How we think shapes the world around us, and our ways of thinking are formed through our learning.

The transition to a circular economy requires us to transform the way we create products, services, and systems, and is dependent on how we learn and apply those learnings in the real world, as individuals, teams, and organisations.

To support learning about the circular economy, we place an emphasis on interdisciplinary, project-based and participatory approaches. Our aim is to help people understand how they can influence the complex systems around us.

Change is driven by individuals who can visualise a future they want to create. When we are motivated to apply our creativity and skills towards something that has purpose, we can truly unlock our human potential.

Jules Hayward - Learning Lead

Learning activities

Higher Education

A global network of institutions that explore, develop, and critique ideas and p...

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Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF)

The DIF is an online platform which aims to shift mindsets and inspire action to...

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Schools & Colleges

We support circular economy learning across a global community of educators...

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Schmidt MacArthur Fellowship

An international programme which focused on the circular economy, for postgradua...

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Learning Resources

For teachers and learners...

For teachers and learners...

Our teaching and learning resources are designed to challenge students to rethink the ‘take-make-dispose’ economy and develop the skill of systems thinking.

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For academics and students...

For academics and students...

These resources have been designed specifically for higher education to build knowledge and stimulate dialogue around the circular economy.

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For explorers...

For explorers...

Kumu - a map containing links to all of our educational resources. Perfect for exploring topics, areas of interest and different resource formats, for all levels.

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For viewers…

For viewers…

DIF - an online platform which aims to shift mindsets and inspire action towards a circular economy.

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For readers…

For readers…

Circulate - the source for the latest news and insight on the circular economy

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For listeners…

For listeners…

iTunes U - a collection of podcasts and courses available on our iTunes U channel

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Our approach to learning

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s network brings together organisations, learners and educators who are set up and motivated to shift mindsets and inspire learners around the world to participate in designing a regenerative and restorative future for all.

Our learning activities focus on three areas: work within formal education through our international school and university networks, business learning with our corporate partners, and informal learning offered to self directed learners seeking perspective on topics that mean something to them.

Our approach to learning

Formal learning programmes

Our formal learning programmes work within Higher Education, and Schools and Colleges around the world, to co-develop, test and share teaching and learning resources that can be used in a range of courses and contexts.

We work with our corporate and business networks to support the practical application of the circular economy framework through capacity-building tools, such as our e-learning programme that explores the topic from within specific functions and sectors.

Formal learning programmes

Informal educational work

Our informal education work involves creating, curating and sharing hundreds of materials, tools and resources which are made openly available through different channels such as the Circular Design Guide and our Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF). Design is central in the transition to a circular economy and the Circular Design Guide introduces users to circular economy concepts as well as design thinking techniques. The DIF is an annual, global event which facilitates online conversations among designers, startups, academics and economists. It explores the world’s most disruptive trends and looks at what roles we can play as innovators in systems change.

Informal educational work

Related learning events

Disruptive Innovation Festival

The Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF) is an online platform which aims to shift mindsets and inspire action towards a circular economy. It invites people to share disruptive ideas and stories on a number of themes and attracts a worldwide audience, sparking critical conversations and participation through a combination of events, broadcasts, videos, and podcasts.

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Disruptive Innovation Festival

Circular Economy Teaching and Learning: A Higher Education Workshop

The purpose of the workshop is to share experiences of integrating circular economy into higher education curricula, and stimulate conversations around innovative and disruptive frameworks for circular economy teaching and learning.

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Circular Economy Teaching and Learning: A Higher Education Workshop

Symposium

The symposium is hosted by one of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Pioneer Universities, the University of Exeter, with support from the Foundation. It represents a significant step towards establishing the circular economy as an area of academic study.

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Symposium

Circular Economy Schools & Colleges Lesson Plans

Challenge your students to rethink the 'take-make-dispose' economy and build a system that works long-term.

Exploring the Circular Economy

Lesson Plan

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Designing for a Circular Economy

Lesson Plan

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Redesigning Plastics

Lesson Plan

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Key Learning Content

Toolkit

Explore the Circular Design Guide

The guide introduces users to circular economy concepts and circular design thinking techniques

Resource

Higher Education workshop activities

Interactive resources for professional development - designed to encourage discussion, clarification, and reflection

News

New Circular Design Guide stories

Module

Explore complexity with your students

A module for developing systems thinkers through exploring why complexity matters

Speak

Apply to Speak at the 2018 DIF

The DIF team are on the look-out for entrepreneurs, designers, educators and other innovators who would like to speak

News

University of Exeter hosts first international academic symposium on the circular economy