Moved by the work done by Amsterdam and London Doughnut pioneers, Californians get mobilized to co-create a DEAL coalition for California


Filled with momentum and democratic euphoria Californians interested in launching a DEAL coalition had their first California DEAL meetup. It was on November 12, 2020 when over 50 people joined the first California DEAL meetup via Zoom. Members joined from all across California and a few from other US states. The goal was to offer a place for people animated by Doughnut Economics to connect over a common purpose, 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 bringing diverse skill sets connected in engaging conversations around their shared passion. This meetup provided proof that we can use our voices and take ownership as residents for co-creating our collective future.  
This first meetup was facilitated by Jared Bybee and Della Z Duncan, who had also promoted the event on this DEAL site as well as on LinkedIn.  


To prepare for the meetup, members had been asked to think of their vision for California (in a sentence or less), select a virtual background that showed how the Doughnut for California might look to them, and read two documents to inform the discussion:

As members joined the Zoom, Jared and Della introduced themselves and 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, Della invited everyone to map their level of understanding of Doughnut Economics on the slide below, by using the “annotate” function on Zoom.  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.  Pro tip: if you want a record of annotations you should take a screenshot before moving on with your meeting!  

Doughnut Journey Map



All were then asked to share their prepared vision for California in a chat cascade. 
These are some examples of the visions shared in our group: 
  • Sustainable living on the governmental and household level
  • I wish California to lead the change
  • Thriving, balanced, cooperative society
  • Beautiful fun confident model state
  • Sustainable future for all people
  • Inclusion and sustainable for all

One participant suggested the cascade of vision statements could be combined into a word cloud - see the result below. 

Doughnut Inspired Word Cloud

Next, members split into breakout rooms to enjoy the process of generating ideas in small groups of 6-8 people for about 20 minutes, returned to share highlights, and then repeated this in new breakout groups.

The topics for the first breakout round were:
  1. What would it mean for the people of California to thrive?  What would it mean for Californians to respect the wellbeing of people worldwide? (even numbered groups)
  2. What would it mean for California to thrive within its natural habitat? What would it mean for California to respect the health of the whole planet? (odd numbered groups)

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 social thriving from the even groups included a future California that embodies and stimulates physical and mental health, regenerative agriculture, renewable energy put into laws, education addressing circular model of sustainability, equality, change the model of consumption, co-creating with/for people/community vs designing for users, smart cities -- smart homes -- having a model for a home that we can all replicate, use tech as our ally, ample connection with each other and nature, inclusiveness and affordability, continuous reinvestment in itself, being able to live a full lifestyle locally, and art and higher purpose. 

Ideas for ecological thriving from the odd groups included the following topics: Look at bigger issues not just one single issue/Impact first decision-making, see ourselves as citizen first, consumer second - rather than the other way around, caring for our world, what can we stop importing, moving to a metric system to match the world - for consumption.
Sample notes from first break out brainstorming
Sample notes from first break out brainstorming




For the second breakout round, in new groups participants discussed: 
  1. What might it look like to apply Doughnut Economics to the state of California? 
  2. What might be the pros and cons to doing a state-wide effort?  What are the next steps?

Aspirations covered a wide span, such as progressive taxation, bottom up approach on a local scale, leveraging the experience of successful pilot cities could accelerate the adoption. As some of the cons we recorded: regional differences cause friction/fracture which would be difficult to navigate, difficult to shift system at statewide level grassroots community and purpose-led businesses, recycling and clean air.  In this short 20 minute exercise we experienced how working to formulate a shared vision for California is complex but also empowering.

Sample notes from second break out brainstorming

Sample notes from second break out brainstorming



To close, the group discussed next steps:
  • Summarize the breakout group discussions
  • Jonathan DeLong volunteered to facilitate our second meetup, which will take place on December 3, 2020, from 5:30 to 7:00pm PST.
  • Sofia Sarachansky volunteered to write up the story of the first California Meetup. 

The next meeting will be  posted on the DEAL site in Events.

Driven by shared inspiration from Doughnut Economics, and encouraged by the people and work done in Amsterdam, London and elsewhere, we will find tangible actions that lead us closer to providing for the needs of all within the limitations of the plant. 

Join us. 

To join the California members mailing list email jaredbybee@gmail.com
Please note: when attending meetings we ask that you attend as yourself, and not representing your company or group.

Story Contributors: Sofia Sarachansky, Jared Ruiz Bybee, Della Duncan
Story Contact and Writer: Sofia Sarachansky


    Jared Ruiz Bybee

    Are you so sad about missing the first meeting? Chin up - our next meeting is coming up on Dec 10. Join us! https://doughnuteconomics.org/events/37

    about 2 months ago
    Eric Tye

    I am so sad about missing the first two meetings! When is the next one?

    about 1 month ago

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