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.
1. Chapter Intro Post
At the beginning of the week, the respective chapter and overall theme was introduced on a LinkedIn group post.
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.
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.
This simple process was repeated weekly until the book was read, and a growing group had formed on shared knowledge.
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:
But it has definitely proven to offer value as one of many multi-level approaches that intersect along the way.
Get inspired, connect with others and become part of the movement. No matter how big or small your contribution is, you’re welcome to join!