Kate Raworth opened the lecture by sharing the core concepts of doughnut economics and frameworks that allow us to ask critical questions about making our cities more transformative, regenerative and distributive. She stressed on the need to move away from the conventional understanding of economics which puts profit as the most important metric of economic development and relegates everything else as externality. Via the doughnut model that has 12 social dimensions in the inner circle, reflecting deprivations, and the planetary boundaries at the outer circle, she highlighted the conundrum that no country in the world has ended ecological degradation with economic growth. As a result, Kate argued, we need to rethink the designs of our  business models and re-incorporate a sense of ‘we’ in our thought process. Using a 4×4 lens of Local-Global and Ecological-Social dimensions, she gave us a model to ask critical questions that need to be addressed at the city level. She concluded by sharing the examples of how the cities of Amsterdam and Brussels have used this approach to rethink their development priorities and relationships with the world.

Kate Raworth described the Doughnut Economics model.
Zeenat Niazi gave examples of some of the projects undertaken by Development Alternatives, including in Bundelkhand and Dehradun, India.

Zeenat carried forward the lecture by sharing a global south perspective, particularly in the context of South Asia. Reflecting on the progress in the region on the Sustainable Development Goals, she demonstrated the urgency needed to achieve prosperity in the region which is still heavily dependent on resource and energy intensities to achieve growth. By sharing the vision of and work done by her organization, Development Alternatives, particularly in the housing and construction sectors, Zeenat shared real life cases of how circularity can be achieved and carbon footprint reduced. Via cases from Uttarkashi, Bunelkhand and Dehradun, she highlighted that multiple small start-up-like solutions already exist across the country and we now need to bring them to a platform to proliferate, and start talking to local governments and institutions to mainstream them. These solutions are locally owned, locally managed and get those who are left behind a stake in this transition for a new resilient future. In doing so, Zeenat emphasized that despite being the wronged party historically, we still have to take up the responsibility and leadership to achieve our developmental imperatives for the coming generations.