Sparking Connections

A set of 37 cards to explore the connections between the dimensions of the Doughnut and the Four Lenses

Version 1.0 (September 2022)


The four lenses of Doughnut Unrolled have many dimensions within each of the lenses. We've made them into A4 cards so you can print them out and use them in workshops in many different ways.

Here's an example of the cards being used to spark connections...

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Why use it?

The four lenses are so holistic that all the dimensions can be overwhelming. By using cards, you can slowly introduce people to the holistic interconnections of the four lenses in ways playful and engaging ways. They can then be used in lots of different workshop configurations, such as then moving people into groups according to the four lenses or creating interactive connections to specific topics, issues, example of change etc.

Interactive and experiential activities also act to accelerate and ground our learning. When we physically move and shift our bodies, it really increases our ability move and shift our thinking.

Who is it for?

Facilitators, teachers, community organisers and anyone looking to introduce the holistic interconnections across the dimensions of the four lenses to others.

The cards

We recommend you print the A4 cards on paper, double sided, colour, then laminate them. Or print them on card that can withstand lots of handling! Click here to access the cards or download them as a pdf below.

Example activity: Sparking connections

  1. Hand out a dimension card to each person in the workshop (There are 37 in total. If you have fewer than 37 people, when giving them out, order the giving out so that you that they cover all lenses roughly equally, recognising that there are only 5 global-social cards).
  2. Invite people to read their own card. You can say specifically:
    1. Read the paragraph of text and take in the pictures.
    2. Is it something you're very familiar, something your aware of but don't know much or something new to you?
  3. Then invite people to move around the room and 'spark' with someone else (in pairs).
  4. In pairs:
    1. share your dimension and paragraph on the card with the other person.
    2. find a connection between the two dimensions.
    3. (optional) think of how each dimension relates to a specific theme, e.g. farming.
  5. Once you've 'sparked' with someone, hold you card in the air and then find someone else to spark with.
  6. Repeat for about 15 minutes.
  7. Start a whole group discussion:
    1. reflections on the process.
    2. did any interesting or unexpected connections come up?
  8. Use the cards to divide up the group into the four lenses:
    1. Invite the group to look at their cards and divide into two groups, one with 'social' dimensions and one with 'ecological'. dimensions
    2. Repeat for 'local' and 'global'.
  9. Now you've got the four lenses, introduce each of the lenses using the key questions from content from Introducing the four lenses.
  10. Ask for clarifying questions.
  11. Invite someone to offer a issue or inspiring case study related to your topic and stand in the middle of the four lenses.
  12. Invite anyone who thinks their dimension connects to the issue or inspiring case study to step forward and describe the connection.
  13. Move to a large four lenses sheet with sticky notes and pens and invite people to capture connections they discussed relating to your topic. See the tool Exploring a topic for canvases you can print (as well as use online in a Miro board) along with how you could facilitate this process.
  14. Facilitate a group discussion on what's coming up and what this means for existing plans, potential new plans...






    Francine Tavares

    Gold Coast

    I'm a circular thinker, leading sustainability and ESG strategies at Conexus.Earth, an Aussie consultancy tracking sustainability

    Monica Zazueta

    Vancouver WA

    My kiddos present & futures and to change the paradigm.

    Xavier Veciana


    Synergies with DEAL Community are a strong multiplier. Circular economy start ups in Brazil are a hope for Global South.

    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.

    AG Brader

    Eelde, The Netherlands

    I am keen to embed the core concepts of Doughnut Economic with our youth

    Dominic Dibble

    Bodegraven, the Netherlands

    The adaptability of the Doughnut to local contexts to inform bioregional and place-based living is exciting.


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