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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

Whats half a hole?

My mum enjoys wordplay. I may have inherited that a little... Here is one of her favourites: "If it takes a man and a half a day and a half to dig a hole and a half. How long does it take to dig a hole?" This fun to say. Yet word play is more than silly fun. It is an insight into linguistics, culture and human psychology. This specific question is also an insight into one of th ...

Animated Circular Economy

I enjoyed this little (6min) explainer video: "Circular Economy: definition & examples" [1] He touches on many (though not all) of the core concepts and gives some great examples. Plus it's fun. ...

Learning style myths

Did you know that Auditory and Visual learning styles is a myth?  The myth is that we each have a dominant learning style, either visual or kinesthetic or auditory. However, all the scientific evidence points towards this just not being true. [1] [2] "Nearly all of the studies that purport to provide evidence for learning styles fail to satisfy key criteria for scientific valid ...

No panacea

Is the Circular Economy a panacea? No4. Within the Circular Economy, is the "as a service"5 model a panacea? No. With their air conditioning as a service, Kaer are championing in the world of large, fixed industrial machinery a model which is very common in software and IT. One of the interesting outcomes from this is the opportunity to closer align the goals of supplier and cu ...

Air-conditioning as a Service?

Circular Economy thinking opens opportunities to change business models. One of my favourite examples of this is Kaer1, "Air-conditioning as a Service". Large air conditioning (think shopping centres or industrial parks) involves a big capital outlay and then running and maintenance costs. This means that, if you are responsible fo a large building, you need to pay up front for ...

Just Transition

We talk about the need for a 'transition' to a Circular Economy. The Circular Economy can play an essential role in tackling climate change[1] and is an obvious path to helping to solve our waste problems. There is the potential to do more than tackle the negatives, to move to regeneration while stimulating business innovation. So, the opportunity in that transition is clear an ...

Circular Passports

The Materials Passport[1] or Resources Passport[2] is one of the core concepts behind digitisation of the physical world, in order to enable circularity. The starting point for this concept is "is a document consisting of all the materials that are included in a product ... which give them value for recovery, recycling and re-use". [1] There is much more potential to the idea t ...

Repair Cafe

The Circular Economy in action (Credit: University College London) [1] This is an important point to keep coming back to. I spend most of my time thinking about software and iOT and everything from blockchain to reverse logistics tracking. In reality one of the core parts of the circular economy is very simple: "...keeping materials in circulation...".   [1]: https://www.ucl.ac ...

It is different

One of my favourite stories of applying Circular Economy approaches when developing a business software solution is from Tom Harper at Unusual Rigging[1]. Unusual provide equipment and installation for events and theatres. They work with a huge variety of events including "the Special Olympics, touring productions of major West End and Broadway productions". And many different ...