The Ellen MacArthur Foundation announces IDEO as Design Partner

January 15, 2016

We are delighted to announce the signing of a new Design Partner agreement with global innovation and design firm, IDEO. Through the new partnership, IDEO, led by its London studio, will work closely with the Foundation to apply design thinking and expertise to help capture opportunities presented by the circular economy.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works through business innovation, education and analysis to accelerate the transition to a more restorative and regenerative circular economy. Achieving the shift to a circular economy requires re-imagining many aspects of our global economic system, to move away from existing linear models and associated thinking. In its work IDEO uses ‘design thinking’, a creative, human-centred approach to innovation, to transform products, services, processes and strategy. There are many opportunities to apply such an approach to tackling circular economy challenges, whether through the circular design of systems, such as new business models, or products, for example by creating standardised components.

Over the coming weeks, IDEO and the Foundation will be working together to identify specific programme areas around which initial collaboration will be developed. The agreement with IDEO is the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s second specialist partner agreement; it already works with Knowledge Partner, McKinsey & Company, which provides analytical support.

The circular economy’s system-wide implications require creativity as well as expertise in big picture design. We are delighted to be working with IDEO as the Foundation’s Design Partner, to help us turn forward-looking ideas into tangible, inspiring visions.

- Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

We feel very excited and privileged to be working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to help design the pathways to a more circular economy. IDEO's design thinking approach is itself a circular and systemic form of problem solving and will complement the Foundation's work. Design thinking has a bias towards action and solutions, which will help prototype a new design language for the circular economy.

- Tim Brown, president and CEO of IDEO

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