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  • Nathan Goode
  • 2 minutes
  • 15/08/2023

Why anyone interested in Social Value should read ‘Donut Economics’

Nathan Goode, Chief Strategy Officer of Social Value Portal, discusses the essential ideas in Kate Raworth's 'Donut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist'.

There aren’t too many books that can change the world, and this is one of them. When I first read it, I knew straight away that it was exactly what the TOM System was about.

We are faced with a monstrous dilemma. The planet is burning up and we are told the only way to make life better for people is to grow the economy – which will burn the planet even more.

There is an ever-increasing supply of books and commentaries telling us we can’t just keep growing the economy without regard to planetary limits, so what makes this book different from the others?

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist shows us a way through this dilemma.

Kate Raworth doesn’t just bombard us with facts and figures and arguments. She realises that we need to see a different model. “It takes just 150 milliseconds” she says, “for the brain to recognise an image and a mere 100 milliseconds more to attach a meaning to it”.

There is a lot to this book. It talks about why standard economics has ended up locked into an idea of infinite growth. It’s stuffed with engaging images and metaphors, from Shakespearean plays, to gardening metaphors, caterpillars and butterflies and airport lounges. It reclaims the economic debate for everyone (not just the experts), which is what we are doing with the TOM System.

And the Doughnut image itself is sheer genius, of course.

Donut economics

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Nathan Goode

Chief Strategy Officer

Nathan leads Social Value Portal’s strategic division. This includes the company’s approach to Social Value data and analytics, and embedding Social Value TOM System-based measurement in broader Social Value contexts and approaches. He brings over 20 years of experience working on evaluation, procurement and commissioning of major projects and programmes, and has a particular passion for environmental matters.