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  • Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I'm Rob.

  • And I'm Georgina.

  • In this programme we're looking for utopia.

  • You mean a perfect world – a place where everyone lives

  • together in harmony. Does that kind of place exist, Rob?

  • Umm probably not, but it's something we aspire to create

  • a happy place where everyone is cared for and nobody goes without.

  • Well let me know if you find it, and I'll head there straight away.

  • Well, one place that is trying to be like that is the Dutch city of Amsterdam.

  • We're going to be finding out what they're doing with the help

  • of some doughnuts!

  • But first, Georgina, I have a perfect question for you!

  • According to the 2020 United Nations World Happiness Report,

  • which country is the world's happiest? Is it

  • a) Finland? b) Singapore?, or, c) Austria?

  • That's tricky, but I imagine that - if only for the scenery - it's a) Finland.

  • OK, Georgina, I'll tell you if you are right or wrong later on.

  • Anyway, let's get back to Amsterdam – a city that's doing its best

  • to use creative ideas to be sustainable.

  • That's right, and it's using the concept of a ring doughnut

  • to use as a model for its sustainability.

  • Economist Kate Raworth, who we will hear from shortly,

  • describes this as “a picture of 21st Century prosperity for humanity.”

  • Now thinking of this 'ring doughnut' -

  • the idea is not to leave anyone in the hole in the middle

  • falling short on the essentials of life - but at the same time

  • not going beyond the outer ring, because there we put so much

  • pressure on our planetary home it can cause climate change.

  • So, here is Kate Raworth speaking on the BBC World Service programme,

  • People Fixing the World, talking about how Amsterdam

  • is trying to fit into this 'doughnut' approach

  • Amsterdam has started with a goal of saying we want to be a

  • thriving, inclusive, regenerative city for all residents

  • while respecting planetary boundaries - that's like saying we want our

  • city to live in the doughnut.

  • And that changes how you build - you don't bring in

  • more new raw materials from across the other side of the world -

  • you say, right, how do we re-use the construction materials that are

  • already in our city to build new buildings? […]

  • How do we change the way that people travel?

  • Start asking very different questions from the

  • outdated economic mindset that they were taught before.

  • Interesting stuff from Kate Raworth there.

  • The people of Amsterdam are trying to live within the doughnut!

  • Their aim is to live and look after each other without harming the planet.

  • It's a big aimbut they want their city to be thriving

  • so growing and being successful.

  • And it wants to be inclusiveincluding everyone and treating them equally.

  • This is beginning to sound like utopia, Rob!

  • To achieve this, Kate talked about using locally-sourced materials

  • for building and thinking about how people travel around

  • basically making it a sustainable city.

  • It's about people thinking differently and not doing things in the same way

  • they've always been done.

  • It involves changing the way people think, or their mindset.

  • Another idea from the Netherlands that fits the doughnut model

  • is the making of recycled jeans.

  • The People Fixing the World programme visited a company where old

  • jeans were mixed with new organic cotton to make new ones.

  • The new ones might not be affordable for everyone,

  • but they do reduce cotton production and the use of chemicals and water.

  • The process creates jobs too.

  • Well, let's hear from Bert van Son, CEO of Mud Jeans.

  • Listen to why he tries to work within the doughnut model

  • If you take the doughnut economy and you see the insides of the circles -

  • if you break that boundary, mistreat people, and you have

  • people making your jeans but they don't have any social security, or any

  • liberty, or any medical care, those kind of things,

  • you will never be able to make nice jeans -

  • it has to become human again, making clothing.

  • Bert van Son sees the benefit of the doughnut economy

  • by treating people fairly and with respectthe opposite is to mistreat.

  • He thinks they should have things such as social security

  • a payment system by governments that helps people live a reasonable life.

  • And he says you can't make 'nice' jeans without being human

  • he doesn't just mean being a person, but being someone with compassion,

  • feelings and respect for others.

  • Umm, all this from a doughnut!

  • Hopefully this will lead to a happier city and country.

  • But for now, what is the happiest country in the world, Georgina?

  • Yes, you asked me earlier, according to the 2020 United Nations

  • World Happiness Report, which country has been named the world's happiest?

  • And I said Finland. Come on, make me happy and tell me I am right!

  • Well happily, you are correct. Well done.

  • Finland is top of the list for the third year in a row,

  • with Denmark coming in second.

  • But before you head off there, we need to recap some of the

  • vocabulary we've discussed today.

  • Of course. We've been discussing utopia -

  • a perfect place where everyone lives together in harmony.

  • Thriving describes something that is growing and successful.

  • And inclusive means including everyone and treating them equally.

  • We also mentioned mindset.

  • That describes the fixed thoughts and attitudes someone has.

  • To mistreat someone is to treat them badly or cruelly.

  • And social security is a payment system by

  • governments that helps people live a reasonable life.

  • OK, well that's all for this programme.

  • We'll see you again soon for more trending topics

  • and vocabulary here at 6 Minute English. Bye for now!

  • Bye!

Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I'm Rob.

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Looking for utopia - 6 Minute English

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/04
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