Economics: Doughnuts and Doing things Differently

Season 2, Ep. 7

We explore how the natural world can inform and inspire us on the topic of Economics. Guided by Peter Lefort, we look at one way to think differently about Economics in the 21st Century: Doughnut Economics.  


At the core of the approach is the ‘Doughnut’ consisting of two concentric rings: a social foundation, to ensure that no one is left falling short on life’s essentials, and an ecological ceiling, to ensure that humanity does not collectively overshoot planetary boundaries. Between these two sets of boundaries lies a doughnut-shaped space that is both ecologically safe and socially just: a space in which humanity can thrive.


We delve into the theory of Doughnut Economics as well as real-life applications: the Doughnut is being used on a county-scale in Cornwall Council, city-scale in Amsterdam, and nation-scale in Costa Rica. 


Peter Lefort is a Network Facilitator and Doughnut Economics Practitioner.  He runs the University of Exeter’s Green Futures Network, connecting communities and organisations to the latest environmental research and resources. He has previously worked on the implementation of doughnut economics within the decision making processes of Cornwall Council, and is a founder member of the Cornwall Doughnut Collective. Peter is also a freelance facilitator and trainer, and is Co-Chair of the Transition Network.


Whether you’re an Economics expert or newbie, we hope you enjoy this episode in which we touch on the links between Economy and Ecology and subjects including the importance of home, permission, mindset, systems, complexity, patterns, growth -- and Starling murmurations!


To explore this and other subjects further, join our private Facebook group, 'Unfurling Podcast'.


~1: “Coaching through the Lens of Nature

~6: Dasgupta Review documents 

~9: Peter Lefort

~10: Green Futures Network

~18: “Doughnut Economics” by Kate Raworth

~22: Doughnut economics at Cornwall Council

~34: Doughnut Economics Action Lab

~42: Emergent Strategy” by Adrienne Maree Brown

~46: Andy Stirling 

~55: Doughnut Economics in Amsterdam  

~55: Doughnut Economics in Costa Rica

More Episodes

Friday, April 29, 2022

How To Move Forward

Season 2, Ep. 11
It’s our season 2 finale! Join us, Elizabeth and Catriona, as we share this episode with Robbie Swale, a leadership coach and author of ‘How to Start When You’re Stuck’. Robbie helps us think about how each of us can move forward in a way that feels true - with creativity and persistence, and by choosing the next right steps. The conversation ranges from the philosophical to the practical. Robbie touches on his experience of creative hell, the importance of releasing our creative potential, taking actions towards who we want to become, and trusting in an emergent creative process. The episode concludes with Elizabeth and Catriona reflecting on the topic - inspired by Robbie and by some unusual trees. We also share a special announcement about Unfurling’s next right step! Robbie Swale is a writer and leadership coach whose work focuses on creativity, leading with honour, and the craft of coaching. Alongside his client work, he has run coaching, training and facilitation for organisations including Moonpig, the Royal Opera House, Swiss Re and the University of Edinburgh. He is the host of ‘The Coach’s Journey’ Podcast.  For more on Unfurling and to keep updated on our creative journey, please join our Facebook Group or visit our website. ~4: The Coach’s Journey~5 & ~52: “How to Start When You’re Stuck” by Robbie Swale~10: Robert Holden~15: “The Happiness Hypothesis” by Jonathan Haidt~20 & ~52: “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield~20: Stephen Pressfield: “The more important a call to action is to our soul's evolution, the more Resistance we will feel about answering it.”~21: Joel Monk~27: “Show Your Work!” by Austin Kleon ~28: Seth Godin~30: “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman~35: Olivia Owen~37: “100 LinkedIn Articles - Key Lessons” by Alex Swallow~39: Boyd Varty - The Lion Tracker’s Guide to Life~41: Hermann Hesse  ~44: Fred Kofman~49: Free worksheet to design your own 12-Minute Method ~49: The 12-Minute Method Facebook group~50: Duolingo ~51: Robbie Swale's website~52: “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert~59: Palmeral de Elche~60: The Huerto del Cura Garden ~62: Baobab trees
Friday, February 11, 2022

