POSTPONED TO 7-9 March 2022 -Welcome to Potentials and Challenges of Circular Economy in Business and Cities

It is increasingly acknowledged that the linear 'take-make-dispose' economic model is reaching its limits, and initiatives to develop alternative economic models are emerging. Circular economy is currently getting a lot of attention as one of these models, because it promises an industrial system that is restorative by design. Both businesses and cities are developing circular economy strategies. 

However, circular economy is not without shortcomings as strategy for sustainable development. It is risky promoting a circular economy, where focus merely is on closing existing material flows through recycling and not trying to understand the dynamics of the present linear economy. It is important questioning why we produce what, challenges to closing material flows in the globalized, outsourced cheap production, and when and why products lose value to their users and become waste. 

The course introduces potentials and challenges to circular economy from a business perspective and from an urban perspective. Theoretically, the course integrates theories about life cycles, value chains, social practices, user-oriented innovation and governance. Three types of re-design processes are discussed, which are necessary to consider when developing circular economy business models within specific institutional and regulatory contexts: 1) Re-designs of products and services based on considerations about necessary changes in roles of products, users, service, infrastructure, etc. 2) Re-designing value chains both up-stream and down-stream. 3) Internal organizational redesign of the involved organizations in order to integrate environmental concerns in innovation and strategy development. 

From an urban perspective, different roles in developing and supporting circular economy initiatives are introduced: 1) Public planning, 2) Providing public infrastructures, 3) Public procurement, 4) Construction and operation of public buildings 5) Facilitating local community and business development.

Organizer: Michael Søgaard Jørgensen, and Arne Remmen,

Lecturers: Michael Søgaard Jørgensen, Arne Remmen, Julia Nussholz