Hive mind! What’s the 8th Way to Think Like a 21st Century Economist?

Back in January, Rethinking Economics and Doughnut Economics launched a competition asking: What’s the 8th way to think like a 21st century economist? We got over 250 responses and our fantastic judges selected their favourites, from school students, university students, and everyone else.

Now we are thrilled to turn from competition to collaboration, with this brilliant visualisation of all the entries. Follow the link below and dive in…

Every green bubble is someone’s idea (we’ve included all entries that we were given permission to publish – thanks everyone for being so willing to share), and the blue bubbles are the big themes that connect them all together: the bigger the bubble, the more ideas are linked to it.

The result is a wonderful hive-mind insight into what many people clearly think economics needs to rethink for the 21st century.

  • Click on a green bubble and you’ll see the idea’s author(s) and summary, plus a link to the complete submission, be it text, video, audio, slideshow.
  • Click on a blue bubble and you’ll see all of the submissions that are linked to that theme.

Huge thanks to Hugo Araujo and our friends at for devising this brilliant software and for helping us to create our 8th Way visualisation.

We hope you enjoy exploring it. Search for your own submission (with the search box), see who else is thinking along those lines, or who is thinking differently, or synergistically. Who knows, it could lead to some real collaboration…

Just to top things off, we also made this (appropriately shaped) word cloud of all the keywords featured in the short summaries that people submitted alongside their entries. Follow the link to zoom in…

We want to end with a huge thank you to everyone who has participated in bringing the 8th Way to Think Competition to life!

First, thanks to everyone who submitted an idea (over 250 in total!) and so contributed to the ecosystem of rethinking that is so very needed. Here’s to the power of ideas and collaboration! Look what we all created together…

Huge thanks to our fantastic team of judges for their timely insights and valuable feedback on their favourite submissions.

Many, many thanks to the wonderful team of artisans – Teresa Ruiz, Maite Blanco and Jose Martinez – who handcrafted our fabulously unique crocheted doughnut trophies in Tudela, Spain.

Teresa, Jose and Maite – the Doughnut Trophy Makers!

A huge thanks of gratitude to Hugo Araujo and the team at 7Vortex for the beautiful ecosystem of ideas – working with you has been a great example of collaboration in practice!

And a very big thank you indeed to the team behind the scenes – Ali Al-Jamri, Hannah Dewhirst and Cameron Fay at Rethinking Economics, everyone who contributed to the design of the competition at the Rethinking Economics Summer Gathering 2018, and Dana Pop, Hallina Popko and Carlota Sanz at Doughnut Economics Action Lab for their tireless team-work in making this competition and collaboration such a success.

So, who’s up for doing it all again next year?!….

15 thoughts on “Hive mind! What’s the 8th Way to Think Like a 21st Century Economist?

  1. 7 June 2019 at 12:24

    Right from the beginning, in parallel with the competition, I acted with many thought experiments in the Twitter account @gmh_upsa. Many of the experiments had the #8thwaytothink hashtag, others had Kate’s handle. A few were directed to the competition judges.

    In the last few week some of the experiments got insights from the difference between pragmatism and pragmaticism, the way the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce coined both terms, changing the former with the latter in 1905.

    The most recent experiment addressed a Financial Times opinion by Martin Wolf on the US-China trade dispute, “The looming 100-year US-China conflict,” where the following insight emerged:

    Dear @martinwolf_

    On this reply [tweet link] to the timely feedback from @emmyzen, I coined the post-modern #APosterioriBehavior to enable the #HomoPragmaticist after an evil delay lasting more than 100-years of modern #APrioriBehavior.

    CC: @themintmag @KateRaworth

    1. 7 June 2019 at 21:53

      The insight that emerged is corrected to say “an evil delay lasting more than 100-years of modern” #APrioriThought which is related to ways to think.

  2. 7 June 2019 at 15:06

    I love the visualisation and the access to all the entries …..It’s going to take a long time to read them all. Maybe just the summaries first.
    The word cloud is interesting too. I thought size of the font indicated frequency of each word but there are some duplicates so is there a more subtle determinant?

    1. 7 June 2019 at 16:50

      Hi John, yes the word cloud was fun to make and yes the size of the word is indicative of its repeated use. If we were to do it again I think we’d cut out some of the less substantive words, and set the system not to repeat words – lessons you learn along the way!

  3. Angeselle Haslam-Hopwood
    7 June 2019 at 15:59

    Absolutely love the 7vortex visualisation of your findings and discussion points. Brilliant! I would like to read more. Can you forward some good reading material, please?

    1. 7 June 2019 at 16:51

      Hi Angeselle, if you are looking for more on Doughnut Economics, you might like these animations If you are looking for more on the ideas in the visualisation, click on each one!

