Following the fun, entertaining and successful Doughnut Economics (DE) Workshop on 23rd October (a big THANK YOU to Rob Shorter from the DE Action Lab), Transition Town MK wants to set up a DE Action Group.
What did we learn?
- How thin the doughnut (i.e. the safe area between planetary boundaries and meeting social needs) is
- How much collective knowledge we have about our borough – its challenges and its strengths
- How we can use that collective knowledge to create a model for our borough
- How we can quickly come up with ideas on where we want to take this.
We also learned that we have more technical issues to overcome – so apologies to those on Zoom.
Proposed next step
We are starting to have regular online meetings.
Please email email@example.com for further info and to request a Zoom link.
Why Doughnut Economics
The Doughnut Economic model, developed by the economist Kate Raworth, has two limits to economic activity – meeting social needs and living within planetary boundaries. Given that many solutions to our ecological crises (greenhouse gases, water scarcity, soil erosion and impoverishment, biodiversity loss, air pollution, etc.) are expensive, we need to ensure that our responses do not create greater social injustice. Whatever plans come out of central government to deal with our crises, the specific issues facing our area also need to be taken into account; we need our own discussions on what sustainability and resilience look like for our borough and how to get there.
Some outcomes from the workshop
We collectively brainstormed the social deficiencies, the areas where planetary boundaries are exceeded, what exists that supports the “doughnut” and blue-skied some no-limits ideas for Milton Keynes (and beyond). This list is likely to be incomplete given the no-pen, no-paper, no-powerpoint context in which it was developed, but it’s still a good starting point.
Please be kind – this is not the result of long discussion, but the output of an instantaneous brain-storming session
|Red unmet social needs||Red outside planetary boundaries||Green (within-doughnut-activity that exists in some form in MK)||Blue (Wish List)|
|Inadequate use of green social spaces||Borough Includes agriculture; insure area is taken into account||MK Food Bank||What if education had an environmental perspective|
|Right of recall||Food||Community Fridges||What if farmers grew food like allotment holders|
|Gender equality/representation||Agriculture reimagined||Inclusive user-led mental health service||What if we had more effective public transport? It must be reliable and predictable|
|Walking routes||Hold rainfall on farmland i.e. where it falls||Wellbeing hub developing||What if … green living tutorials|
|Public bike chargers||Community self-build land in all developments||A MK data hub||What if we could reduce domestic energy costs and fossil fuel usage|
|Poor public transport||Building on agricultural land||Smart information (data)||The VCS Alliance was an equal partner with powerholders|
|Easy and safe movement||Building on flood plains||Refill market stores||Building regs focussed on energy usage|
|Need to redefine redways and transport||GGG emissions from new builds not taken into account||Food growing gardens||Teams trained on external wall on all houses – a blanket over walls|
|Lack of data to track where we are||New builds prioritise road traffic||Older edge places have been community and social spaces||Skills training for energy engineers|
|Ban time management||New builds are not energy efficient and are not mandated to be||Parish focussed open space diversity plants||What if every grid square had a healthy cheap food store|
|Pollution||Lots of new large warehouses||Community Education||What if regular forums on climate change issues|
|Share more and buy less||Not enough land just for nature||Citizen Science||What if a social contract existed|
|Noise (from transport) penetrates housing areas||Sure Start?|
|More refill markets||Interfaith Activity|
|More recycled/upcycled goods||Sharing Economy|
|Home retrofit local labour||Refugee Support|
|Holding politicians to account||VOW MK (Women’s participation)|
|Education (wider curriculum)||MKC White Ribbon|
|Gender equality/representation||Fawcett MK are measuring % of women councillors|
|Mental health||Electric Community Boat|
|Teaching thinking skills||Parks Trust does/do think biodiversity|
|Division (separation of concerns)||Community Trees MK|
|Apolitical community development approach||MKC Biodiversity Strategy|
|Complex problems need joined up solutions||Green Roof|
|Status of asylum seekers||Green jobs and business|
|Diversity||Green business awards|
|Better bike parking||MK Council buying houses to rent|
|New (especially low price) homes ALL energy efficient||Still Green co-housing|
|Affordable housing||MK Community Land Trust|
|Energy efficiency in homes||Community Permaculture|
|Socialise energy||Community Gardens|
|Cost and build technology (homes)||Increased availability plant based food|
|You cannot just build out of a housing crisis – it’s political choice||Redways (need improving)|
|The market is wrong – revolution.||Car Club|
|Poor planning laws against local||Pool Cars|
|No sewage discharged||MK Connect (needs improving)|
|Grey waters systems in all new||Walk more|
|Acting to improve boundaries||VCSE alliance|
|Consultation political voice|
|Food poverty is not having a decent store selling healthy food nearby|