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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

User vs Consumer?

The term 'consumer' bothers me. When we use this term we are assuming a linear product journey. With this word we are explicitly saying "our product will be consumed and then magically disappear". It is like ignoring the physical reality. Once a tablet is no longer usable, it is not 'consumed'. The physical device still exists, with most of the raw materials, energy and latent ...

Idiot’s Guide to Circular Economy

This is an excellent, short and friendly introduction the circular economy concepts. "In an effort to propel Nike’s Move to Zero transition to zero waste and zero carbon, the sportswear company has introduced Nike Refurbished." [1] [1]: https://www.monsterchildren.com/an-idiots-guide-to-circular-economy/ ...

Blurred layers

We've previously looked at 3 layers of types of software within the Sharing Economy [1]. Categorisations like this may be useful lens to understand a space, for example, in this case, we could correlate the success of layer 3 with the maturity of the space. But we can't ignore the limitations of our categorisation/model [2]. When we look at specific examples of software within ...

Greenwashing & Software Engineering

Catherine Weetman's (@Rethink_Global) recent post about greenwashing [1] makes me wonder about the role of software in greenwashing. Or circular-washing. Her article references a recent Patagonia article [2] about greenwashing in the textile and apparel industry. The article itself is a great example of not compromising integrity & focusing on the honesty and transparency n ...

Sharing Economy software layers

We have clarified our definitions of the Sharing Economy [1] and Community Economy [2]. Does that help us think about the related software? One possible way to categorise the software used in, for example, the sharing economy, is with these 3 layers: In the first layer we have projects/businesses using generic software. In this context 'generic' means 'any software not created ...

Community Economy?

Keeping with the theme of definitions: what is the "community economy"? And how does it relate to the circular economy? A good starting definition from Sharable could be "an economy made up of companies, groups, places that put the community at the center of their business strategy; by doing so, they transform markets and organizations" [1]. Two other quotes stood out to me: "C ...

What is the "Sharing Economy"?

Wikipedia says "sharing economy is a socio-economic system built around the sharing of resources. It often involves a way of purchasing goods and services that differs from the traditional business model of companies hiring employees to produce products to sell to consumers" [1]. Though perhaps a clearer definition is "the sharing economy is ... a peer-to-peer (P2P) based activ ...

Paradigm Shift (part 4)

This post is part of a short series attempting to understand Carol Sanford's [1] "Four Paradigm Framework", with the aim of applying it to the role of technology in the Circular Economy. Many ancient civilisations, including those of Aristotle in Classical Greece and Ptolemy in Roman Egypt, saw the Earth as the centre of the cosmos. In the 16th century Copernicus & Galileo ...

It's all one

"Instead of treating decarbonisation, the circular economy and digitalisation as separate objectives ... systemic and digitally enabled resource efficiency can meet Europe’s socioeconomic needs while achieving climate targets, pollution and biodiversity loss." This quote is from an interesting editorial [1] from Sandrine Dixson-Declève and Janez Potočnik. Sandrine Dixson-Declèv ...