Doughnut Economics: Create to Regenerate Essay Example

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In the long run, rather than waiting for growth to clean things up, it is better to construct economies that are regenerative by design, so that the local-to-global cycles of life on which human well-being is founded can be restored and recreated. In this chapter, it is argued that environmental degradation is the result of a degenerative industrial process. Because of this, we must transition from a linear to a circular economy. There is a strong linearity to the modern economy. Natural resources are first extracted, then manufactured into useful objects, and finally disposed of. It’s a three-step process (take-make-dispose). Consumer preferences are altering, resources are getting scarcer, and this out-of-date model is being challenged by a greater number of negative externalities than favorable ones. We need a new economic architecture for the twenty-first century that removes the old one and replaces it with one that is regenerative. The old model illustrated by the Environmental Kuznets Curve suggests that eventually the environmental problems that growth causes will be resolved.

This chapter demonstrates that the goal of economics is not to discover laws, but rather to create a system that functions well. Despite the fact that many companies and governments have reaped huge rewards via degenerative industrial design, this approach is fundamentally flawed because it pits humans against the living world, which relies on recycling elements like carbon, oxygen, water, and nitrogen in order to thrive (Raworth, 2017). When faced with a choice of what to do, there are a few options: do nothing, do what pays off, take steps toward eco-efficiency that decrease expenses or improve the brand, contribute our fair share in moving toward sustainability, or do no damage. Designing products, services, structures, and businesses with the goal of having no negative impact on the environment is referred to as “mission zero.”

There are concerns about the fourth response, which is a bizarre view of the industrial revolution, as though it were about to stop on the cusp of something more disrupting. After considering the above points, a company that is regenerative in nature and gives back to the living systems of which we are a part is the fifth business solution. An alternative to the current industrial model of take-make-waste that aims to redefine growth and focus on positive social outcomes is presented in this chapter. In addition, it is necessary to gradually decouple economic activity from consumption and resource design (Raworth, 2017). A shift to renewable energy sources creates economic, natural, and social capital. Three pillars of this strategy are waste and pollution prevention, resource preservation, and natural system restoration.

According to Raworth, nature serves as a model, measure, and instructor for humans to learn about generous design. It is possible to examine and replicate the cyclical cycles of take-and-give, death-and-rebirth in life in the natural world. If we want to know how sustainable our own creations are, we need to look at how they fit into the natural cycle. Rather of learning from the 3.8 billion years of trial and error that nature has accumulated, we look to it for guidance.

As the chapter’s conclusion points out, financial measures alone will fail to adequately portray the value provided by an economy that aspires to improve human prosperity and the flourishing web of life. Or to put it another way, money’s era is over, and it’s time to let loose a slew of other, more meaningful indicators. That quest for economic laws of motion by economists should come to an end right now. If you want to be part of the regenerative design revolution, join the architects, industrial ecologists, and product designers who are already there.

References

Raworth, K. (2017). Doughnut economics: seven ways to think like a 21st-century economist.