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Social Justice, Climate Change and A Donut

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

A "Better Normal" must go beyond GDP and growth, but include health, well-being and wealth across the population. For us to truly realize a "Better Normal", however, we need "Better Metrics". We need valued currencies around attributes like air quality, health care, literacy and carbon footprint. While that may sound complicated, Dr Kate Raworth of Oxford England offers the simple framework of an American Icon; the donut. This novel concept values the performance of an economy by the extent to which the needs of people are met without overshooting Earth’s ecological ceiling. The inner ring represents the needs of the people and is represented by an array of social metrics (e.g. literacy, living wage), while the outer ring represents planetary limitations and assessed by an array of ecological metrics (e.g. avg. temperature, water quality). This concept is starting to convert into widespread practice in such forward-thinking, climate vulnerable cities such as Amsterdam. Nevertheless, other cities can't afford to wait for Amsterdam to sort out the details before making their own progress against these new metrics.

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