Meet the Economy

Exploring the four core spheres of activity at the heart of the economy: the market, state, household and commons

Version 1.0 (September 2020)


This series of lessons introduces the four core spheres of economic activity: the market, the state, the household and the commons. It explores how these can provision for our needs and looks and what it might mean to create a healthy balance between them for a thriving economy. The first lesson starts with the student’s experience of the economy and introduces the Embedded Economy. Lessons 2 and 3 introduce each of the four spheres of activity and explore their very different qualities and caveats. And the final lesson draws them together to explore the tensions, power and synergies between them.

Click here for a printable version of the Embedded Economy diagram in over 25 lanugages.


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Lesson Outcomes

  1. Learn about the market, state, household and commons and explore their qualities and caveats
  2. Think critically about what a healthy balance across these four spheres of activity might look like
  3. View the four spheres of activity through one’s own lived experience

Who is it for?

Educators | Students aged 16+ | Communities


How long does it take?

4 x 90 minute lessons
One day-long workshop (6 hours)


How many people is it for? 

10 - 40


What materials do you need? 

Screen or projector, 3 large sheets of paper or boards to write on, materials for the creative expression (see lesson four, part 3)



Original content by Kate Raworth. Lesson plan written by Rob Shorter and Kate Raworth.  Additional contributions from Carlota Sanz, Andrew Fanning and Stephanie Leite.


Open the lesson plan in Google Docs
Open the accompanying presentation in Google Slides








    Lorna Westwood

    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Haute-Savoie, France

    I'm looking to connect and collaborate with fellow marketing minds to work together to transform marketing into a force for good.

    Kate McLoughlin

    University College Dublin

    Sharing knowledge through education

    Rachel Lyn Rumson

    Maine, USA

    I want to be in this space creating change with this model of economics and thriving in and with my community.

    Christian Zauner

    Vienna, Wien, Austria

    I attended Kate's book tour event in Vienna. Have been startled since that it hasn't gotten mainstream by now.

    1 comment
    Kate McLoughlin about 1 year ago

    I am using the Embedded Economy lession plan to teach and assess MSc Project Management and MSc Management Consultancy students on the Governance and Stakeholder Management  module. I am getting my students to apply the model to a case study and analyse how their chosen organisation or project interacts with the 4 spheres of the economy and make recommendations for how the case study can become more aligned with the 4 spheres. The 14 cases are diverse -  from ExxonMobil to the Body Shop to the Olympic Committee. Over 4 weeks students are working in teams on the workshop activities. We started Part 1. Meet the Economy and students found it really interesting to think about the needs and wants of their case. The 4-part lesson plan is really well structured and resourced.

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