The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's publication series A New Dynamic invites key thinkers, business leaders and academics to share their latest ideas and research on circular economy topics. From detailed analytics to big picture insights, each volume tackles a specific theme and reflects on the potential and implications of a regenerative economic framework.
The second book in the series, A New Dynamic 2: Effective systems in a circular economy, reflects on the necessity to develop a whole-system approach to re-think our economy. Eighteen authors coming from different horizons, from architecture to farming, share their methodology and provide real life case studies illustrating the application of circular economy principles and their potential.
This important book, a typical product of the values advocated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, underlines the complementary approach of a group of specialists in architecture, agriculture, business models, social engineering, energy analysis, and city planning, to help understand complex systems and make decisions about the best way to transform them to evolve in the right direction (...) The circular economy represents a path that could provide concrete solutions for the future governance of complex systems, as shown and demonstrated in this book.
Seeing the world as a machine helped fuel technological progress through the industrial revolution, as well as allowing us to understand, predict and control an ever-increasing number of variables. In contrast, contemporary science calls for a more systemic approach that is feedback-rich, interdependent and non-linear - one that lays the foundations of a 21st century enlightenment.
A New Dynamic 2: Effective systems for a circular economy brings together thought leaders who can see beyond the boundaries of their respective areas of expertise, and establish the necessary connections to re-think our current development path. This portfolio of articles, spanning a variety of fields including architecture, agriculture, design, business and engineering, provides both analytical and action-orientated insights that point towards a new regenerative framework for economic prosperity.
A must-read for anyone eager to grasp the issues of the circular economy, with a view to ultimately contributing to this transition.
Circular business opportunities for the built environment
Ellen Franconi with Brett Bridgeland and Marissa Yao
Using some of the most emblematic international case studies, including the retrofit of the Empire State Building, this chapter makes the business case for circular economy thinking applied to the built environment, whilst highlighting existing barriers.
The renewable energy transition - Insights from Germany’s Energiewende
Patrick Graichen and Markus Steigenberger
Germany’s energy transition is taking nation’s energy sector into new territories, with the ultimate aim of relying solely on renewable sources. This chapter provides an overview of the implications and challenges brought about by this paradigm shift.
Towards a regenerative food system
Martin Stuchtey and Morten Rossé
Based on numerous concrete examples, the authors describe how the circular economy approach could be applied to a global agriculture system in order to improve soil and food quality, whilst using significantly less chemical fertiliser, pesticides, energy, land and water.
Ecosystems as a unifying model for cities and industry
Combining architecture and a biomimetic lens, Pawlyn argues that if waste is seen as a nutrient or an underutilised resource, then a new economic paradigm emerges and wealth can be created by consuming fewer resources. Two case studies show how ecosystem models can be applied to produce a regenerative system.
The circular economy of soil
L. Hunter Lovins
In this chapter, Hunter Lovins re-establishes the fundamental roles of biodiversity and soil as natural capital, and advocates ways to reconcile farming systems with natural cycles within a coherent « circular economy of soil ».
Remanufacturing and The circular economy
Optimising the utilisation rates of existing products is greatly enhanced by upstream strategies such as ‘design for remanufacture’, Nabil Nasr argues. Such practices are key to moving towards a closed loop model, in which products and materials are kept at the highest quality at all times, as per circular economy principles.
Selling access over ownership, cui bono?
In developed nations, there is evidence of a shift towards embracing a new way of accessing goods and services. But is favouring use over ownership a choice, an opportunity or a necessity, asks the author?
Broader lessons from self-organising traffic lights in city transport systems
Dirk Helbing and Stefan Lämmer
How does coordinating incompatible traffic flows at road intersections help understand the effects of decision-making in complex dynamic systems ? The key point demonstrated by this urban transport case study is that understanding systems with feedback presents a more accurate way of modelling complex reality.
Challenges and capabilities for scaling up circular economy business models - A change in management perspective
Markus Zils, Phil Hawkins and Peter Hopkinson
Considering the increasing number of successful circular economy business models, the question is no longer whether the economic opportunities are there, but rather how to manage the transition from a linear to a circular model.
Cities as flows in a circular economy
Flows and interactions between economic activities can be measured with respect to information, materials, people movements, and social linkages. As these flows affect as much as they are shaped by the very structure of urban centres, what are the main factors to be considered when envisaging a transition to more circular models ?
In this chapter, one of the leading experts who worked alongside the Ellen MacArthur Foundation on the Circularity Indicators Project gives an account of the various benefits of such a tool for businesses that are shifting towards a regenerative economy.