Running a Doughnut Economics Read-Along

A simple strategy for getting Doughnut Economics off our bookshelves and into our hands, heads and hearts.

Out here in the wild, it is widely understood that this very clever but challenging book can often sit untouched on many bookshelves. People buy it, start it, get a little stuck, then put it down, then back on the shelf. 

Yet if we want Doughnut Economics to be a common strategy, we need as many as possible to know the full story, to be able to lead/join the conversations, and connect the dots carefully, leaving no-one behind.

I thought that one effective little leverage point might be to inspire the various people who had already bought the book, but hadn't read it, to get it off their bookshelves and into their hands. A chapter a week, for nine weeks. To get everyone - quite literally - on the same page.

So, in January 2023, a small local group of cross-sector professionals committed to reading a chapter a week, to chart thoughts, questions and inspiration, and be supportive/accountable to each other. 

Weekly approach:

1. Chapter Intro Post
At the beginning of the week, the respective chapter and overall theme was introduced on a LinkedIn group post.

This comprised:

  • Chapter Title
  • Chapter Page Numbers
  • A brief introduction to the key theme and points of interest.
  • A engaging quote from the text.
  • A picture of the engaging quote, highlighted in the book itself.
  • Call for commentary/questions on Chapter Intro post throughout the week.

Example of a Chapter Intro post to mark the chapter kick-off at the beginning of the week.

2. Mid-week commentary
Throughout the week, Q&As and links to related articles, books, local initiatives, podcasts, TED talks and even popular movies were shared, to bring the respective chapter themes to life.

For example, Bank of Dave is a great film to accompany Chapter 2 (among others), and for Chapter 6, Kinky Boots offers discussion around planned obsolescence in product development (among other things) and how to creatively avoid it.

Example of related inspiration and group engagement during the week/chapter.

3. Chapter Outro Post
At the end of the week, the completion of the chapter was signalled with brief summary notes on a Chapter Outro post, to clear the way for the next week/chapter.

Example of a Chapter Outro post to mark the chapter completion at the end of the week.

This simple process was repeated weekly until the book was read, and a growing group had formed on shared knowledge.

What next?
The Read-Along has now led to a Learning Group with monthly learning sessions where tools, topics and localised strategies are explored in person, with the book and principles as the go-to reference when things get sticky.

By request, the group has now expanded from LinkedIn to include WhatsApp, to see if it can be more accessible.

Please note, this approach is a good start but limited in its scope. This is because:

  • Not everyone is on LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn is a professional platform, which does not represent all stakeholder groups.
  • Not everyone is inclined, freely available or able to read books of this nature.

But it has definitely proven to offer value as one of many multi-level approaches that intersect along the way.





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