Example Doughnut Graph

The iconic Doughnut image is such a strong visual asset. By presenting all dimensions at once, the diagram can help us to see whether we are living within the ecological boundaries of the planet (overshoots around the outside) and what social change is needed to help us thrive (undershoots on the inside).

A doughnut graph can be used to explore different scales and contexts. There are doughnut graphs for the planet, a nation, a city/place, or organisation/business. You can even prepare a doughnut graph for you as a person, your household, or focus just on a practice or activity. What you choose to include or exclude depends on what is being looked at, and what you feel is important.

Now, you have a chance to try creating a simple doughnut graph for yourself! But before I tell you how, I’d like to share one I put together in a few minutes whilst writing this post.

This is a personal doughnut I created to assess how I feel about some aspects of my life at the moment and some of the things I care about. It has ecological type impacts on the outside, such as how much I am consuming (buying new items), or the impact of my heating (green electric, but no solar). On the inside of the doughnut are things that are more of a social concern, my home/work life balance or how much exercise I think I am getting for instance.

The dimensions in this graph use a simple scale that varies from from “wonderful” – where I am not having any impact or problems – to “needs work” – where I know I could do better and maybe I need some help to get there. It can be used to help me think about the current situation and maybe decide on what to focus on in future.

Now it’s your turn!

So how do you go about creating your own doughnut graph? Well, here is a link to the simple Doughnut Graph Creator which can create both personal doughnuts or the more traditional doughnut graphs for your place. You could start by just pressing the “Test” buttons near the bottom of the page to get an instant random graph which you can tinker with and get some ideas. There is a “Clear” button that removes all the dimensions of the current doughnut once you are ready to start.

Now you need to add a dimension to the graph, in the “Add/Edit dimension” section, choose the type of dimension – inner or outer, and then enter the name and choose a level and click “Add or update”. Bingo, you should have your first dimension shown on the doughnut graph. You can keep adding new dimensions in this way, and build up your first doughnut.

If you need to tweak your doughnut, you can click on the graph and select a dimension. Then in the “Dimension info” section, use the buttons to either remove that dimension or edit it. When you edit the dimension, change the level (like adding a dimension) and use the “Add or update” button. At the moment, if you edit the name of a dimension a new one will be added, so just use click on the old dimension and hit remove.

When you have finished you can take a screen shot of your doughnut, and share with us on twitter @cambridgedoughnut #personaldoughnut!

You can save your doughnut graph details, so you can edit it later. To do this, you need to copy all the text in the “CSV export/import” text box and save it in a file. One way to do this is to click on the text box and press CTRL+A (windows) or CMD+A (mac) to select all the text and then use the right-mouse menu to copy, open your favourite notes or document application and paste it into a new document and save it. To return to your doughnut in future, start with a blank doughnut (using “Clear”) and paste the saved text into the same text box (it should be empty), and then click “Import”.

Have fun creating doughnuts and thinking about Doughnut Economics. For those who want to know the technical details you can find all the code in GitHub as open source, where are can post any feedback or improvements.

Creating your own doughnut graph
Tagged on: