Circular Economy basics

At the moment we (OPAi) do quite some presentations on the Circular Economy. We do like to share some of the reactions we see and get on the issues of realisation and implementation of the Circular Economy.

Thomas Rau is well known because of his intense, creative and often unexpected vision on changes that we see. Is it about energy or resources? What can we expect to see in the near future in the economy? The development of TurnToo gives him a very good businesscase and an interesting example to see how the Circular Economy works for an entrepreneur. What happens to his public is great to observe. In some keywords:

acknowledgement: almost everybody understands that there is a resource-issue in the world;

astonishment: since not all see immediately that we do not have an energyproblem, since all were educated with the idea of an energycrisis somewhere ahead in time;

curiousity: on understanding his line of thinking that brings some major shifts in the economy: performance based transactions;

insecurity: when the audience starts to understand that he is serious about changing ownership in ‘usership’;

enthousiasm:  as soon as people see the new perspective for home, for business, for education and policies.

It results in many questions and these questions help us to  think and rethink the way we work. That is almost the most exciting of it: everyday we, at OPAi, see the impact of the approach that is the fundament of TurnToo and the Circular Economy.

Douwe Jan Joustra focusses on the systemsapproach that is the fundament of the Circular Economy. In his presentations some key-elements are basic. Douwe Jan sees three fundamental spheres that give a real understanding of the Circular Economy: ecology (symbiotic relations and closed loops), thermo-dynamics (entropy) and biology (the 3.5 blj years of innovation). This leads to the Circular Economy that has clear feedbackloops and handles the externalities. The public has a little different reactions:

accelarated learning: as the listeners start to grasp that for most of them old knowledge is coming alive. Knowledge that we gained during science classes at school, now becomes functional;

recognition: in different steps in the group: some see it instantly, others look for the real meaning;

reluctance: in accepting that we need a new perspective on the economy, sustainability and the way we have to adjust our actual systems and the difficulties that the listeners see;

change of mind: is what most listeners encounter during the examples, the circular character and the appeal to human intellect that he gives;

openess to change is what happens in the end, people start seeing the possibilities of the circular economy, the need of ‘learning by nature’ and the first ideas for changes in (own) businesscases starts.

This brings questions and discussions. We at OPAi like that. For instance: is the circular economy a self steering system? Do we need much steering by governments? Are the feedbackloops indeed so well that all (companies) will feel the consequences of their actions? We think so, but we need more and more casebased evidence to anwer these questions. The first examp[les show us that the circular economy enhances:

  • energy-efficiency;
  • product innovation;
  • cradle to cradle in companies
  • profit for the companies.

Working on the realisation of the circular economy is thrilling, creative and a strong step forward on creation of a sustainable economic system. The One Planet Architecture institute supports the change where ever we can. Want advice or support? Contact us!

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