After a successful first meeting just three weeks ago, the London Doughnut Economy Coalitions met once again on the 5th November. Around 50 people again joined the call with around 20 new members joining the group and well over 100 expressing an interested in partnership. As well, members from all corners of London, we also welcomed participants from Washington DC, Colombia and Southern California.
The first meeting of the partnership focused upon scoping how much the coalition understood and what their individual vision was for London. The challenge for the second meeting was to develop these ideas and to start to develop a collective identity, thinking about how we can organise to excerpt more influence, as well as celebrating the amount of impactful projects which are already being delivered in London.
We again, started by asking group members to think about how much they know about Doughnut Economics.
This time we were able to make use of the Journey of Knowledge Map tool originally developed by Ireland DEAL member Roisin Markham. We experimented with a version of the tool designed by London group member Joseph Dollar-Smirnov https://doughnuteconomics.org/tools-and-stories/60 . We were able to use this to see how the groups understanding and confidence had increased since the last meeting, Happily, the group as a whole seemed to consider itself to have a greater understanding of the Doughnut and the seven principles which are underpinning our work.
The group then focused upon two activities to help develop collective ideas on the way forward.
Activity One: Furthering a vision for London
The partnership reflected on a quick visioning exercise which was used to gather first thoughts in the previous meeting. This had shown a good appreciation of the balance between social and environmental factors as well as some reflections on the role that London can play as a leader and an exemplar for other cities
The group then broke into breakout rooms to develop their visions further, and to start to think about the characteristics that would define the social foundations and environmental challenges that are specific for London.
Discussing an overall vision for London, themes of discussion include the importance of agency; the emergence of the Commons; value beyond profit; supporting positive choices; encouragement and positivity; and greater trust between those in power and the grassroots. Most groups discussed specific ‘Londoness’ and how the diversity variety within the city made it unique and exciting
Common areas of discussion in relation to social foundations included the need for a home; a fair income; engagement in a community; happiness; time to ‘be’ and be well; the right to have your opinions heard.
The environmental challenges which were identified as being most significant to London were air pollution; noise pollution; waste; poor consumer choices; hard landscapes; and the propensity to demolish rather than reuse building.
Activity Two: Establishing what the London Doughnut Economy Coalition can actually do
The partnership is keen to be active and actually develop the London Doughnut and start to take action. To aid this process, partnership member Anna Jezewska created the following survey to help understand the skills and aspirations of the group.
This provided the basis for a discussion on where the London Coalition can add value and deliver impact. Even before most people had completed the survey, there was a fantastic range of skills and ideas within the partnership.
The group agreed four areas of work as a starting point for the partnership, these will form the basis for action
Developing a brand, awareness and a shared voice; ensuring that as many Londoners as possible understand the doughnut and the partnerships values
Amplifying and connecting great grassroots activity and activism; celebrating what works and support this to grow
Lobbying and influencing, challenging systems and accepted norms; ensuring that leaders and those in power understand the doughnut and are influenced by the partnership values
Gathering data and evidence to build the doughnut for London and track change; ensuring we have the evidence to support change.