Doughnut Economics in Barbados

Version 1.0 (March 2021)

This is a living story of ongoing activities around Doughnut Economics in Barbados that we will update as events unfold.


Launch of the Barbados Doughnut initiative: Gauging awareness and interest


The Barbados Doughnut initiative was launched with an online session ‘Introducing Doughnut Economics for Barbados’ on Tuesday February 2nd. The session, moderated by Dr. Peggy Antrobus, was anchored by Kate Raworth’s TED Talk ‘A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow’. Speakers included Senator Crystal Drakes also from SALISES, UWI, Cave Hill, Dr Andrew Fanning from the Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL), Dr Eduard Muller from the University for International Cooperation, Costa Rica and Prof Robin Mahon, CERMES. The entire session can be viewed on YouTube here, also embedded below. The session was hosted by the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.

Crystal opened with the rationale for why we need to pay attention to Doughnut Economics in Barbados, especially as we think about rebuilding post-COVID. She argued that the global and national focus on economic growth has resulted in extensive environmental degradation and widespread inequalities in wealth and power. Furthermore, she noted that we are at a point in human history where ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option. Andrew explained the work of DEAL and how Doughnut Economics, which started as a global concept is being downscaled to cities and small countries. Eduard showed how Doughnut Economics was being pursued in Costa Rica, which is a world leader in Doughnut Economics. He outlined progress with the Regenerate Costa Rica movement emphasizing the urgency of the situation adding that we will be held accountable by generations to come if we do not act now. Robin outlined the proposed way ahead for Doughnut economics in Barbados, which is shown below.



The session attracted 70 participants mostly from Barbados but from as far afield as Europe and even India. Feedback was sought in polls indicating that the Doughnut approach was much needed in Barbados. There was also the predominant view that it should be NGO led; while several participants thought it could be led by government or private sector, underscoring the need to have all types of stakeholders engaged. 

The aim of the Barbados Doughnut Economics programme is to provide a platform where the many individuals and groups in Barbados who are actively involved in sustainability and social justice issues, whether government, private sector or NGOs, can interact, explore synergies and effect change. The initiative is led by a core team and hosted by CERMES. The phases of the proposed programme are a series of activities moving toward the creation of a Barbados Doughnut. If you are interested please follow the Barbados Doughnut on Facebook or email Robin Mahon prof.mahon@gmail.com.

Watch the full recording of the session below. Note that 'Part 2' of the session was a screening of Kate Raworth's TED talk, which you can find here.

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