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The Ecological Emergency Book Club – next book and February meeting

Happy New Year Book Clubbers! 

The first book club of the year will take place on Friday 9th February in the North Training Room in the Library (former Berkeley Library). The Book Club is open to all staff (professional, research, academic). 

This month we’re reading Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist

We have multiple copies in the Library but we love this one so much you might want to use one of your Christmas book vouchers! It’s widely available in paperback (it’s €13 in Easons for example) and you might find it second hand or in your local public library. 

Kate Raworth (Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University) in 2013, image by Stephan Röhl

The “renegade” economist Kate Raworth is widely recognised as one of the most important thinkers of the 21st Century. This month’s pick is her 2017 book, Doughnut Economics, which argues that outdated economic thinking (and teaching) has led to the twin crises of profound global inequality and climate chaos. To work our way out, Raworth urges us rethink economics – in particular, to rethink what an economy is for and how we measure its success. At the heart of her new understanding of economics is a doughnut, comprising an inner and outer ring: the inner ring is a set of foundations for human wellbeing that every society should provide (such as water, food, housing, education, peace, a political voice) and the outer ring is the set of planetary boundaries that we must not overshoot (pollution, biodiversity loss, climate change, etc.). Instead of measuring the success of an economy in terms of boundless economic growth, humanity’s goal should be to live well within a socially just and ecologically space – the space within the doughnut. This requires fundamental shifts in our thinking, which Raworth outlines in the book. 

Raworth is an excellent communicator, so her book is very easy to read. Raworth’s model has already been enormously influential – her proposals are being implemented by city planners and local authorities, industries, and businesses worldwide, including in Amsterdam, Sydney, Berlin, Brussels, and Melbourne. You can read more about these efforts here.

Our preference is to have people attend in person, but we’ll share a zoom link for anyone who really wants to join but can’t make it to the North Training Room. These are moderated events, where Trinity staff can ask questions and engage in discussions about the book with the Trinity staff community. There is no need to register and all staff are welcome.

We look forward to seeing you on the 9th! In the meantime, feel free to join the conversation over on Yammer.