Doughnut Economics proposes an economic mindset that’s fit for the 21st century context and challenges. It’s not a set of policies and institutions, but rather a way of thinking that brings about the regenerative and distributive dynamics that this century calls for. Drawing on insights from diverse schools of economic thought – including ecological, feminist, institutional, behavioural and complexity economics – it sets out seven ways to think like a 21st century economist in order to bring the world’s economies into the safe and just space for humanity.
The starting point of Doughnut Economics is to change the goal from endless GDP growth to thriving in the Doughnut. At the same time, begin economic analysis by seeing the big picture and recognising that the economy is embedded within, and dependent upon, society and the living world. Doughnut Economics recognises that human behaviour can be nurtured to be cooperative and caring, just as it can be competitive and individualistic. It also recognises that economies, societies, and the rest of the living world, are complex, interdependent systems that are best understood through the lens of systems thinking. And it calls for turning today’s degenerative economies into regenerative ones, and divisive economies into far more distributive ones. Lastly, Doughnut Economics recognises that growth is a healthy phase of life but nothing grows forever and things that succeed do so by growing until it is time to grow up and thrive instead.