This is a workshop tool that allows companies to understand and engage with Doughnut Economics. It is a journey into transforming the deep design of business (e.g. their ownership and governance) to ensure the business can pursue the strategies, practices and business models needed to help humanity into the Doughnut. The tool is based on two core questions:
Any business hoping to engage with Doughnut Economics can only do so through a focus on enterprise design, which is the central focus of this tool. This is explored through five design layers: a company’s Purpose, Networks, Governance, Ownership, and Finance. Below is a short video to introduce this concept, which facilitators running workshops with this tool may also choose to use within their workshop.
These design layers powerfully shape the strategic decisions and operational impacts of businesses, and ultimately determine whether or not businesses can transform to become part of a regenerative and distributive future. By diving into the five layers of deep design, this tool reveals both design blockages that prevent transformative action, and design innovations that can unlock its possibility. Over 300 businesses participated in the creation of this tool, through 22 pilot workshops co-hosted by Doughnut Economics Action Lab. It has since been further refined following feedback from dozens of registered facilitators who are using this tool to run workshops with businesses around the world.
It is primarily for people working with business leaders and entrepreneurs who can use the tool to facilitate workshops. These include:
Business leaders can also use this tool, especially executives, owners and board members. They are free to use this for internal reflection. Or they can find facilitators who are registered to use the tool with their clients on DEAL's Organisations in Action page here.
Above all, this tool is for people who want to use Doughnut Economics to transform business. These are people who have:
Facilitating will also require time to prepare and gain some familiarity with the businesses participating (e.g. their industry, legal form, governance, reporting of impacts).
Importantly, the facilitator should be skilled in guiding businesses through the journey of exploration and comfortable with complexity, with encountering defensiveness or frustration from some participants, such as: limitations around what they can change, and their desire to be provided practical advice.
If you are a consultant or other organisation wanting to engage your business clients or members on Doughnut Economics, you will first need to register with DEAL as an Organisation in Action.
The Doughnut Design for Business tool is:
The duration for this core tool workshop is suggested as 4-5 hours. It can be broken up into two or more sessions, and can also be extended to give additional time for the activities and related discussions. There is also a shorter taster version (for a ~2 hour workshop).
The workshop can be held in-person or online. Activity canvases are available in Annex A as both printable pdfs (for in-person) and on Miro (for online workshops). See Annex A towards the end of the slides.
Some workshops will bring together multiple companies, while others will bring together a group from within a single business. All activities across this tool can also be conducted in pairs or by an individual applying it to their own business. Some key considerations and options are offered at the end of the tool.
For businesses to engage with Doughnut Economics means they explore their own deep design. Around this core focus, there are ways facilitators can adapt their workshops. For instance, Annex E provides ways to incorporate additional activities and concepts, consider ways participants can prepare for and follow-up on the workshop. Critically, it also provides alternative slides for running workshops with start-ups.
View DEAL's 2-part training webinar on running workshops for businesses with this tool:
The Doughnut Design for Business core tool, and the accompanying paper are now available in French, German, Portuguese and Spanish via this folder. Note, this is an official DEAL translation of the initial version of the tool as launched in November 2022, and there have been a few minor updates in the English version. The slides contain all the activities in the translated language, but the links to the Miro and PDFs of the activity canvases will take users to the English versions of the canvases. Across the translated versions, if you spot any errors that need correcting, please let DEAL know via our contact page by selecting the Business and Enterprise theme and sharing a message.
The tool is accompanied by a paper, What Doughnut Economics Means for Business, which contains background context and further detail on the core concepts as well as additional examples of business design. The paper was co-authored by DEAL and Centre for Economic Transformation. To read the paper, click here or see the Downloads section below.
To balance openness with protecting the integrity of the concept of Doughnut Economics, DEAL has created a policy applying to businesses (including consultants in their work with business clients). This policy contains seven main principles:
The annex of this tool contains the parts of this policy that are most relevant to those using this tool. This includes the ask that those using the tool to work with businesses register on DEAL's platform as an organisation in action and share back insights about the workshop with the DEAL Community. The tool contains additional guidance on how facilitators can share back.
We also invite businesses to propose case studies about their redesign around the goals of Doughnut Economics. To submit a case study, please connect with us through the DEAL contact form, choosing the category 'Tools and Stories' and theme ‘Business and Enterprise’.
I'm a circular thinker, leading sustainability and ESG strategies at Conexus.Earth, an Aussie consultancy tracking sustainability
I want to explore new thinking/reasoning together with others.
Contribute where I can to development of solutions that reverse the enormity of consumption of our planets resources
Sophia Antipolis, France and Barcelona, Spain
Guiding organizations and regions through their transformational journey to embrace regenerative and distributive dynamics.
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