The course introduces potentials and challenges to circular economy from a business perspective, an urban perspective, and a societal perspective. Theoretically, the course integrates theories about life cycles, value chains, social practices, user-oriented innovation and governance.

The linear 'take-make-dispose' economic model is reaching its limits, and initiatives to develop alternative business models, models for urban development, and societal models are emerging. Circular economy is getting a lot of attention as one of these models. 

However, the concept of circular economy is not without shortcomings as strategy for sustainable development. Currently, focus is too much on closing existing material flows through recycling, without trying to understand the dynamics of the present linear economy and questioning why we produce what, and why products become obsolete, and how products’ lifetime could become longer.

Three types of re-design processes, which are necessary to consider when developing circular economy business models based on prolonged product lifetime and sharing economy, are discussed: 1) Re-designing products and services with changes in the roles of products, users, service, infrastructure, etc. 2) Re-designing value chains both up-stream and down-stream. 3) Internal redesigning of the involved businesses 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.

From a societal perspective, the acceleration society and its self-enforcing acceleration cycle based on technological acceleration, accelerated social changes and increased life speed are introduced as theory for the linear economy. Focus on social aspects of product obsolescence, on sufficiency, and on more synchronization between innovation and democracy are discussed as elements in transition towards a more environmentally, socially and economic sustainable society.

The course is evaluated through active participation, a presentation of own research during the PhD course and an assignment written after the PhD course.

Organizers: Michael Søgaard Jørgensen and Arne Remmen

Lecturers: Michael Søgaard Jørgensen, Arne Remmen, Monia Niero, Julia Nussholz

ECTS: 5.0

Time: March 7 - 9, 2022.

Place: TBA

Number of seats: 30

Deadline: February 28, 2022

Important information concerning PhD courses:
We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 3.000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately four months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year.
We look forward to your registrations.