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The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an economic crisis that reverberated around the globe leaving many wanting to rethink economics for the 21st century.

Kate Raworth

To showcase a new approach rapidly picking up momentum, the University of Hawaiʻi Better Tomorrow Speaker Series, in partnership with the Hawaiʻi Book and Music Festival and ʻĀina Aloha Economic Futures, will feature a live online conversation with Oxford economist Kate Raworth, a bestselling author arguing for a new set of metrics to replace the traditional focus on growth.

Raworth argues in her book Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist that new economics need to be better aligned with human needs and planetary limits. It’s a concept that has garnered her more than 4 million views on TED Talks and has even captured the attention of the Pope.

The live online event, “Doughnut Economics: How circular economies can make Hawaiʻi more just and sustainable,” will be held on Thursday, October 7, at 8:30 a.m. The livestream event is open to the public. (Register here)

Kamanamaikalani Beamer

UH Mānoa Professor Kamanamaikalani Beamer, the Dana Naone Hall Endowed Chair in Hawaiian Studies, Literature and the Environment will serve as moderator. In response to the COVID-19 economic crisis, Beamer co-founded the ʻĀina Aloha Economic Futures initiative to help develop a new vision for the state’s economic future that is grounded in Native Hawaiian values.

“We are at a critical moment when redesigning our economy to be more just and equitable to our people and our ʻāina has never been more important,” said Beamer, who holds joint appointments at Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge and the William S. Richardson School of Law. “Kate’s work is helping to inform these conversations around the world while we at home are looking to build on our ancestral foundation of aloha ʻāina.”

Hawaiʻi State Representative Amy Perusso, a UH alumna, underscores the importance of revamping Hawaiʻi’s economic model. “Neoliberal economics has clearly failed us,” Perusso said. “We need a new approach grounded in ecological and communitarian principles. Raworth’s work is critical in this respect, and it resonates with the ʻāina aloha and circular economy work being done in Hawaiʻi. Rethinking our assumptions and rewriting our narratives about economics will help facilitate a similar paradigm shift in our thinking about politics.”

More on Raworth

Raworth is a senior associate at Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute. She has worked for the United Nations Development Programme and currently serves on the World Health Organization’s Council on the Economics of Health for All.

The Better Tomorrow Speaker Series is a joint venture of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools and UH Mānoa. Event sponsors include the UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences and the William S. Richardson School of Law.

For more information, see the Better Tomorrow Speaker Series website or email

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