Doughnut economics in Finland

The project tested whether the doughnut model could be used to build a more sustainable economy for Finnish municipalities and regions.

What was it about?

Doughnut economics is a vision of the economy combining the extent of the earth’s ecological carrying capacity with the UN’s social sustainability goals. An economy respecting this carrying capacity looks after both people and the environment.

Doughnut economics was developed by researcher Kate Raworth in her book Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist.

A total of four workshops were organised during the doughnut economics in Finland project, funded by Sitra, and a toolkit on doughnut economics was compiled in Finnish for use by municipalities and regions in Finland.

What was achieved?

The workshop to launch the project was organised as part of the Jyväskylän Kesä festival on 8 July 2021. Kate Raworth, who developed the concept of doughnut economics, was also present at the event. A total of more than 800 people with an interest in the topic attended the events and workshops.

Those who participated in the workshops found doughnut economics an illustrative, pedagogically useful and inspiring model. Municipal decision-makers expressed interest in doughnut economics but found the model to be theoretical and thought its practical implementation would be difficult. The participants particularly hoped to obtain additional information and concrete examples of the practical application of the doughnut model and reliable indicators. Overall, the model itself was considered intuitive and its goals good.

Networks that promote doughnut economics need to be built to support further work. More training on doughnut economics and meetings for team building are also required. Attitudes are an important obstacle to making the change; all the required actions and indicators have been identified as such, we just have to find the courage to implement them.

The toolkit developed in the project (link in Finnish) is targeted at municipal officeholders, decision-makers, development organisations and anyone interested in the ecologically and socially sustainable development of municipalities and regions.

The toolkit includes information on doughnut economics, step-by-step instructions for analysing the current state of sustainable development according to the model in the Tampere Region, templates for workshops, indicators for doughnut economics and other practical tools for the local application of doughnut economics.

The University of Jyväskylä will use the toolkit for pedagogical purposes and the Jälleenrakentajat co‑operative will also make use of it in its business activities.

Who participated?

The project led by JYU.Wisdom was funded by Sitra, and the City of Jyväskylä and the Council of the Tampere Region were collaboration partners.

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