Visioning a Doughnut Economy in Cambridge through the Arts

Transition Cambridge have partnered with the Cambridge Doughnut Economics Action Group (CamDEAG, http://cambridgedoughnut.org.uk/) and local artist, Hilary Cox Condron (https://www.hilarycoxcondron.co.uk/), to deliver a community art project and visioning exercise.

The visioning exercise focuses on the question: “What would it look like for Cambridge to be a home to thriving people, in a thriving place, while respecting the wellbeing of all people, and the health of the whole planet?”

Phase 1 (December – ongoing; led by CamDEAG with support from TC)

CamDEAG have built the physical framework for a large art installation resembling Kate Raworth’s doughnut economy (https://bit.ly/3m5fwcN).

Two online workshops have taken place (on 10 and 17 December 2020) to think about suitable icons to represent the different sectors of the doughnut. CamDEAG have crowdfunded £500 to commission an artist to paints the icons onto the installation. The physical “doughnut” will act as a discussion piece at pop-up stands in town and as a prompt for further visioning activities in 2021. These icons will be used to create a web-page, with each icon accompanied by an audio-recorded ‘snapshot’ of Cambridge City’s performance on each of the social (12) and ecological (9) dimensions of the doughnut, which will be made available online.

Phase 2 (February 2021 – ongoing, led by Hilary Cox Condron, supported by TC & CamDEAG)

The visioning part of this project began with a workshop led by Hilary Cox Condron on 27 February (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/thrive-cambridge-workshop-tickets-141419376161#; 66 people booked and 25 attended). The workshop was online, family-friendly, inclusive and accessible, and was also run as part of the Forge project (http://resonance-cambridge.co.uk/forge/). The workshop title was “Thrive”, and used art as a medium to unlock creative thinking about the city’s future, focusing on the question above. The various images were collated on a padlet: https://padlet.com/CreativeJoy/thrive. People will continue to contribute their images to this, and there are 35 contributions so far. Some of these will be displayed in a physical exhibition at the Museum of Cambridge if Covid allows (details to be finalised).

Phase 3 (February – ongoing)

Based on this first pilot workshop, Hilary Cox Condron is creating a programme to guide similar future workshops. Transition Cambridge and Cambridge Doughnut are working together to promote the Forge digital exhibit (currently on the padlet, this will evolve), and hope to partner with other local artists, story-tellers, schools, etc. to facilitate similar visioning/art creation workshops over the summer (either online or in person, as Covid allows).

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The “Doughnut Economics” model provides a new way to engage people in conversations about resource limitation and resilience, and encourages people to envisage a new system that is “regenerative and redistributive by design” (Kate Raworth, Doughnut Economics).

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Our Mission

Transition Cambridge aims to help Cambridge make the transition to ways of life that are more resilient in the face of rising energy prices and a changing climate.

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