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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

Circular jigsaw peices

"Fully formed circular solutions do not yet exist, but the pieces to build them do. One of the most powerful pieces of the puzzle is software that accelerates and multiplies your circular ambitions, rather than making things worse." [1]   [1]: https://www.happyporch.com/articles/posts/2021/may/enabling-circular-innovation/ ...

Data complexity

In a recent article and podcast I published I used an oft quoted stat without checking it's accuracy. The stat is that fashion is responsible for more carbon emissions each year than international flights and maritime shipping combined. It has been pointed out to me that is too simplistic and perhaps even an inaccurate comparison. There is an excellent discussion about this on ...

Circular Communities

HappyPorch has been a remote first distributed company (ie no office and meeting up twice a year at most) since we started in 2015. So we have always had ongoing conversations about the risk of isolation. Much of society relies on the office for our social interaction. That is, IMHO, a bad thing in itself - but it also takes a different kind of effort to replace when you don't ...

Shifting Baselines

The term "Shifting Baselines" can be used to describe how standards change over time. For example across generations. My father's experience of clouds of butterflies walking across the fields where he grew up, contrasts with my memories of 10s of those same butterflies. My young nephews, now living in a splendid new house on those same fields, consider it a big deal if they see ...

Scotland leading the way?

There is excitement in seeing potential. Even more it seeing that potential being realised. I've just spent 2 weeks cycling and camping in Scotland. We took our time (and 4 ferries and a bunch of 6 causeways) to cycle across all 10 islands [1]. As you would expect for Scotland (...ahem...), the sun was beating down from perfectly blue skies and it never rained. (Usually, when I ...

Break time

I'm off for two weeks holiday exploring and camping Scotland's mountains and islands! So your inbox will have a little rest - for now. In the meantime here is a nice picture of Scotland: Image from https://www.scotlandbigpicture.com ...

Death

Do you have young kids? Grand kids? Nieces/nephews? Neighbourhood kids? Here's a thing: if we continue to live and operate our businesses exactly as we do today, then the children of those children will die young in unhappy ways. After living nightmarish lives and witnessing horrendous global tragedies. That is not hyperbole. It is what 4, 5 or 6 degrees average global temperat ...

Behemoth web circularity?

One of the tangents in the discussion following my short presentation on "Digital technology & the Circular Economy" [1] was interesting. The discussion was around the role of the big players: from Facebook and Instagram to Gumtree and Ebay. I have three thoughts on this: It is important (especially for those of us in the software development world) to not jump straight to ...

Circular Glasgow short talk

Here are my notes for a short 10min talk I am doing at one of Circular Glasgow's regular networking events: What does the word digital mean for you? “Digital” for me = tools that should help and enable your business to do what you do - not another task to do or a barrier that makes things harder or (worse) prevents circularity! Some digital tools are part of the system that pus ...