Soil: Magic Beneath our Feet

Season 2, Ep. 9
Join us as we dive into the magical world of soil!  We’ve become huge fans – did you know there are more microorganisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on the Earth? We explore what soil is, how it sustains life, and why it’s important for physical and mental health, and the climate. We draw on our own connections to soil, living in the country and city, and discuss what we can learn from soil about time, dormancy, patience, place, meaning, community, connection, communication, healing, complexity, and letting go. We look at the threats to soil, and so to the world’s health at large, and signpost efforts to protect and restore soil, from the individual level, to farming, to policy. Whether you’re new to this topic, or are an avid gardener or farmer, we hope you take something from the episode.  To explore this and other subjects, join our Facebook group, 'Unfurling Podcast' or get in touch via our website.References: ~1: Charles E. Kellogg, “USDA Yearbook of Agriculture”, 1938: “Essentially, all life depends upon the soil. There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.” ~1: Chief Seattle, 1852: “We are part of the earth and it is part of us. What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.” ~2: Wendell Berry quote from “The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture”~3: Definition of soil in Rainforest Alliance's “7 Fascinating Facts About Soil”~7: Bedrock “weathering can take up to tens of thousands of years to form a mature soil”.~7: “Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power” by Alastair McIntosh ~10: Info on soil microbiome, & soil antidepressants in Rainforest Alliance link above~12: Soil carbon stocks, EEA~13: The South West Peatland Project~15: Soil degradation, Conscious Planet~16: Soil Association~16: Nature Friendly Farming Network~17: Soils for the Future~18: Conscious Planet~18: Article on Conscious Planet in The CSR Journal~20: Open Farm Sunday~21: “Bloom” by Nicola Skinner~28: “Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Our Children from an Oversanitized World” by B. Brett Finlay & Marie-Claire Arrieta ~29: Aldo Leopold, “A Sand County Almanac”
Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Space to Think

Season 2, Ep. 8
As 2021 draws to a close, join us, Catriona and Elizabeth, for a short & sweet episode in which we create a space to think – for ourselves, for Unfurling, and for our listeners.   We explore our desire to 'unfurl' the unique ways of thinking and being each of us have, and how this might help us go deeper in ourselves and in our relationships with others and the wider world.   We discuss nuance, dialogue, learning, expansiveness, being responsive, inner and outer health, worth, the power of questions, and more. We touch on how we'd like Unfurling to create space for inner reflection as well as outer dialogue – through the podcast, and through new collectively-focused work in 2022. Finally we invite our listeners to create space to think - however, whenever, and wherever that may look. To explore this and other subjects further, join our private Facebook group, 'Unfurling Podcast', or get in touch via our website. ​~0: "Stretch of time" from from Latin spatium as one definition for "Space", Online Etymology Dictionary~5: Romain Rolland from "Above The Battle": "Discussion is impossible with someone who claims not to seek the truth, but already to possess it."~6: Rebecca Solnit from "Men Explain Things To Me": "The language of bold assertion is simpler, less taxing, than the language of nuance and ambiguity and speculation.”~7: Nancy Kline from "Time to Think": "Everything we do depends for its quality on the thinking we do first, and our thinking depends on the quality of our attention for each other."~8: "It All Turns on Affection" by Wendell Berry~18: "Writers' Hour" with London Writers Salon
Saturday, August 7, 2021

