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Doughnut economics

The Doughnut illustrates two concentric charts depicting two boundaries that we should not go beyond.


These are the Social and Ecological elements which denote human well-being. The inner boundary is a social foundation. Anything within the inner boundary illustrates our shortfalls in well being, such as illiteracy, energy poverty, declining health, hunger.  


The twelve dimensions and the indicators come from internationally agreed minimum standards of well-being adopted all member nations in the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015.


The outer boundary is the ecological ceiling which shows nine dimensions of planetary boundaries. They safeguard processes that regulate Earth’s ability to sustain itself, resources and human well-being.  These critical boundaries should also not be breached.  

What you can do

Find out more

Contribute to the implementation of Doughnut economics in your street, community or city.


See examples of cities that are using Doughnut economic models to strengthen their sustainability in the "Call for change" section below.

What others have done

Since creating the Doughnut at Oxfam in 2012, there are many examples of urban planning, and civil society organisations using it as a tool for reconceptualising sustainable development.


The Three Horizons Framework, created by Bill Sharpe, can be used with the Doughnut Economics framework to plan for more sustainable future growth and plan transformative innovation and change.


A checklist

Millions of people currently lead lives that fall far short of the social foundations internationally agreed minimum standards, ranging from nutrition and health care to housing, income, and energy.


At the same time, human activity has led to overshoot at least four planetary boundaries: climate change, biodiversity loss, nitrogen and phosphorus loading, and land conversion.


Improving humanity's well-being this century depends on eliminating this social shortfall and ecological overshoot simultaneously.

Call for change

Learn from others and call for change in your local street, town, city and country!

Here's an example of what Amsterdam in the Netherlands is doing to become a fully "Circular city" by 2050!


Bikes at Amsterdam Canal
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