Are you a teacher and want to talk about Doughnuts?

Thank you Jennifer! This is enormously helpful.

I’ve been struggling to figure out how best to frame the first class discussion: “What is economics?” One thing the textbooks generally ignore (and of course Kate points out) is a discussion of goals. So I want to make sure to include this as part of our conversation - and I’m still trying to figure out the best way. I also take your point completely about the fact that markets are only one part of a broader, more complex system and I like the idea of putting up posters to serve as perpetual reminders.

I came across a sample of a textbook that is used at Tufts (Microeconomics in Context) that seems like it might be a great resource - Ive only skimmed the sample chapters, but it appears that the book begins with a discussion of goals and acknowledges the concept that our economy is made up of the household, commons, market, state and environment. I’ve requested a copy from the publishers, so hopefully will be able to investigate further. That said, a better book doesn’t necessary help with the AP syllabus challenge - as you rightly suggest.

What textbook do you use right now? The high school has been using Open Stax, but may change to Mankiw. I studies Mankiw in graduate school, but find parts of it infuriating. I’d be open to asking to use a better book…

Also, I’m hoping to teach my class with a heavy emphasis classroom experiments and discussions around current events. I’ve gathered as many resources as I can on games/experiments that related to each of the core topics. Have you done this before? Any feedback you can share? I’m hoping experiments might be a way to both present the intuition behind the economic theories, while naturally demonstrating the shortcomings…

By the way, I did IB in high school way back when.

Thanks again,


The use of doughnut economics is non specific in terms of the quantities that are being exchanged and between whom or what. It is all very well to teach about the various parts of the economy but their relationships are also of great significance.

So what i am saying is that we need to be more exact in this process of money and goods, services, etc. May I suggest how I have done this? It is by using a mechanical model to grab the young student’s interest.

This model is actually a compound balance having 6 balancing arms and 19 double flows (as string tensions) of money and goods etc. To see this model look for SSRN 2600103 “A Mechanical Model for Teaching Macroeconomics”. It should be taken seriously because in my other work the same model is used to develop and analyze the subject properly.

Are you considering ever making a MOOC for those of us that can’t go to the UK? A signed certificate in Doughnut Economics would be the gem in my collection of over 100 MOOCS

yes, this is a great idea. I’m all for online resources - just as you can’t come to the UK, as a mum of young kids I can’t travel all the time and we are so lucky to have the Internet at hand. So yes, this is a plan!

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Hey @kateraworth,

I developed a graphical representation of market spirals visualized in this article, because I thought it would be an very useful tool for pupil. This is because we see people often seam not to analyse bad market spirals like payback but instead are “nudged” to behave opportunistically. So I think, this would be useful basic education.

Here´s the article with the graphic: ; There is a translation widget in the menu.


I am a teacher and wants to talk about Doughnuts!

I’m creating a 6 months residential course in practical sustainability at a folk high school north of Copenhagen, Denmark. I am going to use the Doughnut as one of the key mental models to guide my students thinking and action towards a sustainable future.

I’ve created thread specifically about my course. I’d love to hear from other teachers who have used the doughnut in their teaching. In the spirit of open source, in this thread, i will be sharing any exercises or materials that i create:

we are also planing a Master Seminar on the Doughnut Economics - and we are still in the development. If anyone has any material we could use (grafics, ideas, experience), we would be very thankful. Of course, we will also share, once we have created materials. Our preliminary plan is to develop some reflecting (open) questions to guide students troughout the book. Also we would ask each group to present one chapter in more detail, with their own view, further ideas and a way on how to get started with the doughnut economy. Moreover, we like to ask them to lead a critical discussion on potential barriers or drawbacks and to develop solutions.
Looking forward for any support, remarks or comments.
Best regards Sabrina

I’m not a teacher. But I like to share good ideas, new concepts, creating collaboration and inspiring creativity.
Thus, I just organise some talks regionally about necessary changes in society and business, using the 7 ways of the Doughnut as basic line through the talks.