  4. 7 June 2019 at 16:43

    Absolutely brilliant contest! So inspiring… I hope Kate, as this moves forward, that some of us in the cooperative community who missed out on your contest will have the opportunity to explain why COOPERATIVES are a key “doughnut ingredient” because co-ops democratize the workforce, respect human dignity, and deliver a principles-based economy.

    In the words of the amazing Tom Webb (mentor and one of the founders of the Cooperative Management Education Program, Saint Mary’s University): “…We will not solve problems like “too big to fail”; climate change; inequality; surveillance capitalism; all the major problems of our evolving economy with capitalism as the overriding business model. Those problems are the logical outcome of capitalism as is the decline in real democracy. We are now at the stage where capitalist firms are almost beyond or perhaps beyond regulation. Capitalist firms now regulate government with the spoken, or more often unspoken threat, ‘How would you like 20-30% unemployment? We can give you that with little cost to ourselves.”

    Working together with passion and commitment, a cooperative global economy could well become the icing on your doughnut…😉

    Thank you for your work and for this wonderful contest… I am presently teaching Emerging Global Economics and Society at SMU (Tom Webb’s former course) and my students are really enjoying your Doughnut! The 8th Way to Think like a 20th Century Economist contest has been an inspiring addition to our course material…


    Wendy Holm,
    Cooperative Management Education Program
    Sobey School of Business
    Saint Mary’s University, Halifax Canada

    1. 7 June 2019 at 16:52

      Hi Wendy, that’s great to hear and I’m delighted that you like the competition – we have been so pleased to see how many people have found it an inspiring opportunity to write down and share their ideas. I think you’ll like the winning entry of ‘everyone else’ – it chimes with many of the points that you are making. All best, Kate

  5. Howard Switzer
    7 June 2019 at 17:06

    Nature is not a seperate bubble, we know our whole economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nature. Everything including our energy to get up in the morning to go to work comes from nature, everything we eat, exchange, make and destroy is nature. We can no longer afford to allow a private for-profit money system issuing money as debt becasue it is destroying life at an industrial scale for profit (?). Abuse of monetary authority for personal gain is usury and the entire system is based on usury. We need to reverse the money so we can reverse the effects the current system has had on the planet and all our lives. To do that, as the ancient Greeks knew 3000 years ago, money should be issued by the government of the people not a private oligarchy. There are proposals, even legislation ready, that would transition our system to a public asset money system that would put the public back into public policy. Money is power and such awesome power cannot be trusted in private hands as we can plainly see, the temptation is too great, we need a public system issuing money into the productive economy, at the bottom of the economy where people live and work, not the top where a few people live off the work of everyone else. Anything else is a waste of valuable time, we need a massive demand for this change. To build that we need to be talking about it everywhere.

  6. Howard Switzer
    7 June 2019 at 17:09 …a late submittal from an old fart.

    1. 7 June 2019 at 17:21

      Hey Howard, great video! I hereby declare you winner of the category for old farts! : )
      All best, Kate

      1. Howard Switzer
        7 June 2019 at 20:01

        Thank you, Kate, I hope you will include changing the money from private to public as a way to get people and place in the donut. We need money that serves the interests of people and planet and a private for-profit money system will never do that, in fact it is destroying the planet as we speak. We can reverse the negative effects of usury money with public asset money. Money issued as debt systematically concentrates wealth, money issued as a debt-free public asset systematically distributes wealth broadly. We have a centripetal system and need a centrifugal system. What do you think?

  7. 7 June 2019 at 23:35

    Did anyone propose the biomimicry of “natural growth” as a solution to the world growth crisis?

    Keynes called it “the widow’s cruse”, as an ideal model for thriving post growth economies. What he pointed out is how investors could spend all their profits and never run out of them, suggesting it might come from the owners of the earth making the counterintuitive choice of deciding to use their profits to take care of the earth. Wouldn’t it be great if the owners of the earth decided to take care of it, as a way of optimizing their future profits?

    Why I call it a biomimicry of “natural growth” is because that closely fits the growth strategy of living systems. Growth in living systems starts small with the germination of a new design followed by compound extractive growth, using system profits to multiply system structures, but then switches to employing profits for system maturation and adaptive development, toward the end of growth as a peak of vitality to live their “life.”

    I guess it’s “rocket science” for solving the riddle of how the rocket can find a soft landing, but once you learn to recognize the pattern the examples are literally everywhere.

    1. 7 June 2019 at 23:57

      Oh, yes, A.K.A. “circular money,” for how money the spending of investment profits balances the taking of investment profits, so money stays in free circulation rather than being hoarded to inflate the power of just a few.

      ref’s at“keynes”

  8. WilliamPrusa
    10 June 2019 at 12:24