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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

Lucky Goat

My father tells a story of how it used to be considered lucky to to put a goat in the same field as your horse. At first that sounds like superstitious nonsense. Then slightly more modern thinking realised that the grain of truth underlying this is the goat eats things that might make the horse sick. This sort of detail is life and death when your entire families livelihood dep ...

Open vs Closed Systems (part 4)

Previously we saw this definition of 'ecosystem': "a number of firms – competitors and complementors – that work together to create a new market and produce goods and services of value to customers" [1]. This definition is in the context of the UK 'Competitions and Markets Authority' [2]. In that context there is value in their definition. Their role is to "promote competition ...

Open vs Closed Systems (part 3)

In this mini-series I've been over-analysing parts of a 2014 UK & French joint paper "The economics of open and closed systems" [1]. The paper defines 'ecosystems' as "a number of firms – competitors and complementors – that work together to create a new market and produce goods and services of value to customers". They separate this from a 'system', which they describe as ...

Open vs Closed Systems (part 2)

A 2014 UK & French joint paper looked at the "different factors that determine the effects of open and closed systems on competition" [1]. Continuing the previous post's look at the introduction of this paper [2]: The paper continues "However, the digital economy developed large and complex systems, which often involve a vast number of firms..." From the point of view of re ...

Open vs Closed Systems (part 1)

Good Circular Economy business software must model something real in order to be useful. 'Real' in this sense may be a physical object, the movement of physical objects or business processes. It may also include less tangible, but just as real, things like business models or tracking money. There are inherit risks to modelling reality [1] and to simplifying the problem space we ...

Scotland's planning time horizon

Scotland is currently in the middle of setting out a 'Fourth National Planning Framework'. "The National Planning Framework (NPF) is a long term plan for Scotland that sets out where development and infrastructure is needed to support sustainable and inclusive growth." [1] After some 2020 delays (no shock there) they are "anticipating laying a draft in Parliament in Autumn 2021 ...

Fairphone for laptops?

Checkout this recent announcement for "the Framework Laptop" "At Framework, we believe the time has come for consumer electronics products that are designed to last. Founded in San Francisco in 2019, our mission is to empower you with great products you can easily customize, upgrade, and repair, increasing longevity and reducing e-waste in the process." [1] This is wonderfully ...

Impact at the point of action

I watched a recent webinar panel (hosted by the Bright tech for Good agency, @3sidedcube) introducing the Circular Economy and the role of technology [1]. One topic of the conversation was about 'consumer' behaviour, and the role of tech to inspire and encourage individual action. The point that stood out for me was a discussion around demonstrating the impact of an action, at ...

Do not read this

You probably shouldn't waste time reading my ramblings below. Watch this video instead [1]. Race is a social construct. There is no biological basis for the that we categorise people into "race". An excellent book on this is "Superior" by Angela Saini [2]. "The idea [of race] is so deeply ingrained that it is hard even to talk about race without seeming to accept its tenets. Th ...