Circular Economy – an introducing workshop

In april 2020 the Swedish GRUDE-team held a first (online) workshop about Circular Economy to introduce the topic. Here are some highlights that we would like to lift up and remember from the workshop.

What is Circular Economy?
Ann-Sofie Granzell, founder of the Swedish Circular Economy network CirEko (where Strukturum are members) gave us a thourough introduction to the topic. In short, Circular Economy is an economical system designed to keep resources in the loop, instead of todays linear economy where we buy-use-throw away most products. Something that was also new to some participants is the horrible fact that the average Swedish person consumes like we have 4.3 planet Earths!

Plenty of information and inspiration for you who wants to learn more can be found at Ellen MacArthur foundation, who works with educating in Circular Economy since several years. A good introduction too the topic that they have made is this short video:

Re-thinking progress by Ellen MacArthur foundation.

Circular Business Models
Depending on whom you ask they would call this five models different things but one example of the models could be described like this:
1. Prolonging the lifecycle (ie upcycling, repairing, maintenance, spare parts)
2. Product as a service (buying “light”, not a lamp or “the hole in the wall” instead of a screwdriver)
3. Renewables (to allready in production design for circularity, using renewable materials etc)
4. Optimize product performance, energy effiency etc
5. Resource efficiency (ie deliver a service that connects the user with owner or need with solution, sharing platforms etc)
Sharing Economy is also a part of Circular Economy, introducing a new (or really old?) view of ownership.

Breakout rooms
After the presentation we had discussions in breakout rooms on what we allready see as excisting circular economy related businesses and services where we live, but also what solutions we think are lacking/what we would like to see. We got some examples on allready excisting companies and NGO:s around in Norrbotten County but also a lot of wishes about a future with more circular services both from companies as well as public sector. Repairing services was frequently mentioned as something the participants would like to see more of in their local communities (both for bikes, clothing, snowmobiles etc). Circular business models was interesting to many, which we followed up with an education on the business development tool, Circular Business Model Canvas.