Humanity’s challenge in the 21st century is to meet the needs of everyone within the available resources of our planet. In other words, to ensure that no one falls short of the essentials of life. From food and housing to healthcare, while making sure we collectively do not exceed the limits of our planet’s life support systems. We of course fundamentally dependent on this – such as a stable climate, fertile agricultural land and a protective ozone layer. It remains a constant challenge! How do you combine the economic, ecological, and social challenges in one model? Oxford economist Kate Raworth visualizes this, in a confronting way, with a doughnut model (based on the Rockström et al model). In an inspirational TED talk, she explains where humans fall short of the essentials of life – and we can create regenerative, distributive economies that can operate within the ecological limits of our planet.
The nine dimensions of the environmental ceiling are based on the planetary boundaries set out by Rockström et al (2009b)
The planetary ceiling consists of nine ecological separate limits. If we exceed these, we will damage the environment in such a way that the earth’s systems become irreparably out of balance. The twelve foundations of the social system are derived from internationally agreed minimum social standards, as set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals of 2015. These are the social foundations that we must not fall under, otherwise the fundamental rights of groups will be jeopardized. Between social and planetary boundaries lies an environmentally safe and socially moral space. Our future, a safe and righteous space in which our humanity can thrive further.
A few years ago, the permissible ecological limits were calculated for this model, and the outcome showed already a problematic “ecological overshoot” for climate change, nitrogen loading and biodiversity loss for 2017, which is accelerated by the loss of natural habitats worldwide.
Does this doughnut model lead to doomsday thinking? This is not necessary the case, but it be our moral compass for the 21st century economy. Innovative projects are starting to take off and are the foundation of a new mindset and a radical change in our economic model. All these approaches require a long-term vision. It is imperative to move away from current short-term thinking that leads to the destruction of ecological and economic value.
And to make this happen, we need everyone. Business leaders, civil society organizations, citizens, but also the government. Wondering how you can contribute? As a manager, as a consumer, as a private person, as an employee. How can you start looking from a different perspective? How can you start thinking and acting differently?
Are you a business leader, manager and do you want to know more about this and how you can integrate this “doughnut thinking” into your strategy and daily business? Well, the new EFQM model is the only holistic management model that takes all these concerns into account in an extensive ecosystem analysis, the integration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Circular Economy concept.
Do you want to know more? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org