Track 28

Circular European Economy Innovative Training Network (Circ€uit) – II. Presentation and interactive discussion on the transition to a circular economy

Moderator: Arnold Tukker, Leiden University – CML and TNO
The goal of the Circ€uit Network is to train 15 young researchers in the field of Circular Economy. For this purpose, 15 PhD projects started at Leiden University, TU Delft, Aston Business School, Cranfield University, INP Grenoble, NTNU and Linkoping University covering five main perspectives on a circularity transition. These included: Business Models, Supply Chain, Users, Design and Systemic aspects. We organise two adjacent sessions ( Track 27 and track 28), with 6 presentations reflecting project results.

Presentation 1: Innovation towards a sustainable and circular economy: An ecosystem perspective
Author: Jan Konietzko (TU Delft)
Abstract: The ecosystem as a concept has been used widely in the context of innovation for sustainability and circular economy. As a distinct and useful normative perspective, next to business models and supply chains, it can help firms drive systemic innovation. In this presentation, Jan will show why an ecosystem perspective is relevant and useful, how it emerged as a concept in the context of sustainability and circular economy, from which disciplines, and how different interpretations co-exist. He will also share examples of how an ecosystem perspective can be operationalised in practice.

Presentation 2: Circular Economy Myths
Author: Arnold Tukker (Leiden University – CML & TNO, Project leader Circ€uit
Abstract: This presentation serves as a thought provoking introduction to the panel discussion. Given ever rising material demands and waste flows, the need for making the economy more circular is obvious. However, the narrative that currently is used to win support for this transition is questionable. Several issues stand out. 50% of material use is inherently dissipative, and some 40% is used for new infrastructure. This cannot be made circular. Circularity cannot lead to eternal growth. Circularity can cut jobs. And business alone is not enough. This is not at all bad. A circular economy is more efficient with resources ánd labor – the problem is value added distribution and ensuring working time and income is distributed properly. And any game, be it baseball or soccer, is constrained by rules and has umpires to ensure it is competitive and interesting. Markets are not different only will have the desirable, circular outcomes if we manage them. The win-win, market based growth discourse that now is used to promote circular economy is illusive and must go.