A Safe and Just Space for Humanity

Can we live within the doughnut?

Published: 13 February 2012
Author: 
Kate Raworth, Senior Researcher, OxfamGB

Humanity’s challenge in the 21st century is to eradicate poverty and achieve a prosperity for all within the means of the planet’s limited natural resources. In the run-up to Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, this Discussion Paper is an exploration of what such a model of prosperity might look like.

It presents a visual framework – shaped like a doughnut – which brings the concept of planetary boundaries together with the complementary concept of social boundaries, creating a safe and just space between the two, in which humanity can thrive.

Moving into this safe and just space demands far greater equity – within and between countries – in the use of natural resources, and far greater efficiency in transforming those resources to meet human needs.

As interest in creating Sustainable Development Goals grows, along with debates about reframing the Millennium Development Goals post-2015, this framework proposes a global-scale compass that can help to chart the course.

Please note this is a discussion paper, focused on presenting a conceptual framework. Please join the discussion on our 'Doughnut Economics' blog.

The original article on nine planetary boundaries (on which this concept builds): A Safe Operating Space for Humanity

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