Can economics make the world a better place?


In school, economist Kate Raworth was discouraged by typical models of economics — those that seemed to her to squish the subject into a perfect, simplistic circle of work and pay and spending, without taking into account the shifting world in which this exchange takes place.

Where did big, external forces fit in, she wanted to know — things like globalization, gender inequality, the growing influence of climate change and environmental issues, wealth disparity, poverty?

So, as she shares in a talk at TEDxAthens, the economist created her own model of economic function  — one tethered to these issues, grouped within the “environmental ceiling” of the planet and the “social foundation” of human rights and needs.

She calls it the “doughnut table” (see below), for its doughnut-shape designed to express economics as a means to bring all of the world’s population into an inner-circle of ” a safe and just space” through accounting for outer-circles of varied external circumstances — like water use, land use, education, energy use and social equity.


Kate Raworth’s model of doughnut economics (Photo: Kate Raworth)

“Imagine,” she says in her talk, “if each of us put our own lives on this doughnut table and asked ourselves, ‘How does the way that I shop, eat, travel, earn a living, vote, volunteer, bank — affect humanity’s ability to come into the doughnut?’ What if every company, when it sat down to do its business strategy, said to itself, ‘Is our brand a doughnut brand? Is our core business model helping to bring humanity into that safe and just space?’”

Watch her whole talk to learn more:


  1. Ahmed Farah

    This is actually one of the first econ theories that aim for equality without utilizing communism to get there

  2. Peter Wyatt

    There were other charts used here, where are they published?

  3. Pingback: De donut-economie van Kate Raworth | De lerende docent

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