The Israel Doughnut Economics Community was launched in January 2022 in an online event that drew nearly a hundred participants. The founding members of the IDEC include motivated professionals who connected over their appreciation of the DE model and their motivation to advocate for sustainable and just economic activities.
Israel Doughnut Economics Community website
Before officially launching the IDEC, the core members sought to raise awareness about the DE model by translating some key communication materials (videos, graphs) to Hebrew and making them available on the DEAL platform.
Secondly, the founding team also reached out to DEAL’s team to secure an interview with Kate Raworth that was later published in Israel’s largest financial newspaper.
After these initial efforts to generate interest in Israel, individual parties reached out to the core team to express their support of the DE model and, at times, to offer support to disseminate it further.
One of these organizations was the Heschel Center for Sustainability, which has been including the DE model in its modules and training for a few years beforehand. Connecting with an established and recognized organization such as Heschel was instrumental in consolidating the group’s efforts and fueling more comprehensive steps towards formalizing the establishment of the community and connecting with other relevant stakeholders. After a few rounds of discussions about objectives, available resources and principle, the core group decided on a formal (virtual) launch of the IDEC in January 2022.
Thus far, the IDEC has made significant advancement in promoting the DE model among education professionals in the country.
In October 2022, members of the IDEC organized a workshop for trainers from the ‘Green Network’ – an organization that aims to integrate sustainability and green content into curricula across Israeli public education providers. The workshop included both lectures on the DE framework and interactive activities that allowed the participants to experience the DE decision-making process by mapping the impact that a project or policy may have on all social foundations and ecological boundaries.
The success of this workshop motivated the Israeli Ministry of Education to include an extensive module and activities about the DE framework in their executive program. And in May 2023, Heschel Center for Sustainability convened a learning visit to the UK, called The Tevel project - a consortium of organisations in collaboration with Ministry of Education of Israel, that aims to catalyze and support the transition of the Israeli education system
to recalibrate its role in the era of climate change and ecological collapse.
Part of this visit was four days at Schumacher College, including a morning with Rob Shorter and Carolina Escobar-Tello from DEAL.
Since its founding, the community’s founding members focused primarily on responding to multiple requests from faculties, foundations, grassroots climate groups, municipality representatives and government officials to hear more about the DE model and its applications.
To respond to these requests, the IDEC core members built on the variety of tools and stories available on the DEAL platform and tailored them to the respective audiences. The team also consulted with the fantastic team at DEAL about how best to leverage the tools shared by other Doughnut Economics communities to meet our needs.
Furthermore, the IDEC was also invited to present the DE model to the Israeli Climate Forum – an initiative started by the Israeli President’s office. Together with the kind support of Kate, the team presented the ‘downscaling the donut’, which spurred additional interest from a variety of stakeholders at different levels of government.
The IDEC group member perceives the DE model as viable for solving the multitude of social, economic, and ecological challenges that Israel is facing. The IDEC members were pleasantly surprised to find such wide interest in the DE model, from a variety of audiences including policymakers, academia, grassroots climate groups and others. Presenting the model and working with the above-mentioned groups raised questions on the factors that contribute to the successful adoption of the model, the type of resources required to implement it and examples of contrasting interests.
While there are multiple examples of cities, communities from around the world that formally adopted the DE model, there is limited information on the progress made as a result of the adoption of the model (environmental, social, economic). As with other disruptive innovative ideas, it is likely that persuading the skeptics will require more evidence of the applicability of the DE model and its potential in enabling a just transition into a climate-neutral economy. As it is, the uniqueness of the DE framework is in its ability to simplify economic, social, and ecological considerations and in promoting the type of collaborative, participatory process that policymaking often lacks.
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