As the Ellen MacArthur Foundation crew headed to Davos they had at least two reasons to be cheerful; Unilever joining the foundation’s ranks of enlightened major players and the publication of their latest MBA textbook, ‘A New Dynamic’.
The Circular Economy concept has been well rehearsed – notably in brilliantly animated productions for schools – and this new book is very much directed at graduates and business strategists. It not only gives a thorough grounding in the concept’s gestation – how economies must move on from the wastefulness of outmoded ‘linear’ models – but also maps the scale of new sustainable opportunities. This goes way beyond conventional recycling – it heralds both an entirely new way of designing products and the ways that these products (or the use of them) will be delivered to future consumers.
Converting the radical Circular Economy concepts into reality is a long term challenge that will increasingly be addressed by the enterprise managers of tomorrow. Volatility in raw material and energy prices is just one of the drivers behind the shift from Ownership to Access and shifts in design to enable ‘things that are made to be made again’.
In ‘Booms and Boomerangs‘ we review ‘A new Dynamic’ in the context of Irene Ng’s ‘Value & Worth’ and John Kay’s recent RSA Journal essay ‘Circular Thinking’.