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Nathan Goode

Why anyone interested in Social Value should read 'Donut Economics'

Nathan Goode, Chief Strategy Officer of Social Value Portal, discusses the essential ideas in Kate Raworth's 'Donut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist'.


There aren’t too many books that can change the world, and this is one of them. When I first read it, I knew straight away that it was exactly what the Social Value TOM System™ was about.

We are faced with a monstrous dilemma. The planet is burning up and we are told the only way to make life better for people is to grow the economy – which will burn the planet even more.

There is an ever-increasing supply of books and commentaries telling us we can’t just keep growing the economy without regard to planetary limits, so what makes this book different from the others? Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist shows us a way through this dilemma.

Kate Raworth doesn’t just bombard us with facts and figures and arguments. She realises that we need to see a different model. “It takes just 150 milliseconds” she says, “for the brain to recognise an image and a mere 100 milliseconds more to attach a meaning to it”.

There is a lot to this book. It talks about why standard economics has ended up locked into an idea of infinite growth. It’s stuffed with engaging images and metaphors, from Shakespearean plays, to gardening metaphors, caterpillars and butterflies and airport lounges. It reclaims the economic debate for everyone (not just the experts), which is what we are doing with the TOM System.

And the Doughnut image itself is sheer genius, of course.

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About Social Value Portal

Since 2017 Social Value Portal has been at the forefront of the Social Value movement. As creators of the endorsed Social Value TOM SystemTM, hosts of the annual Social Value Conference and founding members of the independent National Social Value Taskforce – they set industry standards and lead the business agenda.

Their unique mix of consultancy, cloud platform and programmes offer organisations the complete solution to accurately measure, manage and report Social Value – and create lasting impact.

In 2022, SVP achieved B Corp status, scoring above average in all assessed. The company’s aim is to promote better business and community wellbeing through the integration of Social Value into day-to-day business activity across all sectors.

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