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Getting into the Doughnut: Kate Raworth on a New Vision for Economics

How can economics help with the challenges of financial crises, extreme wealth inequality and relentless pressure on the environment?

Oxford University economist Kate Raworth has been described by the author and environmentalist George Monbiot as ‘the John Maynard Keynes of the 21st century’. In April 2021 she came to Intelligence Squared to discuss what she calls Doughnut Economics, an idea she came up with to help humanity deal with the challenges we face today: financial crises, extreme wealth inequality and relentless pressure on the environment. The doughnut posits a world where we zero in on a sweet spot: all our material and political needs are met without exhausting the planet. Drawn on paper, the space where everyone can thrive looks like a doughnut.

As she set out her vision, Raworth slayed the myth of ‘rational economic man’ – who acts principally out of self-interest – that has dominated economic theory for so long. She argued that it is time to create economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow.

Raworth shared her concept of a world that is safe and just for everyone and explained how her big idea has already been embraced by cities around the world including Amsterdam and Copenhagen, while celebrated naturalist Sir David Attenborough has called her idea ‘our species’ compass for the journey’ to a sustainable future.



Kate Raworth

Economist and author of Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist

Economist focused on making markets work for the twenty-first century. She is the creator of 'the Doughnut' of social and planetary boundaries, and co-founder of Doughnut Economics Action Lab. Her internationally best-selling book Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist has been translated into over 20 languages and has been widely influential with diverse audiences, from the UN General Assembly to Pope Francis to Extinction Rebellion. She is Senior Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, where she teaches on the Masters in Environmental Change and Management. She is also Professor of Practice at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.  

Matthew Taylor

Chief Executive of the RSA and soon-to-be Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation

Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and soon-to-be Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation. Former head of the Number 10 Policy Unit under Prime Minister Tony Blair.


Speakers are subject to change.