Circulate on Fridays: Valuing Ocean Capital, Sharing Economy Defined and more…
Every Friday, Circulate rounds up a collection of interesting circular economy related stories and articles from the week. Today, we’re looking at an article that highlights the importance and value of the ocean economy, a piece highlighting an innovative new method for extending mobile phone battery life, a picture story on Fast Co-Exist by Rachel Botsman explaining the difference between collaborative consumption and sharing economy and more…
Google’s driverless cars are on the streets, drones are delivering packages for Amazon and it feels like the age of robots and an era of ‘ubiquitous connectivity’ might be closing in. Marc Ambasna-Jones deals with those opportunities and challenges in an article for the Guardian in the context of employment. He suggests that jobs will look significantly different in the future and asks some interesting questions about the best ways in which new technologies can be utilised to provide maximum benefit for all.
There’s been a lot of discussion about the importance of preserving oceans from a conservation perspective, but an article for National Geographic discusses efforts to “map ocean wealth” and better value ocean natural capital in terms of the livelihoods, economics and food security that is supported by fish habitats. Accounting for the value of natural capital is an important principle for the circular economy. In the article, Mark Spalding discusses the importance of integrating the value of oceans into the global economy from a monetary perspective, he highlights a number of examples, for instance:
“Communities can save $85,000 per hectare in coastal defense every year by building oyster reefs that also, by the way, churn out valuable fish and clean their water.”
The language around what the sharing economy, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy are and the differences between the different terms has been causing significant confusion. Fast Co-Exist has posted a clearly set out definition and examples of what does and doesn’t come under those terms, written by one of the field’s leading thinkers Rachel Botsman.
For people fed up with their mobile phones needing constant charging, a solution may soon be available. Researchers at Ohio State University are developing technology that could harness radio signals to extend mobile battery life. Find out more in Mark Huffman’s article written for Consumer Affairs. With dwindling battery life a common cause for phone disposal, innovation around the lifespan and longevity of these components will be crucial in extending product use and transitioning towards a circular economy.