**Note: If you are interested in collaborating in our 2024 event, please contact us! :)
On November 13th, 2023, our group of Tricolor Coalition was very excited to organize the first International Donut Day (IDD) in Mexico City in EDINBA (The School of Design of the National Institute for Fine Arts). After a planning process where we defined what would be most useful in Mexico City for this event, we decided for it to be a day to exchange experiences and ideas to develop projects to promote sustainability transitions (the first time doing it as a live event!). That day, we were happy to have a participation of 130 people, including students as well as representatives from Mexico City’s government, enterprises, NGOs and citizens interested in promoting sustainable innovations. During this event, we exchanged knowledge and experience on how to apply the Doughnut Economics from the international to local spheres.
First, we heard the work of DEAL, Earth4All, Donut Brazil, and our Tricolor Coalition speaking about their Doughnut Economics work. Then, we also learned about the challenges and opportunities that current sustainability agents of change in Mexico City have to develop projects with this vision. Finally, we also developed workshops together with students and our expert panelists to co-create a creative common vision of sustainability based on Doughnut Economics, and translate into concrete future projects and stories. We are very happy to share that we designed four projects for the climate change, water, agriculture, and policy sectors. The proposals were not only based on the challenges of Mexico City, but also on the capabilities of the participants of the event, with the goal to start the action push of Doughnut Economics in a feasible way. We intended to find where the energy is.
The four proposals were the following:
a) Policy Sector Group - Modify current policies and regulations to include the polluter-pays-principle in them, considering the unequal characteristics of pollution in our city. Pollution is generated by few, but it impacts everyone.
b) Agricultural Sector Group - Developing cultural events in agricultural areas where people can increase awareness about resource management for agricultural production for different audiences.
c) Climate Change Sector Group - Designing product wrappers with the waste from EDINBA, which mainly consists of paper and cardboard. In that way, we would reuse the material and create something new and useful.
d) Water Sector Group - Co-desiging with EDINBA (The School of Design of the National Institute for Fine Arts and Literature), the implementation of the pilot projector “Gota a Gota” in EDINBA. This project consists of the implementation of both a technical and social implementation of a rain-water harvest.
This was our first International Donut Day in Mexico City, which we hope will be the first of many. We intend to go where the energy is, building from the shoulders of giants already working towards a sustainability transition in our city.
Going where the (sustainability) energy in Mexico City is...
a) Planning for the Day: How GDD in Mexico City started.
Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL), proposed early in 2023 to create a Doughnut Economics International Day on November 13th, hosted by local networks around the globe. We were very excited to hear the proposal and wanted to participate! We wanted to make this event a place where people could feel part of a community that envisions sustainability transitions in Mexico City by developing a common vision and finding potential future projects to work on. We had some experience organising such events in the Tricolor Coalition, but we had so far always worked online. Our challenge would be then to bring people together in-person for the first time since the beginning of our organisation. How could we make a safe and fun place for people to meet each other, while using Doughnut Economics as a starting point to act towards a sustainable future?
For this, we needed people interested in being part of this event’s organization, people interested in attending the event and, of course, a venue. We wanted to include in the content of the event the work that people are already doing related to Doughnut Economics from global to local scale (showing the different dimensions of collaboration that sustainability requires), but also highlighting the capacities already existent in Mexico City. Moreover, we decided we wanted to reach the network of people we had met online before, but also invite students who could benefit from the exchange of information. Finally, we collaborated with EDINBA, who kindly offered their university as a venue.
b) What our day was about
The IDD was an event to strengthen the community of agents of change interested in applying a Doughnut Economics perspective in Mexico City through the exchange of information and concretization of potential projects that supported a sustainable transition. We were happy to have 130 participants that day, including students and representatives from Mexico City’s government, enterprises, NGOs, and citizen leaders interested in sustainability. During our event, we intended not only to share information on the theories behind Doughnut Economics, and Earth4All proposal of actions required to achieve this at an international scale. At the same time, we wanted to share with our participants how these theories had been applied in practice, and explore with them opportunities and barriers of applying them further to face the sustainability challenges in Mexico City.
During the first session, we started by highlighting the main reason that brought us together. We talked about Doughnut Economics and how it has been applied from global to local scales. We were happy to hear from Carlota Sáenz on how the theory of Doughnut Economics was developed into practice by local stakeholders from all around the world, and the creation of a digital community to exchange information, passion and methods, to apply theory into practice. Marcos Iorio, from Brazil, presented how the national movement has invited Latin American participants to apply their learnings and experience to the Brazilian context. He shared different ways in which their local community has pushed forward the conversation at a national scale using different ways to promote sustainability. Then, Eva Valencia and Michel Nader spoke about the work done in the Tricolor Coalition. Valencia described how the coalition defined its role as a hub of information about system thinking frameworks and their applications to the needs of Mexico City’s sustainable challenges. Nader mentioned which design capabilities can strengthen a community of diverse people interested in the same goal by providing a safe space, as well as giving guidance to people who would like to get involved in the community. Finally, Omar Ramos and Erika Marlene welcomed the participants to the event and highlighted the role of design in finding creative solutions for the real and complex social and environmental problems of the future.
During the second session, Adriana Elera explained the summary of the Earth4All report. She showed how the report serves as a global model that includes actions for a radical change towards the just and safe space that Doughnut Economic proposes. Furthermore, she made us close our eyes to imagine what a future with this radical change would look like for Mexico City, and build a common vision with all the participants of how this future looked like.
