Impact investing for the doughnut


I want to start a conversation about redirecting impact investing towards supporting economic forms appropriate for the Doughnut economy. Currently the sector claims to be investing to solve the worlds greatest problems including hunger and poverty but is trapped in projects of limited focus and an obsession with measuring impact. It also seems to believe that the market (as is) can solve all human problems. We need to explore how impact investors can help support co-operative economic activity, new forms of non predatory lending, and the growth of economic activity in the commons.

I am publishing a series of blogs in LinkedIn about this, and would like to share them on this site.

Here are the links to the first three articles:

Cedric de Beer


Sounds great! Are you also familiair with Zebras Unite?


I hadn’t herd (!) of them. Just looked at the website. I love the tagline “Zebras fix what unicorns broke” Thanks for the heads up


You are so punny! :wink:
Be great and good luck!


I have invested in “bonds” rather than shares supplying finance to companies supplying solar systems in African countries. customers pay monthly/weekly for their system and own it in the end. The cost to them is less than the oil for their current lamps. There is no guarantee that the companies will be able to pay off the investments.


Thanks Nigel. I would love to hear more. The investment community should be building financial institution to do that at scale. I am keen to develop a “bank” of practical examples.


All the best.



Even to start small scale is worthwhile. Can I draw peoples attention to a community cooperative farming project which is starting up outside Larne in Northern Ireland.



Thank you Mark for the information. I hope it is really successful, and that you share your success with the world,


Hi. I’m very new to doughnut economics, but I think it is a great idea. I too was thinking about ethical investing as a way to start nudging the existing economy to start thinking in that direction.

Here are just a few thoughts, for what they are worth:

  1. Ditch “growth” in favor of “balance” as the guiding economic principle, on a macro and micro scale.

So a company’s value would be defined in terms of whether they contributed to balancing the doughnut or not. And an employee’s value within a company would be considered in the same terms: does the person contribute or not to improving the company’s “balance”? Pay them accordingly. (Come to think of it, politicians could be rated the same way…hmmm!)

  1. The economy needs to therefore reward those that are contributing to the overall “balance” and coax the others to engage more in that direction.

  2. For this to happen, there needs to be a way of quantifying an organization’s contribution or otherwise to the global balance. (Surely an algorithm could be conceived for this sort of thing?)

  3. Organizations that were in negative “balance” could help their score by contributing financially and in other ways to organizations that are actively contributing to a positive global balance…

So, getting back to ethical investing, if a method of quantification (like a positive or negative numeric score) could be established, ethical investing funds might be the first ones to put it to use, and individual investors could then contribute to the general “balance” by investing in “positive balance” companies, etc. For starters.

I figure, as long as we have a money economy, we might as well use it to move things in the right direction.

Who knows? In the future, we might have something like a stock exchange in which the positive balance companies and other organizations would be valued more highly than negative balance ones, and the expression of that value in the exchange would itself be an incentive to move towards greater balance… This sort of thing would actually, in my view, reflect real value rather better than the current system, which is pure speculation at this stage.

These are just some initial thoughts. Best of luck to everyone who is working in one way or another to put doughnut economics into practice.

Best wishes!


I haven’t visited this site for a while and missed this input. Interesting and creative ideas.

Thank you



Hello @Slowcoach,

with this model on good investment in mind (comp. ; there is a translation widget in the menu), I´m hoping for fonds on what I call Foreign Direct Cluster Investments according to this idea (comp. ; there is a translation widget in the menu). The main idea is that Solow-Swan-Model is based on network effects, economies of scale in economic clusters / regions or externel effects of scale, which are interconnected concepts of German economics destinction on Business Economics and General Economics.

This content was flaged as spam, which I want to reply to:

My blog’s articles don’t provide me any income, they are intensely correlated to donought economics (based on the same critique on economics) and indeed, I can’t discuss the concepts in this community without referencing, because it would be to much text. I try / exept for my own idea category stream to select relevant articles, like here.

Please don’t flag referencing as spam, without visiting the content - which actually just happened, it feels disrespectful. If you are against referencing in generall, please be aware, you would lose my input, you may find interesting.