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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.

Keep the baby

It is too easy to approach circularity with the intention of doing ‘less bad’.

That is not enough.

Not enough if we want to avoid our good intentions turning into greenwashing and pointless action. And certainly not enough if we want our businesses to be successful in that future thriving economy.

Of course, high ambitions must be grounded too. Most businesses can’t set aside all their existing processes and step out into the unknown. We don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Exciting change with manageable risk happens when we pair ambitious innovation with our existing business strengths.

Circular transformation of existing processes and systems is expensive. Worse, from the point of view of streamlined existing business, it is a huge leap into the unknown. Many solutions do not exist yet and there is a complete lack of data and experience to inform decisions.

The wrong software or software wrongly applied is like a smoke machine in the fog. It will make things worse. Exploring circular opportunities becomes harder, perhaps even obscured completely.

Yet there are massive opportunities. Both commercial, business opportunities and ways to move from being part of the problem to environmental sustainability. Finding those opportunities and taking action means stepping out of the day to day context, not being limited by existing processes and tools.

We don’t have to throw out the baby either.

Creating space and resources for innovative experiments that allow business to learn may clear the fog faster than you think possible right now.

Solutions do not exist yet, but the jigsaw pieces to build circular solutions do. One of the most powerful pieces available is software that accelerates and multiplies our circular ambitions, rather than making things worse.