In 2017 Random House Business Books published Doughnut Economics, Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by the British economist Kate Raworth. In her book, and in her April 2018 TED talk, she introduced the Doughnut Model, which is based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and on the Planetary Boundaries Research by the Stockholm Resilience Center.
We were immediately captured by Raworth’s model. Before our lives took a turn abroad, we were both secondary school teachers in the Netherlands, struggling to bring the concept of economic scarcity across, and trying to make the goal of economic growth look SMART. Then Raworth introduced her model which made everything fall in place.
Now we have set ourselves a challenge: can we draw up a specification for high school / college level Economics based on the Doughnut Economics Model? If so, what does that look like? We believe this can be done, and we like to take you along on our journey.
We are Jacqueline Haarsma and Henny van Dongen.
Before Jacqueline moved to Moscow, besides teaching economics in a Dutch high school, she was involved in an NGO which is working towards monetary reform. She is still engaged with this citizen’s initiative to promote a real public monetary system with debt-free money. Making students understand our economic systems and discover how we can make these systems work for the benefit of all people is what is driving her. Doughnut economics is the main picture that brings these topics together.
After Henny read Raworth’s book she decided to join the team of translators of the Doughnut Economics animations and subsequently to assist with uploading subtitle files of over thirty languages. She was already living abroad at that time and used her skills as a writer and economist to write economic texts directed at fellow-teachers on both economywise.co.uk and economiewijs.nl. Before Henny moved to the UK, she was an author of economic text books, and as such had to think through economic concepts thoroughly to be able to write them down comprehensively.
We both believe Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Model is the framework so direly missing from economics education. It lays out the economic playing field, with on one hand the ecological ceiling, defining the concept of limited means, and on the other hand the social platform, visualizing basic human needs, while at the same time exhibiting the political aspect of economics. The economic playing field has never been drawn so clearly.
Therefore, we believe the future of economics education lies in rewriting economics curricula all over the world to reflect the framework of the doughnut and the concepts following from it.
The Doughnut Model is not a temporary solution to address times of adversity due to climate change. In any era the Doughnut Model offers economists, policy makers and the general public alike, a perspective on the limits to the choices they see themselves confronted with. It is a tool of wisdom that needs to be passed on. Therefore we invite you to join the discussion: how do the principles Raworth introduces in her book affect the way we teach economics?
We reach out to teachers who want to try out materials we will develop in the process and we are available for guest lessons at schools. We also facilitate workshops about the integration of doughnut economics into the current curriculum.
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