Doughnut Unrolled: Introducing the four lenses

An introduction to the four lenses and the set of tools you can use to help your place bring humanity into the Doughnut

Version 1.0 (April 2022)

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


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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 - Introducing the four lenses - introduces the concept of unrolling the Doughnut to reveal the four lenses on life, and the ways in which they can be used to help your place bring humanity into the Doughnut.

  • All pdf canvases available here

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Introducing 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?

We recommend that anyone who wants to use the Doughnut Unrolled tools, or to develop their own methods for exploring the four lenses, start with this tool in order to fully understand the concept, some possible ways to use the four lenses and what it means to work with the four lenses with integrity.

If you are intending to introduce the four lenses to others, either as a workshop (see Community Portrait of Place and Exploring a topic), to undertake analysis (see Data Portrait of Place), or simply to raise awareness, then we suggest you read all the slides, save a version that you can edit, then create your own presentation that works for your context and message you'd like to share with your audience. This can be a combination of using slides directly from the presentation, adapting slides from the presentation, and creating your own slides that help you deliver greater understanding and context for your audience.

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 thoroughly with these slides, then read the other tools to see how you might put the ideas into action with others in your place.

If you are unsure about any part of this tool or 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 Kate Raworth, Rob Shorter, 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, Claudio Cattaneo and Ona Riera Mateu for the City of Barcelona, Jonas Boothe of Next Economy Lab (NELA), Mat Siffels of Amsterdam Donut Coalition, Roisin Markham of Irish Doughnut Economics Network (IDEN) and Alice Glendinning and Moze Jacobs of West Cork Doughnut Economy. 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

  • Find all icons in png format 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 




    michelle lanceley


    I want to contribute to a community of change-makers, sharing knowledge and commited to continuous improvement and collaboration.

    Mark Hester


    I want to connect with others to apply the principles of Doughnut Economics at a local level (Brighton & W Sussex)

    Dorothée Lamé-Laroche

    Nice, France

    I am convinced the Donut can help organisations shape a better future and I want to spread the Donut practical tools to do so.

    Nicola Senn

    Heidelberg, Germany

    I am currently writing my Bachelor Thesis about Doughnut Economics.

    1 comment
    Antje Disterheft about 2 months ago

    I am looking for inspiration how to integrate the results of the four lenses-exercise in the next steps of a class on postgrowth societies. What do you do with the many post-its created in the next step? How to assure knowledge re-integration and provide a sense of meaningfulness to the exercise as a possible starting point for something that can follow-up or emerge. Thank you!

    0 0

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