Language: Relating with the World

Season 2, Ep. 6
Join Elizabeth and Catriona for a thought-provoking conversation with our episode guide Philippa Bayley as we delve into how language can help us relate with ourselves, other people, and the earth, and provide fresh perspectives and energy on topics such as climate change.  Philippa is a research scientist turned public engagement practitioner and research manager with a passion to create unique spaces that help people think differently, whether that is 1:1 or in large-scale public events. She has worked across a range of disciplines from neuroscience to cybersecurity, but the heart of her work lies in rethinking our relationship with the earth.  As part of our time together, we showcase ‘living-language-land’, which Philippa is one of the Creative Producers of. A recently-launched global nature language project for COP26, living-language-land experiments with how an expanded lexicon for our relationship with land and nature can both honour minority and endangered languages, and offer fresh inspiration for tackling our environmental crisis. We hope you enjoy this wide-ranging episode in which we touch on topics such as empathy, responsibility, right relationship, science and indigenous wisdom and learn new words from around the world. If you'd like to explore this and other subjects further, you're very welcome to join our private Facebook group, 'Unfurling Podcast'.References (with hyperlinks): ~0: Unfurling Podcast Facebook group~1: Unfurling One-Year Celebration LinkedIn Post~2: Philippa Bayley~2: “Language: Singing Land Back Into Being”, Unfurling Podcast~4: Elle Harrison~6: PhD in Neuroscience at UCL (brain development in embryonic zebrafish)~7: Cabot Institute for the Environment~7: Neville Gabie~11: living-language-land~ 12: “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants” by Robin Wall Kimmerer ~13: Noongar, Western Australia~14: Jessie Little Doe Baird, Wampanoag Language Revitalisation Project~17: Sardak: “the ancestors and owners of the land” from Ladakhi language, Ladakh, India~18: śaff: “track; print; unexpectedly, it turns out to be” from Mehri language, Southern Oman~19: Hyká: “name; stone; speech” from Mysk Kubun language, Central Colombia~20: Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Lakota, USA~24: Jessie Little Doe Baird: “In our language they left all the lessons for us.” ~27: British Council’s COP26 Creative Commissions programme~29: The Forgiveness Project~31: “A Counter-Desecration Phrasebook” as “a glossary of enchantment for the whole earth, which would allow nature to talk back and would help us to listen” in “Landmarks” by Robert Macfarlane~32: “Cultural and spiritual significance of nature”, IUCN~35: COP26~35: Partners, living-language-land~37: Lakota idea of children being born with confidence with the earth and growing that over time~39: living-language-land website~40: Robin Wall Kimmerer~41: Robert Macfarlane ~41: Barbara Kingsolver~41: How can you get involved? Living-language-land~48 : Nelson Mandela: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”~50: Ïe cho: “good path” from Mysk Kubun language, Central Colombia~50: Devon Pilgrim project ~50: Jeremiah, 6:16: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”~54: “Climate Change (Pt 2): "Start with Strong"”, Unfurling Podcast~54: “The Lost Words” by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris~55: “Landmarks” by Robert Macfarlane: “In both Lewis and Arizona, Language is used not only to navigate but also to charm the land. Words act as compass; place-speech serves literally to en-chant the land - to sing it back into being, and to sing one’s being back into it.”~57: The African Grey Parrots at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo  
Saturday, July 3, 2021