Hey all! Just replied to Jacobs thread with a template and method we recently adapted from one of Kate’s workshops in Amsterdam (still a testcase tho to be refined). @Julio_Campos check it out and let me know if the open files are valuable so you can translate it into Portuguese (we did that a while back for workshop in Tokyo, Japan!) then I can send it to you in high quality (upload here has its limits unfortunately :slight_smile: )

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Hi @annekevw, thank you.
Yes I can translate it, no problem, but I’ve made a portuguese version of the doughnut already.
It’s template is available in the attached ppt file. (unfortunately I’m not savvy about ppt so maybe there’s a easier way to do it). It’s fully editable.
Hope you find it useful

Doughnut.pptx (95.0 KB)


Anke The way we think abouth society is dominated by the freemarket thinking. That makes us reason in terms of households and business / consumers and producers. That artificial division suggets a higher importance of business / producers. The Economic Reality System (ERS) corrects that vision and opens the way for more collaboration and cooperation by people that can organize themselves based upon a better basic insight and overview. More details and reference to the website in ‘Systems Thinking and Complexity’ / ‘The complexity of economics resolved!’.

Jacob_Rask The way we think abouth society is dominated by the freemarket thinking. All flows we can enjoy of from the ecosystem and have to be managed with the greatest caution are neglected by pollution or plundered for the mere profit. That opens no perspective on a sustainable future. But there are more aspects of the acccepted dominating economics that prevent a clear thinking abouth the responsabilities in our societies. The Economic Reality System (ERS) defines the economic-societal system as a system of flows with the ecosystem as the indispensable soccle at the bottom of a layered structure. More details and reference to the website in ‘Systems Thinking and Complexity’ / ‘The complexity of economics resolved!’.

KAOS The Economic Reality System (ERS – WWW.ECREALSYS.ORG) is an a-typical way to look at economics with as important advantage that the reality is very recognizable in it. As an extra the equivalent of 27 A4-pages (text + schemes / use the flag to switch to the proper language) is available online and everybody can read through it at any time at his / her own pace.

There is no problem to combine the typical accepted intro based on needs, supply, and demand with ERS and the pupils will be able to situate that part of the theory in its broader context and realize the limitation of it.

I realize that my advice comes too late for fall 2018 but it can help if you have to teach more classes in the future. Good luck.

Thanks! Can I use your template for translating into Russian?

Hi @annekevw, where can I find the template? I would like to translate it into Russian.
Thank you!
My email:

Yes, of course.
Let know if have any problems with it.

In the spring, I organised several workshop about Doughnut economics in our region. A short summery, you can find at my blog-site BUSINESSCONSTRUCTIONSITE

In the autumn, the group will continue to meet to further deepen the discussion. Success - in my opinion - I based on the fact we choose theme participants of the workshops care about to discuss the theory an its practical implication.

Next step will be to bring the workshops to other regions in The Netherlands.
For that (of course?) I made a ppt, including some background- film(fragments).

We have designed, researched and overworked a learning environment for combining Education for Sustainable development and statistics education, applying the Dougnut model. You find an Applet and some teaching materials here:
An information poster on the main Ideas of this environment can be found here:

We hope this is useful for some of you.

Check out the links I provided below. Maybe they re helpful. We would appreciate feedback on the materials.

I just teach ESL to Chinese university students and have begun to introduce the doughnut concept to talented science majors destined for foreign graduate schools. I have little time, but the 2018 TED talk is a great introduction (along with 3 horizons thinking). It seems current leaders are in denial still and young minds are eager for alternative models. I find Chinese students quite open-minded even as they are sucked into a frightening capitalist consumer frenzy and don’t recognize the hypocrisy. My freshmen Boling Economics class gets 4 weeks exchange at Oxbridge or Berkeley in their first summer at Nankai! I want them to realize the “Chinese Dream” MUST be different than the “American Dream.” But I can only plant a seed.