Leading Renegade Economist at Oxford University, Kate Raworth, was part of the official agenda at the World Economic Forum, promoting her theory 'Doughnut Economics', through which she aims to change the way society approaches its resource management for the better. Her book was a best-seller in 2017. Working globally with universities, politicians and the public, she continues to stress the importance of striving for sustainable economic growth within the means of the planet, providing an alternative to outdated models that result in 'economies that grow whether on not they make us thrive'.
Her economic theory represents society as a doughnut, stressing that we need to operate within the two rings of the doughnut: managing our activities with the acceptance that the Earth's resources are not infinite. The aim is to ensure that no-one is left in the central hole of the doughnut, falling short on life’s essentials, while simultaneously ensuring that human activity doesn’t overshoot the outer crust by putting too much pressure on Earth’s life-supporting systems i.e. contributing to issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss. In other words, the aim is to meet the needs of everyone, within the means of the planet - a widescale systemic change of the global economy and all its industries.
It is encouraging to see Doughnut Economics promoted at this year's World Economic Forum, giving Raworth's theory a platform among leading politicians, economists and academics around the world.
However, one of her tweets during WEF signalled that there's still a way to go before many leading economists consider alternatives to growth as a means of analysing the health of the global economy:
@hedgehoghugh @Davos Here @WEF I went to a dinner with four Nobel-winning economists discussing the global economy. They all talked about how the economy is recovering, things picking up again, getting its health back - all because global GDP growth is over 3%...
'Doughtnut Economics' was also a signal spotted by Anna Simpson on 18 July 2017:
So what are we going to do about it? This is the only question worth asking. But the answers appear elusive. Faced with a multifaceted crisis - the capture of governments by billionaires and their lobbyists, extreme inequality, the rise of demagogues, above all the collapse of the living world - those to whom we look for leadership appear stunned, voiceless, clueless.