The Culture of the Doughnut


To realise the doughnut economy (or another sustainable alternative) require a global cultural change. When I read the book, I realised that the concept touches on nearly all aspects of culture, in particular when we work on the implementation. All the discussions on change management are peanuts in comparison. Just for clarification I may add that I consider culture as a way of thinking, acting and feeling of a group of people; in this case world population.

Relevant aspects of culture include the following.

  • more focus on the community and a partial reversal of individualism
  • a change in values, such as an alternative for the blind focus on growth
  • more awareness of dependence on the environment
  • a global involvement
  • different rules and their implementation
  • other symbols and heroes
  • a different basis for status and power
  • adaptation of jobs
  • more change tolerance

Such a change may also include different role patterns for men and women and a different balance in the nature – nurture discussion (dealing with undesirable or no longer functional nature aspects).

In more general terms the doughnut economy would include a restructuring of our societies. As a consequence the co-operation between states needs to be strongly enhanced, decreasing the amount of sovereignty. The latter is such a fundamental principle of how the world is organised that it requires years of discussions, treaties and the like. The climate summit in Katowice is not even a warming-up. At the other end of the scale the individual also needs to change and become less self-centred and more community minded. You cannot even imagine how many vested interests need to taken down and how strong the reaction will be if you start trying to do so; again: across the whole spectrum from individual to the state.

Resistance is no reason for not trying and we even need more than trying; we need implementation. Culture can help, if only by taking it into consideration. We could start with a proper overview of the concept of culture (like my latest book and website) and apply it to the doughnut; not just icing but part of the recipe. This application of culture would be a book in itself.

I would like to have my doughnut and eat it too!


If what you have written is true, then the doughnut is much too broad in scope to allow us to better understand it. It is simply an excuse for writing about everything concerning our society.

Instead, let us refine the approach and stick to the social system, which is a lot more specific and directly deals with the things that count in the national economy. How our social system works should be the paramount subject for study here. I can tell you how, but you will need to read my book and that means patience and love of sincerely trying to understand.

I am opposed to the doughnut philosophy because it tries to incorporate so much when there is already much confusion even when less is included. We need to follow Einstein’s criterion for making good science as simple as possible without it being over-simplified. Read my SSRN 2865571 “Einstein’s Criterion Applied to Logical Macroeconomics Modeling” and then appreciate that the Doughnut is a bit t