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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. Subscribe here to join my journey.

Circular Digitalisation?

Here's some confusing semantics for you:

Digitisation "is the process of converting information into a digital format" [1].

Digital transformation "is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology" [2].

Digitalisation doesn’t have a single, clear definition, but one definition is "how people interact [for example] how interactions move away from analog technologies (snail mail, telephone calls) to digital ones (email, chat, social media)" [3].

A Circular Economy project, therefore might encompass a digitisation element. For example replacing analogue inventory or asset management.

It may also include a digitalisation element, for example changing communications around how an asset is shared.

And any Circular Economy project, that has a software element, is very likely to involve digital transformation.

However, today I pose a question (without answering it): is a software enabled Circular Economy transformation project more than digital transformation?

Digital transformation will often do more than just replace one system with another within the same process. There is usually an opportunity to significantly optimise the process itself.

So, is that the same as a project that looks to introduce Circular Economy concepts? Or, is a Circular project fundamentally reinventing the process itself?