Inspired by the Amsterdam Donut Coalition, Lola Perrin is convening Londoners interested in launching a DEAL coalition for London. On October 15, 2020 almost 50 people joined the first London DEAL meet-up, via Zoom. Members joined from across London and the Home Counties, with one former resident joining from the US. The aim was to offer a place for people animated by Doughnut Economics to connect, share methodology, and ultimately take action.
In just 90 minutes, we discussed a multitude of visions, perspectives, and hopes for bringing about an optimal and sustainable quality of life and experienced the power of co-creation. Members live in a range of London neighborhoods and bring diverse skill sets. We connected in engaging conversations around this shared passion. This meet-up provided proof that we can use our voices and take ownership as residents for co-creating our collective future.
The London meet-up generated some tips and practices that could be used to replicate similar first meetings in other cities.
The meet-up was facilitated by Davina Burgess and Roisin Markham who had convened a first meeting in Ireland. This event was oversubscribed and we kept a waiting list to add people as spots opened up. Lola promoted the event on this DEAL site and others shared it on LinkedIn.
To prepare for the meet-up, members had been asked to think of their vision for London (in a sentence or less), select a virtual background that showed how the Doughnut for London might look to them, and read two documents to inform the discussion:
As members joined the Zoom, facilitators welcomed each person by name and encouraged them to say hi and where they were calling in from, either by speaking or typing in the chat box. Facilitators asked for volunteers to take notes and write up the story of the first meeting, and people volunteered by raising their hand on video or messaging in the chat box.
To start the main session, Roisin invited everyone to map their level of understanding of Doughnut Economics on a colour chart that displayed a range of levels, by using the “annotate” function on Zoom (see screenshot below). This was a quick way to give us a view of the variation in familiarity with Doughnut Economics across the many people on the call:
All were then asked to share their prepared vision for London in a chat cascade. To generate this, facilitators instructed members to type their vision into the chat but wait to hit Send until given word. This synchronization resulted in everyone’s vision appearing in the chat box at the same time, making it easy to read everyone’s visions and refer back to them later. Members who saved the chat transcript acquired a handy reference tool with both the names of those on the call and their visions.
To give a few examples of the visions shared:
- “My vision for London is a City of connected flows, less fragmentation, more inclusion.”
- “To enable the development of a more intentionally sustainable finance platform for the city of London.”
- “I envision London as a garden city, almost self-sufficient in terms of food production with resilient local communities connected by sharing economy.”
Next, members split into breakout rooms to enjoy generating a range of ideas in small groups of 4-5 people for about 20 minutes, returned to share highlights, and then repeated this in new breakout groups. The topic for the first breakout round was what it means to thrive and what it would mean for the people of London to be thriving within London’s natural habitat. To capture their ideas each group entered theirs in a slide template in a shared Google Slides document accessible to everyone in the call:
Ideas for thriving included a future London that embodies and stimulates: physical and mental health, sustainability, variety and stimulation, ample connection with each other and nature, inclusiveness and affordability, safety and freedoms from stresses, generosity and joy, continuous reinvestment in itself, being able to live a full lifestyle locally, and art and higher purpose. One group noted that this might mean dismantling some existing conditions.
For the second break out round, in new groups participants discussed: “What would you like to be included when considering a vision for London?” Aspirations covered a wide span, such as grassroots community and purpose-led businesses, recycling and clean air, and social justice and refugees. In this short 20 minute exercise we experienced how working to formulate a shared vision for London is complex but also empowering.
To close, the group discussed next steps:
- Build a coalition like the Amsterdam Donut Coalition (ADC) and potentially have 1-10 shared goals like the ADC
- Create a shared vision of how this group can have the greatest impact
- Every attendee aim to spread the word to 2-3 people who might be interested
- Populate a shared document listing each members’ location, contact info, and skills
- Summarise the breakout group discussions
- Post this story
The group will have a second Zoom meet-up to determine priorities and actions, and possibly sub-group members by area of London for deeper local insight and action planning. The meet-up will be November 5th from 8 pm - 9.30 pm
. The Zoom link will be posted on the DEAL site in Events
Driven by shared inspiration from Doughnut Economics, we will find tangible actions and will scale efforts for impact.
To join the London members mailing list email email@example.com. Please note: when attending meetings we ask that you attend as yourself, and not representing your company or group.
Story Contributors: Claire Callan, Andrew Campbell, Simon Cole, and Sofia Pascoal
Story Contact and Writer: Erin Squires