Introducing Doughnut Economics to Iraq

A new organization to spread knowledge about sustainability and make policy impact

A few month ago a new organization, Balsam Foundation for Sustainable Development was established that aims at spreading knowledge and information about sustainability in Iraq. Iraq, just like the rest of the world, is suffering from various economic, environmental, and social challenges. Pollution, lack of jobs and services, drought, drink water scarcity, a record population growth rate, and other issues represent telling signs about unsustainable policies and practices. The challenge is to make the decision makers and citizens aware about the impact of unsuitability on their current life and the future.

Sustainability requires educating others about a complex topic to induce a change of behaviour that requires time and effort Doughnut Economy is a powerful introductory tool to understand the principles of the circular economy and the challenges related to implementing these.

At Balsam Foundation, Doughnut Economy provides the basis used to develop curriculums and write educational content to rethink and change prevailing thinking and practices. Balsam Foundation bases its work on the following five principles:

Systems thinking: Society, the economy, and the environment should be viewed as consisting of overlapping and interconnected systems. Proposing solutions to pressing challenges requires understanding the nature of these systems, how they work, and the fact that any intervention has repercussions and impacts on several systems, not just the targeted one.

Communication for social change: Communication plays a fundamental role in achieving the desired change in society because through it it is possible to change beliefs and address minds, thus influencing the behaviour of systems and individuals and making them consistent with the goals of sustainable development.

Appreciative inquiry: The appreciative inquiry method is used in environments and contexts that suffer from great challenges and complex problems. This type of investigation seeks to search for successful experiences, even if they are limited in their impact, study them, and try to expand or transfer them to other societies or contexts.

Cooperation and coordination: Progress in the field of sustainable development can only be achieved through coordination and cooperation between the public, private and plural sectors at the local and international levels, because the problems of sustainable development are complex and solutions require the participation of the largest possible number of parties that have the same vision and aspirations or are suffering from the same challenges.

Healing for development: Systems, like individuals, suffer from trauma as a result of recurring conflicts and crises, and development cannot be achieved without providing the appropriate environment and requirements required for their recovery.

We believe that sustainability requires first and foremost a change in mindset, which is not easy to achieve. However, with a mental model like the Doughnut, we can have a good start.   





    Moze Jacobs

    Rossbrin, West Cork, Munster, Ireland

    Doughnut Economics - The best idea ever but needs to be 'translated' to local circumstances and that is what we are working on.


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