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Getting Businesses to Care About Our Future through Doughnut-Inspired Solutions with Erinch Sahan (Episode #77)

Have you ever heard of Doughnut Economics? When change is needed on a large scale, this Goldilocks-like way of thinking considers not the nitty-gritty nor the large scale, but the sweet spot in our thinking that can actually allow us to make progress. Erinch Sahan has been exploring and promoting this mindset for over 10 years and is focused on helping businesses use it to prioritize realistic social and environmental change. What in your life could change when you think like Goldilocks eating a doughnut?

Episode Highlights

About Our Guest

Erinch’s background spans business, government, social enterprise, and NGOs. Most recently, he was the chief executive of the World Fair Trade Organization, a global network, and verifier of social enterprises and cooperatives that practice Fair Trade. Previously, he spent 7 years at Oxfam leading campaign and advocacy initiatives and founding Oxfam’s Future of Business Initiative. He has also worked at Procter & Gamble as a market strategy manager, established a furniture business, and worked for Australia’s aid program.

Let’s tap into sustainable businesses with Doughnut-Inspired Solutions!

Resources Mentioned:


Connect with Erinch on LinkedIn and Twitter . Check out Doughnut Economics, a vision of what it means for humanity to thrive in the 21st century! 

Show Notes

[00:01 – 13:00] Opening Segment

  • Erinch introduces the doughnut economics concept.
    • Safe and just space for humanity.
    • Transformative potential as we adapt to the 21st century.
    • Doughnuts have 2 boundaries.
      • Inner boundary: Delivering our life essentials 
      • Outer boundary: Destructing the planet.
  • The forest analogy.
    • Ecosystems balance and generosity of nature.
    • It’s not all about competition and profits.
    • The importance of redesigning the economy.
      • Collaborative solutions.
    • Solving social and ecological problems.
  • Think about the electronics industry.
    • E.g. Smartphones are built-in obsolescence.
    • A huge ecological and social footprint.

[13:01 – 31:38] Getting Businesses to Care About Our Future with Doughnut-Inspired Solutions

  • Erinch insights about the direction of businesses.
    • How do I design this product?
    • How do I engage with working conditions?
    • How do I engage with my local community?
  • The financial markets and economic regulations.
    • Designed from last century.
    • Ecological challenges.
  • The importance of creating alternatives in businesses.
    • The need for innovation.
    • Social enterprise models.
    • Leadership.
  • Educating founders and companies to fit their ethos and values about making a better world.
    • Being socially responsible.
      • Where does the money start circulating?
      • Where do their profits go?
  • Erinch shares how we can start changing the way we understand companies.
    • Choose local businesses.
    • Establish long-term relationships.
    • Small businesses tend to bring in the human aspect.
  • Recycling our money and spending it locally.                           
  • Helping our community to grow.
    • E.g. Local food movements.
  • Amazing goodness that comes from international exchanges.
    • A global mix of trades.
    • Intercultural growth.                        
  • Bring out the best in humanity and amplify our future on The Goodness Exchange
  • More information on how you can join in below

[31:59 –  54:10]  The Supply Chain and Fair Trade.

  • Erinch explains the supply chain term.
  • Opens up the reality of impact, production, and economy.
  • Consider what products are  made of.
  • Recognize that brands have become slightly abstract entities in the 21st century.
  • Do some research and find out through transparency and trackability.
    • Fair trade.
    • Working hard to try to be what the future looks like for big business.
      • E.g. Patagonia: Textiles.
  • The level of knowledge about production is a clue.
  • Minimize waste.
  • Think if the money is having a positive impact.
  • Sometimes the price is locked in a model of unsustainable production.
    • The power of money.
  • Erinch perspectives of design barriers.
    • Maximize your returns vs address social-ecological issues.
    • Business is there to make as much money as possible.
  • We have to reinvest into social benefits, lead environmentally friendly products designs and support local communities.
  • What is enough?
  • What is efficient?

[54:11 – 58:58] Closing Segment

  • Know the power we have to bring what feels natural and intuitive.
    • Business and investment decisions.
  • How to connect with Erinch and his work
    • Links below 
  • Give a review and rating, and share this episode with others
  • Final announcements

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