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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

Some days

Some days I just want to chuckle: Employer: “For this buyer’s job, we need someone who is responsible.” Applicant: “I’m the one you want. In my last procurement job, every time there was a problem, they said I was responsible.” ...

Context matters?

Recently I've been reflecting a lot about how different the role of software in the circular economy massively differs depending on context. Working on two projects over the last few months has taught me a little about circular projects across some of the African continent: Season 6 of the podcast, HappyPorch Radio has been an opportunity to speak to a small number of amazing ...

African Circular Stories

Check out these really inspiring stories of circular economy entrepreneurs in different parts of the African continent: https://stories.footprintsafrica.co/ There are so many brilliant stories here. So I picked out just one to share with you: Mr Green Africa [1] collects, converts and sells more than 140 metric tonnes of post-consumer plastic per month. One thing I like about t ...

Week 44 reflections

#circularwondering is now 44! Well, 44 weeks. Forty four weeks ago I committed to publishing, in public, every working day about the role of digital, software and technology in the circular economy. Here are my reflections on this experiment to date: I have successfully written and published something on every single working day. Not weekends and not on holidays. It always fe ...

Chainsaw analogy

One of the things I have pondered often in past #circularwonderings is unintended consequences. I think this is one of the key concepts for the system thinking approach which is needed for successful circular initiates. It is therefore even more important to consider this when we are creating the digital tools for circularity. When using a chainsaw, the correct safety equipment ...

Meta analogy

I love a good analogy. Well, actually I also enjoy over using analogies - even the bad ones. They are like scaffolding, sometimes ugly and usually temporary, but they can help give form and structure to what one is actually describing. Scaffolding comes in many different forms and is used in different ways depending on the context. I'm constantly amazed at, what looks to me lik ...

Buying is borrowing

What is "ownership"? I mean, when we buy a product, what does it mean to then "own" it? Here's an interesting thought on what "ownership" means in a linear economy: "You're basically borrowing a product on the way to landfill" [1] This quote is from the founder of a new product business attempting to make laptops more circular via rethinking the product with repairability and m ...

Circular Climate

Sometimes people are surprised when the Circular Economy is mentioned in context of addressing our looming climate change problems. Here [1] is a basic introduction to the answer. I picked out these quotes: "...the transition to renewable energy can only address 55% of emissions; the remaining 45% comes from producing..." Although the exact percentages depend on complex measure ...

Imperfection

We need to embrace imperfection. This doesn't mean we need to produce bad software. I do not mean the classic software statements like "move fast and break things" or "if you are not embarrassed by your first release you've waited too long". Rather, I mean imperfection in the results we achieve should be embraced. What seems to actually happen is something along these lines: A ...