth, who graciously took time out from her busy schedule to engage with our class to provide such a wonderful experience.
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