WS the 4 Doughnut Lenses in Complexo da Penha, RJ

Experience Report of the Doughnut Workshop conducted in Penha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The full articles with the experience can be found in the links below:
Portuguese - 
English -

This work aimed to highlight a practice based on the exploration of related themes such as the Doughnut Economics, social innovation, and sustainable cities. To achieve this, it recounts the experience of the Doughnut Workshop conducted in a set of favelas in Rio de Janeiro, specifically the Penha Complex. Through this workshop, the intention is to understand whether Doughnut Economics, in an educational context, was an accessible and easily understandable model for the situated community and if it can catalyze initiatives of social and sustainable innovation to enhance the city.

It is considered that the highlighting of the Doughnut Workshop and the production of this account were made possible through the organizers' care in documenting the preparation stages of the workshop (pre-action project - anteriority), creating records during the event (interiority), and consolidating all the documentary material generated by the event (forming a posteriority, just like this work). By showcasing this workshop experience, it was also possible to explore knowledge by interweaving concepts between Doughnut Economics, design for social and sustainable innovation, and sustainable cities, finding strong conceptual alignment among these themes from a humanistic, ecosystemic, and future-oriented perspective.

Thus, at the conclusion of this text, it is believed that the Doughnut model is a methodology still to be further explored and experimented with. It is suggested that this exploration should expand, especially in countries of the Global South. As highlighted by Ana Lavaquial, the reality of Brazil is significantly different from the reality of most European countries where Doughnut Economics originated. For this reason, it is emblematic and necessary to put the model into practice in various territories and realities, adapting it to the history, territory, and culture of each country.

Through the Workshop, it became evident that the Doughnut model offers a simple language and employs a systemic and "portrait-like" approach (relating to a portrait, which creates a situated portrait while connected with complex global perspectives). This model can function as a catalyst for socio-environmental initiatives aimed at developing cities as sustainable urban territories filled with subjectivity and collective potential. In this practice, 33 socio-environmental initiatives were catalyzed.

However, despite its simplicity, when the model addresses ecological and global issues, the presented concepts still seem distant from the reality of individuals who are not experiencing these concepts in their daily lives. The concept of planetary boundaries is primarily familiar to those in academia and those studying sustainability in-depth. To present ecological impacts, a prior preparation might be necessary to translate topics that are less familiar to the community into terms they can understand.

Nonetheless, in terms of the local perspective, the Workshop proved to be productive and highlighted that people are more comfortable with the social lens than the ecological one. Identifying these gaps and difficulties is crucial to assess what situations and understandings are closer to people's realities. Social issues are highly relevant to populations dealing with more immediate survival concerns, and they might not fully recognize or comprehend the direct and indirect impacts of environmental issues on their lives. Therefore, addressing environmental aspects and the broader global perspective while connecting them to local and social matters are significant aspects that the Doughnut model can assist with, but it requires better preparation and adaptation.


During the Workshop, the need for translation and adaptation of the language, as well as the application of examples to their realities, became evident. One of the main propositions of Doughnut Economics and the DEAL platform is to encourage these adaptations with the aim of presenting the model in various contexts and realities. The model is not meant to be a fixed concept but rather a compass guiding the actions of governments, projects, organizations, and socio-environmental initiatives toward a place that is socially just, prosperous, and respectful of planetary limits. A society that fits within the Doughnut ring. 





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