From ego to eco: Amsterdam commits to sustainable systemic change with a new economic model
This month, the Dutch capital of Amsterdam formally embraced the doughnut economy model developed by economist Kate Raworth as the starting point for public policy decisions. Amsterdam is the first city in the world to make such a commitment. To the Dutch Party for the Animals this is a strong sign that its ideals are gaining ground: "Kate Raworth's model of the doughnut perfectly reflects our view that economic growth is not the solution but the problem, and that we need to adopt a system that does not exceed the limits of what the planet can handle. We are happy to see our efforts to introduce the doughnut model into Dutch politics bear fruit."
Raworth’s ‘doughnut economy model’ is a breakthrough alternative to current unsustainable growth economics. It is a guide to what it means for countries, cities and people to thrive in balance with the planet. The inner ring of the doughnut sets out the minimum of what we need to lead a good life, based on the UN’s sustainable development goals. The outer ring sets the ecological ceiling as identified by scientists. The goal of economic activity should be to meet the core needs of all, within the means of the planet.
Introducing the doughnut in the Netherlands
In June 2018 the Party for the Animals invited Kate Raworth - economist at the Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute and bestselling author of Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist - to address the Dutch Lower House. Marianne Thieme, leader of the Dutch Party for the Animals at the time: "It is of huge importance for the Lower House to start reflecting on alternatives to our current economic system. In her book, Kate Raworth makes a case for a planet-wide vision on the economy, which respects the ecological limits of the earth and enables a society that takes care of its most vulnerable. That’s why we organized this meeting, to make as many politicians as possible acquainted with Raworth’s doughnut economy."
Since then, Kate Raworth has been working together with Amsterdam municipality officials, businesses and other change makers to transform her global concept of the doughnut economy into a practical tool that can be applied on a local level in order to create a sustainable Amsterdam that works for both city residents and the planet. As Raworth wrote upon its launch on the 8th of April: "Today we launch Amsterdam’s City Doughnut - a holistic tool for reimagining and remaking the future of the places we live in. In this time of crisis, we hope it provides inspiration everywhere."
The Party for the Animals, represented in the Amsterdam city council since 2010, welcomes the Amsterdam City Doughnut as an important step towards more sustainable policies. "As with all policy measures we will critically follow its implementation to see if it truly amounts to a thriving local economy within social -and- ecological limits."