Let’s bite into a Devon Doughnut!

On Day 3 of the Regenerate Devon Summit (brilliantly hosted by Local Spark, Plymouth Social Enterprise Network and Essence Social Enterprise Exeter) the chat window was on fire as the Doughnut Economics Action Lab team talked about using this tool/lens as a way to coordinate work towards a socially and ecologically resilient economy. The recent publication of the ‘Creating City Portraits’ framework by the Action Lab has prompted the opportunity to work with the Doughnut in South West England (which is dominated by rural and coastal areas, with some urban areas). And for many of us, how this visual framework for sustainable development might be useful to us here in Devon has come into sharp focus.

The Regenerate Devon team is planning some next steps, like inviting a speaker from the Amsterdam Doughnut team to share their experience. Councillors are interested. Others are thinking about what good process looks like. And lots more people are waiting for something to emerge so that they can participate or support it. There are many bioregions around the world also looking to make a region-scale Doughnut. Let’s get synched up.

Because BLC is based in South Devon, we feel called to kick things off here; to begin in the place we know and to pilot the co-design of a multi-metric-based evidence base to support inclusive and participatory strategic planning and decision-making here in South Devon.

We turned our attention to Doughnut Economics after hearing Kate Raworth speak at Ways with Words in 2017, and since then we have been looking at metrics for envisaging, articulating and monitoring a healthy bioregion. Through this process, and with the input of Nick Paling, Head of Data, Evidence and Communications at Westcountry Rivers Trust, we are beginning to see a path.

Of course, it also makes a lot of sense for Doughnut-making to happen at the Devon-wide scale. We will be working collaboratively to host a Devon-wide Doughnut Hack, inspired by our Cornish neighbours. And we are calling together a task team of Doughnut enthusiasts to apply “what if” to mapping out some next steps. We anticipate that this task team will organically broaden into a coalition tackling various processes including exploration and analysis, for which funding will be vital.

Here’s the playbook for the Cornwall Collective Doughnut Hack from Cafe Disruptif: http://www.cafedisruptif.com/eco-nomics-disrupted–the-doughnut-hack.html and Cornwall Council’s Decision Wheel: https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/climate-emergency/our-action-plan/what-is-cornwall-council-doing/decision-making-wheel/

Are you thinking along similar lines? We look forward to co-creating a Devon Doughnut with you!