Amsterdam Inspiration

Travelling to Amsterdam from our armchairs to bring the Doughnut's four lenses to life.

Here in Bath, we all know that we're far from the first cityfolk to be learning about Doughnut Economics and how to create fair and thriving places for happy futures.
Copenhagen, Brussels, Dunedin, Leeds, London and many others all have Doughnut-inspired strategies well underway.

So to help us keep shifting from talking about things to doing things, we decided to do a deep dive on how the Doughnut is being brought to life in other cities around the world. 

Amsterdam has always been a fore-runner in forward-thinking initiatives - SDG House, the Repair Cafe movement, the Fashion for Good museum, the co-living concept matching students with elderly neighbours - to name just a few. 

True to form, it was the first city to formally adopt the Doughnut, as the lens for its city-wide post-COVID regeneration. 

So for our first 'journey' outside our own city, that's where we went.

In the run-up to the session, we sought out some Amsterdam activity to get a feel for what we can build on closer to home. 

Pre-reading/watching/listening links were shared in the LinkedIn group to get ideas flowing ahead of time, including:

The Amsterdam City Doughnut: A Tool for Transformative Action

We then used insights extracted from the Amsterdam strategy document, The Amsterdam City Doughnut: A Tool for Transformative Action, to ask ourselves What would Amsterdam do? based on the four lenses:

  • What would it mean for the people of Amsterdam Bath to thrive?
  • What would it mean for Amsterdam Bath to thrive within its natural habitat?
  • What would it mean for Amsterdam Bath to respect the wellbeing of people worldwide?
  • What would it mean for Amsterdam Bath to respect the health of the whole planet?

Workshop materials: Applying insights from the Amsterdam strategy to our local context.

The group of 10 spent 2 hours (the intended 90 mins over-ran) learning about the four lenses and Amsterdam's approach and city targets, and considering how we could respond to the same questions here through interconnected solutions and the support of the various community groups already on the case.

We found that including the Amsterdam examples brought the lenses to life and made them comparable and relatable to our real-world local context. 

Community energy, circular creativity, reaching out to the hard-to-reach... this exercise really stretched imaginations with rich conversations from across sectors and expertise, and helped people think outside their usual topics and spot broader connections. 




    Shak Gohir


    To build my network and connections with the DEAL community, to enhance my knowledge and accelerate project activities.


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