What do the planet’s ecological crises and human society’s who-gets-what crises have in common?

Hi!  I’m Erik Kvam.  I’m the creator of Regenerative Decision-making.  Regenerative Decision-making is a tool — in the form of a decision-making process–  through which decision-makers everywhere persuade themselves to exponentially adopt regenerative options …

regenerative decision-making process for exponentially adopting regenerative options

… for scaling back the extraction flows and pollution flows of a system called the Human Enterprise …

scaling back extraction flows and pollution flows of the Human Enterprise

… and allowing the planet’s regenerated biosphere …

allow regeneration of planet's biosphere

… to reverse the planet’s ecological crises … and allow the planet to heal itself …

reverse the planet's ecological crises

In this 5-part series of articles, I’m going to show you how a model for human and planetary well-being — called “Doughnut Economics” — can help us design a decision-making process for reversing the planet’s ecological crises.  What is Doughnut Economics?

In her 2017 book, Doughnut Economics, economist Kate Raworth presented a model — for human and planetary well-being — called the “Doughnut” …

Doughnut model for human and planetary well-being

The Doughnut consists of two concentric rings. First, an inner ring – called a “social foundation” – for ensuring that no one is falling short on life’s essentials … for things like food, water, energy, health and housing …

social foundation for ensuring no one falls short on life's essentials

… and second, an outer ring – called an “ecological ceiling” – for ensuring that humanity as a whole does not “overshoot” the “planetary boundaries” of the planet’s regenerative life-sustaining capacity …

ecological ceiling for ensuring humanity does not overshoot planetary boundaries of planet's regenerative life-sustaining capacity

Between these two boundaries lies a doughnut-shaped space that is both ecologically safe and socially just. That is, a space in which humanity can thrive …

ecologically safe and socially just space for humanity

The Doughnut is super useful because it accurately depicts – in one big picture – the two sets of massive crises facing the planet and the whole of humanity.

The Doughnut depicts the first set of massive crises  — namely, the planet-scale ecological crises such as climate change – as the red areas created by humanity’s “overshoot” of “planetary boundaries” …

doughnut red areas depict planet's ecological crises created by overshoot of planetary boundaries

The Doughnut accurately depicts these planet-scale ecological crises as the big nine global ecological crises identified by the Stockholm Resilience Centre …

nine big global ecological crises Stockholm Resilience Centre

Those big nine global ecological crises are … eco-crises of freshwater depletion and drought …

eco-crises of freshwater depletion and drought

… eco-crises of deforestation and expanding deserts …

eco-crises of deforestation and expanding deserts

… eco-crises of species extinctions and biodiversity loss…

eco-crises of species extinctions and biodiversity loss

… eco-crises of global warming and climate change …

eco-crises of global warming and climate change

… eco-crises of synthetic pollutants such as herbicides, pesticides and microplastics …

eco-crises of synthetic pollutants such as herbicides, pesticides and microplastics

… eco-crises of ozone layer depletion …

eco-crises of ozone depletion

… eco-crises of aerosol pollutants such as dust, smoke and sulfates  …

eco-crises of aerosol pollutants such as smoke, dust and sulfates

… eco-crises of ocean acidification …

eco-crises of ocean acidification

… and eco-crises of phosphorus and nitrogen pollutants in rivers and coastal seas …

eco-crises of nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants in rivers and coastal seas

The Doughnut depicts the second set of these massive crises – namely human society’s “shortfalls” in meeting everyone’s needs for “life’s essentials” – as the red areas of the inner Doughnut …

human society's shortfalls in meeting everyone's needs for life's essentials

The Doughnut accurately depicts those “shortfalls” as human society’s crises of … who-gets-what energy …

crises of who-gets-what energy

 … who-gets-what water …

crises of who-gets-what water

… who-gets-what food …

crises of who-gets-what food

… who-gets-what health …

crises of who-gets-what health

… who-gets-what education …

crises of who-gets-what education

… who-gets-what income and work …

crises of who-gets-what income and work

… who-gets-what peace and justice …

crises of who-gets-what peace and justice

… who-gets-what political voice …

crises of who-gets-what political voice

… who-gets-what social equity …

crises of who-gets-what social equity

… who-gets-what gender equality …

crises of who-gets-what gender equality

… who-gets-what housing …

crises of who-gets-what housing

and who-gets-what networks of social support …

crises of who-gets-what networks of social support

Pictorially, what do the planet’s ecological crises and human society’s who-gets-what crises have in common? What they have in common is the blue doughnut-shaped space between them ….

blue doughnut-shaped space common to planet's ecological crises and human society's who-gets-what crises

What is the blue doughnut-shaped space? The blue doughnut-spaced shape is the sum of all the human decision-making that is creating the planet’s ecological crises and human society’s who-gets-what crises …

Sum of all the human decision-making that is creating planet's ecological crises and human society's who-gets-what crises

When we understand that human decision-making is creating these crises, we can design decision-making processes for reversing the crises. We can create decision-making processes for creating the ecologically safe and socially just space for humanity envisioned by Doughnut Economics.

When we understand that human decision-making is creating these crises, the initial questions for reversing these crises become obvious.

The initial questions are …

What is the decision-making that is creating the planet’s ecological crises? … and …

What is the decision-making that is creating human society’s who-gets-what crises?

In the second article of this 5-part series, I’m going to share with you answers to each of those two initial questions …

Do you want to find out just how powerful you can be for reversing the planet’s ecological crises?  If this appeals to you, please share this article and please consider subscribing to my Regenerative Decision-making substack channel at erikkvam.substack.com. Thank you for reading and aloha!


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