The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was established in September 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to a regenerative, circular economy. The idea of a circular economy synthesised a number existing strands of work and specifically enabled the analysis and communication of its broad economic potential. The Foundation, as part of its educational mission, worked to bring together complementary schools of thought and create a coherent framework, thus giving the concept a wide exposure and appeal.
The Foundation focuses its activities in three areas:.
The Foundation works to strengthen and communicate the ideas and opportunities around a circular economy, publishing a variety of materials (reports, case studies, educational resources…) as well as using creative and social media. It believes that focusing on designing a restorative model for the future offers a unique opportunity to engage an entire generation when fused with the ability to transfer knowledge, co-create ideas and connect people.
Relying on a network of international experts including key circular economy thinkers and leading academics, the Foundation strives to reinforce the framework’s coherence as well as continue to develop it whilst making it available to key target audiences - educational institutions, business, and the public sector.
Science, technology, engineering, maths and design (STEM) are subjects that will be at the heart of any transition to a circular economy. Equally crucial will be the development of ‘systems thinking’—the skill of understanding how individual activities interact within a bigger, interconnected world.
The Foundation has built a portfolio of stimulus resources to help develop these skills, supporting teachers and establishing a network of education delivery partners to enable scalable training and mentoring. A parallel development programme for Higher Education has been established with a focus on supporting global business, design and engineering institutions and linking them to best-practice business case studies around the world.
From its launch in September 2010, the Foundation has placed an importance on the real-world relevance of its activities. As such the Foundation believes that business innovation sits at the heart of any transition to the circular economy.
Since its launch in September 2010 the Foundation has worked together with its Founding Partners (B&Q, BT/Cisco, National Grid and Renault) to embed circular economy thinking within four sectors of the economy.
- Conducting analysis and publishing the first ever report series “Towards the Circular Economy” (ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/business/reports/) highlighting the economic rationale for the transition to a circular economy – an opportunity in excess of 2 trillion for the global economy.
- Contributing to a new European Commission Manifesto stating “the EU has no choice but to go for the transition to a resource-efficient and ultimately regenerative circular economy”.
- Providing circular economy teacher training for over 1100 secondary schools (our target is to raise this to 2,200 by September 2013). Creating over 700 circular economy educational resources, piloted with teacher subject associations. Enabling in excess of 70,000 downloads of resource packs and 300,000 education video views.
- Working collaboratively with our Founding Partners to create circular economy business programmes worth in excess of $1 billion.
- Exposing the idea of the circular economy through face to face contact at presentations, seminars and conferences to over 35,000 business, government and education leaders internationally and over 100 million through TV, radio and print media
The Transition to the Circular Economy
The first macroeconomic report series into the size of the prize for business in the transition to a circular economy
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Film clips, publications, colour graphics, presentations…raw material for a range of educational activities.