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Circulate on Fridays: why ‘conscious consumerism is a lie’ and much more

This week’s Circulate on Fridays is rollover edition! Double the fun. Enjoy!

IDEO’s Tim Brown argues that ‘we should design businesses like circles, not straight lines’ in Quartz, explaining why the circular economy excites him as a designer, and sharing some examples of businesses innovating with a circular mindset. Tim and IDEO want to see more design thinkers emerging with this outlook, which is why they’ve collaborated with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation on the Circular Design Guide, released earlier this year. Bonus: Wharton Business School spoke with Chris Grantham, circular economy lead for IDEO earlier this month in an excellent episode of the Dollars and Change podcast.

Here’s something to play with! Loopy is ‘a tool for thinking in systems, and it is potentially a useful way of explaining parts of the complex world around us. Circulate would love to see your best models of a linear and circular economy. Tweet us @circulatenews!

Loopy can be used to make basic models of systems – but you will make something better than this.

 

If you’re easily shocked, look away now. “Conscious consumerism is a lie”, says Alden Wicker, highlighting some of the reasons why it’s so damn difficult for individuals to make a dent on the linear, take-make-dispose economy.

Futurist Alex Steffen shared a considered and thorough dissection of climate change on The Nearly Now. Even if you think you’ve heard it all before, see this as something of a ‘2017 update’, interpreting issues around renewable energy and pollution in the Trump era.

It’s time and attention that are our most limited resource, according to Hanzi Freinacht. And we recommend conserving some for Freinacht’s long read ‘How to outcompete capitalism’. It’s a reminder that ‘capital’ is much more than just money, and there are other forms of capital that influence the economy. The piece also brings readers up to speed on the big economic shifts of the past, prompting the question that if our world is changing now, what is it changing to?

Read our recent feature on urban innovation on both sides of the Atlantic. Image: © Melpomene / stock.adobe.com

By now, a lot of folks have realised that ‘green’ doesn’t mean much. Often, it’s used as a catch-all term for activities that people think might be a bit better than bad. Check out Wired’s article on city subways , for instance. Whilst some people might reduce their reliance on private transport, just building a metro service might not offer the resource and energy savings you might think. Tricky systemic problems like mobility are one reason why city planners are turning to the circular economy for new answers – check out what New York and London are up to in our recent feature.

Fab Labs and makerspaces have been at the forefront of a new type of decentralised manufacturing, turning ideas of production and consumption on their head and making use of local materials, skills and labour. One of the spaces leading the vanguard is Fab Lab Barcelona, and to celebrate a decade of action Atlas of the Future Editor Lisa Goldapple picked ‘10 projects that change everything.

Lead image: © tevalux11 / stock.adobe.com

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The Author

Joe Iles

Joe Iles

I'm Editor in Chief of Circulate and Digital Architect at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

When I'm not discussing the circular economy, I also love talking about digital media and online trends, memes, music, bad films and good beer.

You can find me on twitter @joeiles or email joe[at]circulatenews.org

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