Relocation: Beyond A to B

Season 2, Ep. 5
Relocation: Beyond A to B  Unfurling co-host Elizabeth has moved house!  And this life event has prompted a curiosity in us about “Relocation” and what we can learn from the natural world about this topic. In this episode, we touch on:The concept of “home”Possible drivers (and degrees of choice) for relocationHow relocation can play out in different systems Themes of instinct, trust, hope, stillness, legacy and contributionExamples from the natural world, including monarch butterflies, shearwaters, trees, bison, Tasmanian devils, and translocation programmesHolding different spaces and energies - from embracing slowness to acting now; from rooting ourselves in the local to understanding global realities; and triangulating self and wellbeing with collective identity and the natural worldWe hope you enjoy the episode - if you'd like to explore this and other topics further, you're very welcome to join our private Facebook group, 'Unfurling Podcast'. References (with hyperlinks): ~3: “Relocation”, Online Etymology Dictionary: 1746, in Scottish law, "renewal of a lease"~x: “Relocation”, Cambridge Dictionary: “the act of moving or moving something or someone from one place to another”~5: UK Stamp Duty tax~7: “Living on a Remote Island” by Sarah Boden (re. Eigg) in “On Nature: Unexpected Ramblings on the British Countryside”~12: “Hiraeth”~13: Monarch butterflies, National Geographic ~16: “Nature’s Most Impressive Animal Migrations”, National Geographic Society~16: “Shearwater” (Chapter 7, featuring Catriona’s Dad, Geoffrey Matthews) in “The Seabird’s Cry” by Adam Nicolson~17: Skokholm~18: “Wandering: Notes and Sketches” by Hermann Hesse: “Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”~20: Migrating bison, Vincennes Trace~21: “Maria Island Tasmanian devils thriving at expense of other species”, ABC News Australia~24: Climate refugees: the world’s forgotten victims ~26: Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, UK~30: “What's for animal conservation translocation programmes: Soft- or hard-release?” (Video) by Journal of Applied Ecology ~30: “What is better for animal conservation translocation programmes: Soft- or hard-release? A phylogenetic meta-analytical approach” by Paloma S. Resende et al in Journal of Applied Ecology~31: Lindsey Chapman on Unfurling “Waiting and Patience” episode~33: “Stand in the Tragic Gap” by Parker Palmer: “If we want to live nonviolent lives, we must learn to stand in the tragic gap, faithfully holding the tension between reality and possibility.”~34: Benjamin Franklin: “All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.” ~35: “Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own” by U2: “A house doesn’t make a home.”~36: “The Work that Reconnects” based on the teachings of Joanna Macy, who co-wrote “Active Hope” with Chris Robertson 
Friday, May 21, 2021

Beauty: Realising Beauty

Season 2, Ep. 4
Welcome to season 2 episode 4 of Unfurling, in which we explore the topic of Beauty. We look from various perspectives, and the theme is illuminated by learnings from the natural world and from our 'guides'. Here's what's in the episode: ~0: We share what’s drawing us to look at Beauty.~10:00: We join our first guide, Nina Flowers, a creative brand strategist who collaborates with organisations that are looking to bring about positive environmental or social changes through their work. Working remotely from Barcelona, she's collaborating with a UK charity and the Mood Project in Spain. Nina also founded a nature-inspired skincare company called Artamay, which she is developing with her sister Emily in Wiltshire, UK. It’s small-batch skincare that’s organic, vegan, and natural with the philosophy of achieving healthy skin whilst 'protecting your wild'. http://www.artamay.co.uk / Insta: @artamayskincare and http://www.ninaflowers.co.uk / Insta: @ninaflow__~30:00 We consider themes from our time with Nina, including the role of nature in sparking creativity, adventure, and wellbeing; authentic beauty and ageing; language; and 'protecting our wild'.~33:00 We move to our second guide, Dr Tony Juniper CBE, who is Chair of Natural England, the statutory body that works for the conservation and restoration of the natural environment in England. Before taking up this role in April 2019 he was Executive Director for Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF-UK, a Fellow with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and President of the Wildlife Trusts. Until January 2018 he was an independent sustainability and environment advisor, including as Special Advisor with The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit. A campaigner, writer, and a well-known British environmentalist, Tony has, for more than 35 years, worked for change toward a more sustainable society at local, national and international levels. https://www.gov.uk/government/people/tony-juniper and https://www.tonyjuniper.com/about~64:30 We reflect on our learnings from our time with Tony, including the place of beauty in a multi-layered approach to nature recovery; the importance of co-design and building metaphorical bridges; nature’s inspiration; and how context augments beauty.~69:45 We close by drawing together our learning and themes for further reflection, and we share a poem.  To explore this and other topics further, please join our private Facebook group, 'Unfurling Podcast'.---References:~1: Sheela Hobden ~1: VIA Survey of Character Strengths ~4: Mental Health Foundation: Mental Health Awareness Week~5: Merriam-Webster: “Beauty”: “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit”~6: International Dawn Chorus Day~22: Artamay Dusk & Dawn Cleanser~24: Artemis~33: Resurgence & Ecologist~38: National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949~39: Natural England ~42: Yorkshire Dales National Park Hay Meadows~43: Nature Recovery Network~43: England Coastal Path~45: East Devon AONB~46: The Wildlife Trusts~46: The National Trust~47: Wildbelt, The Wildlife Trusts~47: Greenbelt, UK~50: Local Nature Recovery Strategies as part of the Nature Recovery Network~51: Landscape Institute~51: Nature for Climate Fund~52: National Design Guide~55: “Conservation is a social process informed by science”, Flora and Fauna International~58: “What Has Nature Ever Done for Us?” by Tony Juniper~60: Final Report of the Independent Review on the Economics of Biodiversity led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta~1:02: “Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World” by H.R.H. Prince of Wales, Tony Juniper, Ian Skelly ~1:02: Friends of the Earth~1:06: Areas of Natural Beauty~1:06: Cotswolds AONB~1:07: “How mandarin ducks became a Chinese symbol of love?” in China Daily~1:10: Ansel Adams: “Art is both the taking and giving of beauty.”~1:12: “A Thing of Beauty” by John Keats 
Sunday, April 18, 2021

