We are working hard to make circular the new normal, but we know there's a long way to go. Many people have yet to be introduced to the concept; others are still to be convinced; and even the pioneers of the transition to a circular economy need encouragement.
By highlighting success stories and sharing knowledge, we strive to inform the uninformed, and to convince the sceptics.
"Only about a tenth of the nearly 93 billion tonnes of materials utilised annually - including minerals, metals, fossil fuels and biomass - are currently put back into service, said a report by Amsterdam-based social enterprise Circle Economy."
"Broadly, it works like this, according to a new report by the Circle Economy, an Amsterdam-based organization promoting the transition to circular economies: Rather than putting high-quality and durable products up for sale, instead companies offer them essentially on a sort-of leasing basis by which they can easily be upgraded, repaired, refurbished - and returned to the manufacturer at the end of their useful life. Circle Economy finds this approach "radically transforms customer relationships from a one-off transaction to an ongoing engagement."
In more than 60 countries
Across 5 continents
To move beyond “business-as-usual”, we need to look to the next generation of professionals in business and industry. This requires an open dialogue between those in education and those in industry, to explore themes of circularity and sustainability.
At the Beyond Next Circularity Festival, new and established minds come together to push the boundaries of what we know - and what we dare to imagine. Students brainstorm with leading industry players to design circular initiatives to tackle some of the world's biggest challenges.
Beyond Next, previously known as Beyond Green, began in 2005 under the auspices of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) as an annual symposium for students and industry. Participants from both camps teamed up to design the future of fashion, and tackle critical issues throughout the fashion system. Since 2016, the circularity festival has been a collaborative initiative between Circle Economy and AMFI. In 2019, we expanded the festival agenda to industries beyond fashion.
Frans van Houten,
CEO Philips, explained how circular principles have transformed customer relationships in the medical equipment sector: by retaining ownership, Philips
has begun to re-engineer its
entire business. As a result the company is selling benefits rather than equipment or machines.
The bestselling author of
Doughnut Economics highlighted
the importance of shifting from
the 20th-century extractive mindset - focused on extracting financial value - to a 21st-century generative mindset focused
on qualitative benefits for
people and planet.
Founder, SystemiQ. Ex-Director, Center for Business and Environment, McKinsey, reminded our audience that in business, good disruption means bringing economic growth into alignment with the resources required to sustain it.
We hosted more than 180 design thinkers, marketing specialists, CSR managers, and students of all backgrounds to tackle four challenges from our Circle Lab.
Issued by partners ABN AMRO,
HEMA, AMFI and the Municipality of Amsterdam, these challenges addressed themes of urgent importance: promoting access over ownership, the role of fashion education in the transition to a circular economy, single-use plastics, and organic waste recovery.
The challenges were first presented to a global online audience through the
Circle Lab Platform.
Crowdsourced over 400 ideas and insights
on our online platform Circle Lab around the challenge themes. 9 winners were invited to
join us in-person at Beyond Next.
Identified and clustered all submissions into
20 key areas of opportunity that where
shared open source.
Held a two-day sprint at Beyond Next,
where ideators built on previous insights to
create out-of-the-box circular solutions
to the four challenges.
Challenge partners are taking up the best proposals from Beyond Next. Every idea from the challenge sessions is openly available on Circle Labfor others to adapt, refine, and scale.