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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

Integration and collaboration

For a successful Circular Economy we need collaboration. Not collaboration in the "evil corporations working together to avoid market regulations on completion, exploiting customers with unfair pricing and generally colluding in their dastardly master plans" kind of way. But rather collaboration on things like flow of materials (eg waste output from one organisation becoming va ...

Reverse cargo bike last mile logistics

Getting stuff around our urban environment is a big deal. Home delivery and movement of stuff between businesses is both a major problem and big business. A quick search for "last mile logistics" demonstrates just how important. It works though (at least in most rich cities). And is constantly getting more and more optimised. We do have solutions to issues of congestion and pol ...

Return mindsets

One of the cornerstones of a circular economy is a shift for "consuming" to "using". The obvious business model to implement this is rental (or "servitisation" or "product as a service" [1]). The first, purely financial, win for the business is the potential for long term recurring income. There is also great potential in the mindset switch in ownership. There is value in retai ...

Why?

Why do we do what we do? Hopefully, you'll forgive me being indulgently self reflective in this #circularwondering. Why am I writing every day? Why did I start this particular business? Why do I do what I do? The answers are, of course, many, varied and complex. And that is OK. I don't even really need to find or fully understand all the answers. I was on a sales call recently. ...

Circular Glossary

Check out this glossary full of lots of Circular Economy terminology: https://www.ceguide.org/Glossary ...

Consumer baseline shifting

I have a friend, Mark Butler, who writes very eloquently about money [1]. In a recent email he talked about how our definition of "a lot of money" changes over time and how much we have available. In his words: "We constantly consume pro-consumption messages; those messages increase our desire. As our desire increases it builds pressure to buy. We could release that pressure in ...

Language uncertainties

One of the strange things I think about is what terms we can use to describe circularity. Aside: this in one thing that led to whosayscirculareconomy.com [1]. One group of terms that come up fall under the old "environmental" category. Terms like "sustainability", "waste reduction" and "environmentally friendly". I used the word "old" above consciously. It is just annoyingly si ...

Impossible

The BBC published an article recently entitled "Why even giant ships can't solve the shipping crisis" [1] The crux of the story is that Covid impacts have really hit international supply chain shipping - such that even a small bicycle business in South Africa is struggling. The final quote really hit home for me, as something I have been thinking a lot about recently: "All of ...

Linear software is not circular

"Across the linear economy our software is optimised to maximise the one-way flow of materials. When we want to make that flow more circular, we may find that the software is completely blocking the necessary innovation and learning." [1]   [1]: https://www.happyporch.com/articles/posts/2021/may/enabling-circular-innovation/ ...