Adaptation: “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails"

Season 2, Ep. 3
Welcome to a shorter-than-usual (!), more spontaneous episode featuring us (co-hosts Catriona and Elizabeth) as its guides! We had planned to release an episode on Beauty - but events beyond our control meant we’ve had to postpone this. However, we decided to embrace the change of plans, and pulled out our mics to explore the timely concept of Adaptation. We touch on:Questions around individual and collective adaptations to new circumstances, both in our lifetimes and with future generations in mind.The role of conscious choice and the ability to influence when considering if and how to adapt.Examples from the natural world, including Emperor penguins, ants, and the human genome. Reflections on how we may want to adapt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and how vision, creativity and resilience may play a part. Enjoy! And if you'd like to explore this and other topics further, you're very welcome to join our private Facebook group, 'Unfurling Podcast'.---References: ~ Episode quote by Dolly Parton: “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”~3: “Adapt”, Online Etymology Dictionary: Early 15c. "to fit (something, for some purpose)", from Old French, from Latin. Intransitive meaning "to undergo modification so as to fit new circumstances" is from 1956.~4: Bruce Lee: “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”~5: “Circle of Influence” mentioned in “Habit 1: Be Proactive” of the book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.  ~6: George Bernard Shaw: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”~7: “A Project Supported by Bill Gates Is Set to Temporarily Dim the Sun” in Entrpreneur.com~9: “Adaptation” in National Geographic Resource Library~10: Types of Adaptations in “Adaptations” in BBC Bitesize ~12: Viktor E. Frankl in “Man's Search for Meaning”: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~13: Ant behaviour in Royal Society Journal ‘Interface’, and specifically about behaviour in water in PBS blog ‘Nature’.  ~14: “Emergence” chapter in “So Far from home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World” by Margaret J. Wheatley.~18: “Why projects to adapt to climate change backfire” in News by the University of Oxford~20: Carbon offset projects that can harm, e.g. World Bank and UN carbon offset scheme 'complicit' in genocidal land grabs - NGOs and Offsetting carbon emissions: ‘It has proved a minefield’~22: “Himalayas seen for first time in decades from 125 miles away after pollution drop” in The Independent ~24: “Why 2020 Has Reminded Us To Play The Infinite Game”, Forbes ~24: Simon Sinek’s “Infinite Mindset” and “Infinite Game”. Note: The importance of a “just cause”. ~25: The Foot of Cupid from the BBC television series “Monty Python's Flying Circus”~25: “What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want” by Rob Hopkins ~28: The 17 Sustainable Development Goals~28: One Health concept