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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

Digital 'enabler' (part 2)?

I'm exploring how to categorise, in my own words, how digital/software is a 'enabler' for the Circular Economy. So far I have: Digital as marketing: use of online media is as, or more, important for the story of a circular initiative to be understood and be a success. Digital as connector: enabling collaboration and sharing or other way to keep materials in use eg: online prod ...

Who says Circular Economy? (update)

Today I made some updates to "Who Says Circular Economy?" [1]. Including a fun pie chart ;) The next steps for this micro-research is to look at the same search in some other sectors or regions. After that I'll review and see if there is anything interesting in the data.   [1]: https://www.whosayscirculareconomy.com/ ...

Circular Investors and Accelerators

There is growing investment opportunities in circular businesses - for example: circular-investment.com (also a B Corp) [1], Closed Loop Partners [2] and Circular Economy Capital [3]. It is also interesting to see more and more accelerator-type programs to help circular innovation. For example Cambridge Uni's Institute for Sustainability Leadership has launched a 6 week acceler ...

Digital as circular 'catalyst'?

In a previous #circularwandering I attempted to split "digital as circular economy enabler" into categories. One of those was "Digital as catalyst". One definition of 'catalyst' is "a condition, event, or person that is the cause of an important change" [1]. In the previous post I described 'Digital as catalyst' as "things that you could do in circular fashion, but digital allo ...

Digital 'enabler'?

Digital is called an "enabler" in many Circular Economy contexts - including policy and governmental strategy documents. Too often this is followed by a list of buzz words - AI, blockchain, machine learning etc etc Now, these buzzwords are powerful technologies that could potentially aid a circular transition. However, we need more nuance when it comes to actually applying digi ...

Wood wide web for Circular Economy?

No that's not a typo, I do mean "wood wide web". In the last #circularwandering I reflected on one way that a Circular Economy could be "antifragile" is local networks of independent parts [1]. Aside: in this context I am using "antifragile" to mean an ability to thrive (get stronger as a system) under large changes like climate change... or pandemics. That led on to how this l ...

Anti-fragile Circular Economy?

"Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an interesting book. The reviews on Goodreads swerve from glowing 5 star to damming 1 star with little in between [1]. My opinion does the same, depending on the day! Despite, or perhaps because of, that there is a really important idea in the book  - and Taleb gives us a fun label for it too: "antifragil ...

Who Says Circular Economy?

Announcing the beta (...alpha...prototype...mockup) of "Who Says Circular Economy?"! [1] As part of my ongoing micro research project [2] I started to play around with what the step 1 outcome might look like. Would love to hear feedback on this idea!   [1]: https://www.whosayscirculareconomy.com/[2]: https://www.happyporch.com/circular-wonderings/posts/2021/july/category-hypoth ...

Magic of 'consumption'

In our current linear economy, even the language we use has assumptions built in. A 'consumer' is the end of the supply chain, because they 'consume' the product. Yet the products don't disappear at this point as if by a magic spell. That language really bothers me. It implies that once the 'consumer' has 'consumed' the product it is magically transformed into 'waste'. Now, sud ...