After this, expert panelists from the public-private-academia and social sectors shared their views about the opportunities and challenges they have faced in their role to promote sustainability. Juan Carlos Molina from the General Coordination of Advisors and International Affairs from Mexico City’s Government started explaining how they developed a Doughnut Economics and used it to guide the development of some of the policies of Mexico City. Then, Sebastián Serrano from the enterprise Soluciones Hidropluviales addressed the topic of sustainable technological innovations such as rain-water harvesting as an opportunity to contribute in the water cycle in mega-cities. Later, Juan Carlos Carillo from the NGO of Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA), spoke about the how the discussion of the Circular Economy Law in Mexico City had been. He shared remaining topics for the Circular Economy Agenda such as waste management and the Extended Producer Responsibility principle. Afterwards, the woman citizen leader Magdalena from “Industrias Colibríes” gave a presentation about the civil society's role in sustainable development, and she made emphasis on the use of Maslow Pyramid as a definition of sustainability for a community transformation. Finally, Ivan Martínez working currently in Amnesty International presented statistics and stories that showed some of the consequences of climate change, as well as the variety of actions for “climate justice” that international organizations have developed throughout the years.
The aim of the fourth session was to find ways to benefit from the capabilities mentioned, to develop potential projects. We divided the group into four sectors: water, agriculture, energy, and climate change. The final proposals of the groups to promote sustainability, based on the capacities they had, and the ones they could get, included:
a) Policy Sector Group - Modify current policies and regulations to include the polluter-pays-principle, and the extended producer responsibility principle in them, considering the unequal characteristics of pollution in our city. Pollution is generated by few, but it impacts everyone.
b) Agricultural Sector Group - Developing an agricultural area in the city where, in addition to agricultural production, there were other cultural activities, to increase awareness about agriculture resource management.
c) Climate Change Sector Group- In the groups, we discussed that EDINBA is a generator of waste, most of which is paper and cardboard. We considered the possibility of reusing this waste to wrap products.
d) Water Sector Group - Co-desiging with EDINBA (The School of Design of the National Institute for Fine Arts and Literature), the implementation of the pilot projector “Gota a Gota” in EDINBA. This project consists of the implementation of both a technical and social implementation of a rain-water harvest
When the workshops finished, we facilitated a session for personal reflections. For this, Diana, from the group Sobrevivientes, gave a creative writing workshop so participants could build collective and individual stories thinking of what they could work on as next steps from the event. We created posters to summarise their thoughts.
c) Conclusion and learnings for future events
Before the event, we had decided that it should be an event that could strengthen our community. Then, after receiving the support of multiple organizations and individuals we were happy to organize our first event live, and achieve this purpose. In the event, we shared information about Doughnut Economics, we showed the potential of using the Earth4All Report as an available global guideline to reach a safe and just space for humanity, and we also heard from sustainability leaders in the city about opportunities and gaps to transit towards sustainability. Our panel of experts shared all the information and work that they have done in the City, as well as how they saw the role of public-private-academia and social actors to strengthen this sustainability transition in the coming years, and they worked together with students to see future possibilities.
We were excited of the results it gave, but we also had several learnings from it. This event opened conversations and was a push to build stronger relationships between agents of change interested in promoting sustainability. Moreover, we shared valuable information in it, and we were happy to see the engagement of its participants throughout the day. Also, we know that the projects created in this event started as interesting ideas, but due to later conversations that we have had in these months, we also know that they are seeds for longer projects we would be happy to share in the future.
However, we also see potential for increasing the accessibility of this event, by reaching students from other fields and other universities. We also want to create a space where professionals with a higher level of expertise can discuss the problems they are facing and their best practices, as we believe it could be a useful and neutral forum for discussion with a sustainability perspective in mind. Finally, we know that there was a lot of information during this one day, and acknowledge that all this information has to be shared little by little.
Thus, we know that this event was the first live step of our Tricolor Coalition open network and we know much more work can be done in the future. We are then now strengthening our coalition, to include more people, and to see how can we better continue to participate with the sustainability agents of change in our city to promote these transitions. We believe we need to continue sharing more information on how to simply understand these transitions. We need to have time and space so we can reflect upon these transitions barriers, opportunities and trade-offs. Finally, and most importantly we need to strengthen our collaborative management tools to improve the ways we can act together towards our shared sustainability directions. We hope next year in the IDD we will be able to tell you more about our results on this work. We are are looking forward to it!
We would like to thank our collaborators for this event: Escuela de Diseño de Bellas Artes (EDINBA), Doughnut Economics Action Lab, Brazil Doughnut Economics Coalition, Earth 4 All, Sobrevivientes, Mobox Media House and Eventos Sustentables for their support through the planning and implementation of this event.
We acnowledge the support of our allies in the transition towards sustainability, for having shared their knowledge and facilitated the workshops during the event: Omar Ramos from EDINBA, Juan Carlos Molina from Jefatura de Gobierno de la CDMX, María Boa-Alvarado from Cornell University, Juan Carlos Carrillo from CEMDA, Sebastián Serrano from Soluciones Hidropluviales, Iván Martínez from Amnesty International, Magdalena Corral Castañeda from Industrias Colibríes, and Diana Islas from Sobrevivientes.
Finally, we would like to highlight the hard work of our event coordinators and volunteers. First of all, Aranza Gonzáles Castrejón, thank you for having coordinated the process for the implementation of this event. Secondly, Adriana Elera, Ina Daniela Maza, Carol Baeza, Michel Nader and Eva Valencia for having participated with their time and ideas for the successful planning and implementation of this event.
Thank you all! Without your ideas and support we would not have made this successful event happen.
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