Doughnut Unrolled: Dimensions of the four lenses

An overview of each of the dimensions of the four lenses on life

Version 1.0 (April 2022)

📢 Now translated into French, Spanish, German and Brazilian Portuguese


The goal of the Doughnut is to meet the needs of all people within the means of the living planet, but what does this mean for the neighbourhoods, cities, districts or nations where we live?

To help you explore this question we've created Doughnut Unrolled, a concept that takes us from the Doughnut to four 'lenses' that invite you to look at the interplay between local aspirations and global responsibilities in your place – both socially and ecologically – and identify possible entry-points for transformative action.

Unrolling the Doughnut

This tool - Dimensions of the four lenses - introduces each of the dimensions of the four lenses on life that we get when we unroll the Doughnut.

  • All pdf canvases available here

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We've also created a set of canvases in Miro (password: fourlenses), pictured below, that is designed for you to copy, or 'duplicate' into your own Miro account. If you don't have a Miro account, you can create one for free, very easily - that will give you space for three boards.

Dimensions of the four lenses online canvases in Miro

Dimensions of the four lenses is one of five Doughnut Unrolled tools that work together to apply the ideas of Doughnut Economics to your place:

Together they help you create a 'Doughnut Portrait' of your place - a holistic picture with diverse inputs and perspectives - that can act as a starting point for transformative action.

DEAL's set of Doughnut Unrolled tools

Whilst we are launching these tools in English we are also kicking off a process for translating all 5 tools into some languages and we will share more details of this in the following weeks.

Why use it?

Dimensions of the four lenses complements the tool Introducing the four lenses by going into each of the dimensions of the four lenses to provide a short text on each dimension and some illustrative images. In addition to a short introductory text for each dimension, for the local-ecological lens, we offer some example ways in which cities and places could aim to match the generosity of nature. And for the global-social lens, we offer examples of the actions and decisions taken by people and organisations in one locality that can result in many kinds of impacts – beneficial or harmful – in the lives of people worldwide. By reviewing these examples it helps with the exploration of the four lenses in the other Doughnut Unrolled tools.

Who is it for?

This tool is for anyone who wishes to explore what the ideas of Doughnut Economics means for them in their place.
Important note: If you wish to use these tools as part of your consultancy or professional advisory services for others, then we require that you follow DEAL's policy for consultancies and professional advisors.


How long does it take?

The slides take about 30 minutes to read.


How many people is it for?

Any number of people who you wish to share the slides with, in whatever context, whether a presentation, workshop or other.


What materials do you need?

You do not need specific materials for this tool, however the workshop tools (see Community Portrait of Place and Exploring a topic) require material preparation, such as four lenses canvases, pens and sticky notes.


What does the facilitator need to know or be able to do?

If you are facilitating a process to introduce others to the four lenses, we recommend you familiarise yourself with these slides, then consider how they might support your process to explore the four lenses, whether as supporting material for a workshop, as a workshop for each dimension in itself, or any other use.

If you are unsure about any of the dimensions of the four lenses and would like to ask a question, please either leave a comment below, or contact the DEAL Team directly via the contact form and choosing the category 'Tools and Stories'.



This tool was created by Rob Shorter, Kate Raworth, Leonora Grcheva and Andrew Fanning of the DEAL Team, in collaboration with Ruurd Priester.

The four lenses builds upon the methodology of Creating City Portraits co-created with Biomimicry 3.8, Circle Economy, and C40 Cities.

We would like to thank the DEAL Community members who reviewed and tested this tool and offered feedback that helped in its development, including Nicole Hagerman Miller of Biomimicry 3.8, Ilektra Kouloumpi of Circle Economy, Elizabeth Kelly and Monika Milewska of C40 Cities and Mat Siffels of Amsterdam Donut Coalition. For anyone we’ve missed, thank you, and do let us know so we can acknowledge your contribution here.

We would also like to thank Iconmonster for the icons used.


  • All pdf canvases available here


Healthy living systems rely on good feedback loops and we invite your comments, reflections and suggestion from using this tool to help us iterate and evolve for future versions.

You can do this two ways:

  1. The first is to leave a comment in the section below called Join the conversation. The benefit of this approach is that everyone can see and benefit from what you share.
  2. The second way is to contact the DEAL Team directly via the contact form and choosing the category 'Tools and Stories'.

# downscale hashtag_lookup:#downscale # downscaling hashtag_lookup:#downscaling # unroll hashtag_lookup:#unroll # unrolling hashtag_lookup:#unrolling # portrait hashtag_lookup:#portrait # fourlenses hashtag_lookup:#fourlenses 




    Benjamin Zierock


    There’s more then economy driven thinking and acting.

    Shay Barmand

    Noosa, QLD

    Sustainability specialist aiming to improve the way we measure societal progress

    Alexandra Sokol

    Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working on several frameworks for sustainable communities &cities & economics is such a huge issue we need to solve.

    Amber Wan

    Madrid, Spain

    A regenerative economy is the only one that makes sense in the long run. I want to be part of a community that fosters this!

    Marie-Anne Bernasconi

    Nice, France

    I'd like to learn, experiment, debate, contribute with this community.


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