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This content is taken from the UCL (University College London) 's online course, Global Prosperity Beyond GDP. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second The donut is a compass for human progress in the 21st century. Essentially, it allows us to see whether we’re going to meet the 21st century challenge of meeting the needs of all within the means of the planet. So if we look at a picture of the donut, this green space is the space for human well-being. Here in the middle of the donut, in the hole, is the area of shortfall, where people are falling short on life’s essentials, be it decent food and housing, education and health care, political voice, access to networks and energy. So this is a space of deprivation.

Skip to 0 minutes and 35 seconds We want to get everybody out of that space and over this social foundation into a basic level of well-being, where we could all lead lives of dignity and opportunity. But we also need to make sure that we don’t overshoot our pressure on the planet’s essential life-giving systems– the nine planetary boundaries identified by Earth system scientists that keep Earth in the safe and stable space that’s been so extraordinarily benevolent to humanity over the last 11,000 years.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 seconds So we mustn’t put so much pressure on the planet systems that we cause climate change or deplete the ozone layer, excessive air pollution, or chemical pollution, withdraw too much fresh water, or convert too much of the land, cause too much biodiversity loss, or too much fertiliser pollution. All of these systems together keep Earth in the stable state that’s so benevolent to us. So we must pull back from overshoot. Today, we’ve got millions of people living in this space of deprivation, and we’ve already overshot some of the Earth’s life-giving systems. So we’ve got to move into that space from both sides at the same time.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 seconds It’s the unprecedented challenge we face but, to me, this is the mark of progress in the 21st century.

Kate Raworth introduces The Doughnut

In this video, Kate Raworth describes how The Doughnut is a compass for success in the 21st Century. It sets out how our target should be to meet the basic needs of all, within the boundaries of the nine planetary systems we depend on.

As well as providing this framework, Raworth describes the changes in our approach to economics that are needed to meet 21st century challenges, as well as depicting steps we can take to build a better economy in her book Doughnut Economics: 7 ways to think like a 21st century economist. You can explore some of the main messages of this book in animation form below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Global Prosperity Beyond GDP

UCL (University College London)