ACT as a Doughnut: Our Ambition

Aart Bos

Aart Bos

Global Leadership

ACT as a Doughnut addresses the statement (The Guardian 30/4/2021) by Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the EU commission” if social policy and climate policy are not combined, to share fairly the costs and benefits of creating a low carbon economy, the world will face a backlash from people who fear losing jobs or income, stoked by populist politicians and fossil fuel interests. He said: “It’s not just an urgent matter – it’s a difficult matter. We have to transform our economy. There are huge benefits, but it’s a huge challenge. The biggest threat is the social one. If we don’t fix this, our children will be waging wars over water and food. There is no doubt in my mind.”
The project is co-funded by the EU and a co-creation in five countries; The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia by five independent NGOs: MasterPeace Foundation (MP), Grow United (Germany), Fundacja Wspólnota Wielopokoleniowa (Po), MasterPeace Ro (Ro), and EDU 4 U (Edu4U

Our Ambition

ACT as a Doughnut aims to engage, connect and empower youngsters to be an active citizen to co-create “their “thriving city. We will develop educational materials; train our youth workers who will train their local associated teachers in the domain of social science/citizenship. Their students will create a city portrait and use the power of imagination on how their thriving city would look like. As a second step, based on education materials re the Doughnut theory they will advise their city on the best next steps. The new methodologies will be shared via various platforms including the global prestige of  the Community Arts Network (CAN) and  the Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL) managed by two of our global associated partners. Together we can be the difference and realize our mission!

“ACT” stands for the “doing” part as now is the time to ACT: The urgency to fight the lack of social cohesion and the lack of how to “manage” the environmental challenges has never been so high. ACT is also the abbreviation of “Artist Create Together” as we will use creativity, arts, and culture to engage and connect. ACT is a metaphor in the sense that we all are the architects of our own future. To engage and inspire the primary target groups we will co-create with cultural creatives of our CAN network and use their methodologies. “As a Doughnut” refers to the theory in the book: the Doughnut Economy”. A book that transformed into a knowledge platform that uniquely combines social cohesion within the boundaries of the planet.


We all are aware that our societies face multiple crises; like climate and environmental; increasing gaps between those who “have and have not”; lack of (jobs) perspective, (Im-) migration, and a generic distrust in institutes especially amongst our “Gen Z” youngsters. Corona
enlarges all these gaps. we work towards an inclusive society. It is key that 30 % of the students are from a minority background. Crisis means “a crucial point”. The challenges have never been so high, but we do have the capacity to find answers!. This takes You and Me. This dilemma offers a unique opportunity to stimulate education to be a driver of transformation.

Our primary target groups are students in the age group of 15- 19 years, and their teachers. Our secondary target groups are cities, their representatives, and our associated partners. Based on our shared values we create innovative methodologies and formats that will be used by youth workers and teachers to mobilize youngsters to become active citizens.
Two global partners, CAN and DEAL, are eager to co-create while we develop blended educational formats and scale globally. We can build on the toolkits they have built, in addition to the toolkit created by the City of Amsterdam. Our national and global associated partners in Education are eager to learn and reuse the new methodologies we develop. All (no one left behind) youngsters, deserve a quality education and ACT to create their own future. However, we know by experience and are backed by reports that we face gaps in all five countries. Youth workers, teachers, students, and cities asked for our support. We aim to drive this transformation.

Our theory of change/ transformation approach
Our approach with youngsters in the lead is based on a three phased approach (in line with the MasterPeace approach which is in line with youth strategy developed by the EU in 2021:
1)to engage 2) to connect 3) to empower

The transformation we like to facilitate impacts people’s values and behaviors. Our aim is to work towards a “thriving” city. This also requires changes in the approach to governance; the systems and procedures that are in place in our society. In our approach we use the model invented by Ken Wilber:

When we use this model in our Doughnut economy context it can be summarized in the picture below

Our products and services:

I. Engage young people by using arts, sports and play to get their interest into the topic.
Topics: Sustainable Development Goals, Talents, Values
Tools: Kahoot! Quiz/ gamification,Core Values Game, Arts for Social Change like visualisation via StreetArt and storytelling via rap
Results: I am, I matter 2)I am a European 3) I am, I learn Learning Goals:
Topic: Talents

  • Knowledge: you know what category of talents there are.
  • Insight: you understand that every person has their own unique talent.
  • Ability: you are able to indicate what your talents are.

Topic: Values

  • Knowledge: you can explain what values are.
  • Insight: you understand why values are important
  • Ability: you show which values are most important to you and why.

Topic: Sustainable Development Goals

  • Knowledge: you know what the Sustainable Development Goals are.
  • Insight: you can name the most urgent global challenges.
  • Ability: you creatively express your opinion/your dream for a more sustainable and socially just world.

II. Connect young people with other stakeholders in their community to widen their view.
Topics: Dialogue, Fake News, Team Diversity
Tools: Inclusive Dialogue, Storytelling
Results: 1) We dream the future of our city together 2) We are connected
Learning Goals:
Topic: Dialogue

  • Knowledge: you know how to participate in an inclusive dialogue.
  • Insight: you understand why it is important to listen to other points of view.
  • Ability: you are able to enrich your point of view by integrating the wisdom of others in order to achieve common goals

Topic: Fake News

  • Knowledge: you can recognize fake news and name the difference between facts and opinions.
  • Insight: you understand the negative effects of fake news.
  • Ability: you are able to find trustworthy information.

Topic: Team Diversity

  • Knowledge: you know what makes a team successful.
  • Insight: you realize that a diverse team leads to better results.
  • Ability: you are able to work together successfully as a diverse team.

III. Empower young people to provide them with the tools to take action and make a positive change
Topics: Doughnut Economy, City Portrait, System Thinking, Social Entrepreneurship
Tools: Personal Doughnut Scan, Doughnut Puzzle, Social Business Model Canvas
Results: 1) WE act and campaign, 2) we act and implement, 3) we act and co create
Learning Goals:
Topic: Doughnut Economy

  • Knowledge: you can explain the doughnut economy and its five themes in a broad sense.
  • Insight: you can state which global and/or local challenges are important to you and why.
  • Ability: You have chosen, as a team, one of the five doughnut themes you want to learn more about and for which you want to make a positive change. Based on the team’s priorities, talents and interests.

Topic: City Portrait & System Thinking

  • Knowledge: you know how to make an analysis of the current local situation focussing on one of the five doughnut themes, including different points of view.
  • Insight: you can analyse which factors are of most influence to improve the current local situation.
  • Ability: you can formulate advice towards decisionmakers what needs to change to improve the current situation.

Topic: Project Management

  • Knowledge: you know how a project model canvas works.
  • Insight: you can fill in a project model canvas for your idea for positive change.
  • Ability: you are able to execute the project based as formulated on the project model canvas and show how you can make a positive impact.

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