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Circular Wonderings

Hi, I’m Barry. I founded HappyPorch in 2015 and I’m excited about the Circular Economy.

I believe that we (me, you, HappyPorch and society in general) need to do more than react to climate change and loss of biodiversity and all the other issues caused by our waste. Rather, we need to find ways to solve those issues AND improve life on our planet. There is a chance that, with Circular Economy approaches, we can contribute to these regenerative solutions.

Circular Wonderings is an exploration of the role of digital, software and technology in the Circular Economy. Exploration is the key word here. I write regularly, reflecting on my current thoughts and research. Expect typos, incomplete thoughts, varied rambling topics and (hopefully) a journey towards clearer understanding and insight.

This is a long and difficult journey! But it is, I think, a road worth travelling.

To join me on this journey subscribe to receive daily (yes daily!) emails. I'd love to hear your thoughts or feedback, just subscribe and reply to any email.

Archive

Fixing sewing machines

I've been thinking a lot recently about circular principles embedded in places where no-one is explicitly thinking about the Circular Economy. For example, near me there is a fun little shop called "Fabric Revolution": Their website says: "Whether you sew for a hobby or professionally we have all the essentials for you from trimmings, zips, buttons and sewing needles for machi ...

What Circular Supply chains are "rare"

In June this article was published in the Harvard Business Review: "Circular Supply Chains Are More Sustainable. Why Are They So Rare?" [1]. There are some great points, especially form an introductory point of view, on circular supply chains in the article. However, I come away with a (now familiar) feeling of missing opportunity. The first part of the article seems to be maki ...

Category hypothesis: research into 3rd sector circularity (part 7)

For today's tiny step on my mini-research project [1] I continued exploring ways to show the data. Here is the beginnings of a sortable/filterable table [2] of the sites that use the term "Circular Economy".   [1]: https://www.happyporch.com/circular-wonderings/posts/2021/july/category-hypothesis-research-into-3rd-sector-circularity-part-5/[2]: https://cemicroresearch.z33.web.c ...

Problem as Opportunity in Africa?

In the last #circularwondering I talked about 'problem as opportunity' and the importance of context in a regenerative paradigm [1]. This has been top of mind recently for two reasons: First, we launched the new season of HappyPorchRadio [2]. This season is an exploration of the Circular Economy in the African continent. In the first episode Emily and I talk to Footprints Afric ...

Problem as Regenerative Opportunity

One of the most interesting outcomes of viewing the Circular Economy through a regenerative paradigm, is the quality of the opportunities that present themselves. "Quality" is an interesting word for me to use here, because it is both context specific and subjective. Quality control of a product is different to my quality of life and regardless of how I measure either, your exp ...

What's in a name?

As part of me #circularwonderings journey I am doing a micro research project into how the term "Circular Economy" is used on websites (starting with Scottish Charity websites [1] ). But why? Part of the hypothesis is that names matter. The labels we give things affect how we view them and therefore what action they result in. I am moving away from a personal philosophy of "do ...

Interdisciplinarity

Recently I was reading about large scale rewilding in the artic tundra as a tool for climate change adaption & mitigation. Fascinating. One little bit jumped out at me: the author was arguing that rewilding (by his definition) is an interdisciplinary field. To be successful it needs to combine ecology, sociology, history, geography, engineering and much, much more together. ...

It's two words

I enjoyed this discussion of Circular Economy metrics [1] with James Goddin [2] on Katie Whalen's excellent podcast - including a discussion of reuse & multiple lifetimes when measuring material impacts. One part that I enjoyed in particular was when Katie asked: what one question do you keep getting asked that you wish you could answer once and forever? The response is a g ...

Category hypothesis: research into 3rd sector circularity (part 6)

For today's tiny step on my mini-research project [1] I took a small foray into how the data might be visualised. To start I mapped all the charities (headquarters) whose website mentions "Circular Economy": [1]: https://www.happyporch.com/circular-wonderings/posts/2021/july/category-hypothesis-research-into-3rd-sector-circularity-part-5/ ...