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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

Technically correct

It is technically correct to refer to numbers in the past tense. SMBC Cartoon [1] This made me laugh. And then cry a little. I feel that engineers and software developers are too often interested in being technically correct - than they are in being useful in the world. That is, of course, a generalisation. And all generalisations are bad. But if it was less of a generalisatio ...

Zero Waste Hierarchy (part 2)

Today I'm continuing the theme of going back to basics by looking at the Zero Waste Hierarchy [1]. Image from zwia.org [2] At the top of the hierarchy [3] is "Rethink / Redesign" this is the most powerful level, but is not enough on it's own. EG: designing a "recyclable" material or product does not mean actually recycled. The perfect product (eg recycled, repairable, modular w ...

Digital elephant in the room

We talk about how digital and software is a key enabler for the circular economy. But the elephant in that conversation is that digital and all the related stuff is a part of the problem. And a growing part. The internet uses more electricity than most countries and amount of e-waste we produce is monumental and growing at an alarming rate. So, we are long overdue for actions s ...

22 weeks celebration

Today I indulge in a mini-celebration for #circularwonderings - exactly 22 weeks ago I started a challenge of writing, in public, every working day. At the start I wrote "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 researc ...

Zero Waste Hierarchy

For an upcoming presentation I needed to explain the Circular Economy. Turns out I still struggle to give a clear, simple explanation - partly because I want to talk about the exciting implications and opportunities without hiding nuance and complications. It is a useful reminder for me to come back to the basics. And that it is possible to do that without ignoring all the thin ...

Consequence Scanning

DotEveryone have an excellent Agile practice to try and understand and mitigate more of the negative consequences of the software products we build. They call it #ConsequenceScanning [1]. It's brilliant. I talk a lot about the risk of negative unintended consequences [2] and the importance of being thinking in systems and connecting the development process to underlying values. ...

Sigh

Sri Lanka is facing one of the worst environmental disasters in its history after tons of plastic pellets have washed ashore near its capital devastating kilometers of pristine beaches and threatening marine life. [1] The huge scale of this one disaster seems to undermine individual action completely. Reducing the single use plastic I use is barely a tiny dent in this one spill ...

Non-Profit Sustainability

The non profit sector is way ahead of the game when it comes to circularity [1]. At the same time, the sector has only just begun to explore the opportunities [2] to use the Circular Economy mindset to build partnerships, further missions and increase impact. On top of all that, circular economy thinking can help charities and social enterprises reach their own climate and sust ...

Non-Profit Leveraging CE

The Circular Economy is not, and does not claim to be "new". It is a continuation, or a coming together off many different elements. The Circular Economy grew around concepts like Natural Capital [1], Industrial Ecology [2] and Cradle to Cradle [3]. In many ways the term Circular Economy is in the ascendancy - it's getting a lot of attention. This includes within the 'mainstrea ...