Introducing Donut Economics to ESSEC students

Explaining to Urban Economics Chair's students what is Donut Economics and walking them through several case studies

As a first step to introduce Donut Economics as part of the graduate syllabus at ESSEC Business School, I offered the staff of the Urban Economics Chair to introduce Donut Economics and some case studies to students, alumni and staff. This guest lecture was a side event of the very insightful Building Beyond Festival organised each year by Leonard, the prospective lab of the French construction company Vinci.

I opened the lecture by recontextualising the emergence of Donut Economics : 

  • The Limits to growth (Meadows report, 1972) and the fact that our main economic indicator, the GDP, has several flows, and currently fails to guide us towards nations' prosperity
  • The works of the Stockholm Resilience Center to shape and monitor Planetary Boundaries and the fact that 6 out 9 Planetary Boundaries are already crossed
  • The 17 SDGs as humanity's agreed course for action and a graphic representation as concentric circles starting from ecological SDG to economical SDG as we shall focus first on knowing and preserving our environment before taking care of the way we shall administrate it
  • How the Donut can be a helpful compass for us, making sure that our activities are falling within the planetary boundaries and reinforcing the social threshold

I then introduced several cas studies for showing how organisations can fruitfully use Donut Econmics: 

  • Countries: questionning the way we define Development for nations and how countries are doing on helping the humanity reach the sweet spot (see Doing the Donut at the G20);
  • Cities and territories: walking the students through the detailed examples of Brussels Donut (building and navigating the portrait),  and Grenoble 2040 and the way real estate developers can use the Donut Unrolled Exploring a Topic workshop ;
  • Companies: introducing the Donut Design for Business workshop as tool to help businesses be more regenarative and distributive and using Julia Faure's testimonial to highlight 
  • Business Schools: teaching Donut Economics, planetary boundaries and SDGs to students, writing research papers and leading applied research. I will lecture pre-graduate students next September and am looking forward to it (stay tunned...).

The public reacted all along the 1,5 hour lecture and were very enthusiastic. 

I am very grateful for this session and hope students, alumni and staff of this Chair will help me contribute to turning the ideas of Donut Economics into action!






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