Due to the concern that achieving human wellbeing through material development is “costing the Earth,” a mental model was developed to show in a single image the aspiration of social foundations of development to be achieved and biospheric boundaries not to be crossed. Anthromes analysis, combined with the cultural imperative of maintenance of global sustainability through coordinated transformation of social metabolism and its environmental impact, makes nation states the immediately available units of sustainability modeling. In this century humans must meet their needs equitably within the biophysical means of the planet. A downscaling of planetary boundaries and social wellbeing foundations (thresholds) to
national level through calculations of the impacts and attainments of nation states’ socioeconomic activities makes the doughnut model a conceptual tool bringing sustainability closer to political a and organizational impact. To visualize the scale and the possible pathways for the transformation of national and global sociometabolic practices in the 21st century within the “degrowth doughnut” includes the boundaries and thresholds in three domains: cultural, socioeconomic, and biophysical. This way it aims to avoid the conceptually paralyzing trade-off between exclusively biophysical boundaries and exclusively social thresholds of the other doughnut models. Understanding that excesses and shortfalls of current and
foreseeable socio-metabolic practices exist in cultural, socioeconomic, and biophysical aspects of nations’ social metabolism allows us to build on nations’ sustainability potentials. The aim of the model and its visual tool is to inform their populations
about the direction and scale of the change strategies that they could adopt to contribute to the global effort of maintaining the planetary population within the safe and just operating space of the doughnut under known advantages and constraints of the 21st century.