Systemic change in the way we produce, consume and treat the environment must happen live – in our brains, our boards of directors and our parliaments. To better understand how people around the world perceive the transformation from a linear take-do-waste economy to a circular waste-reduce-rethink society, the Vienna-based nonprofit REVOLVE Circular (www.Revolve .media / Circular) and the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University (https://bit.ly/3tkzrIf) will launch #ImagineCircularity (www.Imagine-Circularity.world) on April 19, 2021 – the very first survey to understand how people around the world envision a more circular economy.
The circular economy is still a relatively new paradigm that different stakeholders understand, apply and promote in different ways. Some also criticize the concept for focusing narrowly on resource challenges and efficient use of resources while neglecting environmental and societal concerns. The first global circular economy survey titled “Imagine Circularity” will seek to understand how consumers, producers and product designers perceive the circular economy. The results should feed into policy-making processes, influence business decision-making and help change consumption patterns globally.
“Let’s be honest: the necessary transformation from a linear economy obsessed with an economic growth paradigm towards a circular and inclusive society will not happen in well-written reports, press releases or Zoom meetings”, says Sören Bauer, president of the Austrian non-profit organization REVOLVE Circular. “Fifty years after American American musician Gil Scott-Heron released ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ (https://bit.ly/3dXIdFI), a funky poem, we pay tribute to him and repeat his bold statement: You You have to understand and change your mind before you change the way you live, the way you consume and the way you move forward. Our claim that the Circular Transformation will not be broadcast live means that no one will ever be able to zoom in, MS Teams meetings or YouTube the systemic change that needs to happen in terms of consumer behavior and the way we produce and manage. the global economy. This change must happen directly – in our brains, our boards of directors and our parliaments. ”
Imagine Circularity was designed as a survey that introduces each participant to a range of basic concepts related to the circular economy and in turn improves the circular literacy of the participants. As an opinion poll, its results will provide information on the different understandings and perceptions of the topic across a wide range of stakeholders and countries. The goal is to engage one million participants from around the world to produce a cross-section of global views and understandings. Walter Vermeulen from the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development at Utrecht University in the Netherlands explains: “In our partnership with REVOLVE Circular, we provide the expertise of many years of research on sustainability and the circular economy to ensure that the global survey is methodologically sound and captures circularity holistically. In addition to a global report, we hope to be able to produce a range of country, city and industry reports, as many partners from different countries are already planning to join us in this global effort. We will also use the survey results to generate scientific evidence on how different stakeholders in various regions and industries around the world understand and perceive the circular economy on a global scale. The Copernicus Institute is the main partner of the global survey initiative which will initially be launched in English only. Until November 30, 2021, partners can join the survey initiative by translating it into their respective languages; in addition, they can extend the generic survey and adapt it to a culturally appropriate version for their respective country.
Jocelyne Landry Tsonang from the management team of the African circular economy network ACEN (www.ACEN.africa) declares: “We are very interested in joining this global initiative to find out how Africans envision a circular economy. Our experience shows that there are five main challenges and obstacles to a more circular Africa. First, there is the lack of institutional capacity and a good understanding of the concept, as many decision makers simply have not yet grasped the various benefits and scope of circularity for the continent. Add to this the misconception that a circular economy is the same as waste management and recycling which is only the last resort: circularity begins with the design of ‘waste’, commonly referred to as ‘waste’. “ circular design ”. Another major concern is regulatory frameworks: in Africa, they do not exist or are often counterproductive. It will be a major challenge to establish a “pro-circularity regulation” in Cameroon, and even less on the continent as a whole “, says the entrepreneur based in Cameroon. Finally, there is the need and opportunity to integrate circular economy education into curricula and put it into practice in schools and campuses, which would allow the younger generation to work for a better education. Circular Africa.
Circular economy for dummies
Imagine Circularity is just one of many efforts around the world to educate citizens, policy makers, corporate decision makers, and others about the opportunities, benefits, and need for a different business model. In the United States of America, Kyle J. Ritchie and Eric Corey Freed have now co-authored the book “Circular Economy for Dummies” (www.CircularEconomyforDummies.com) which will be available from April 27th. “It is important to recognize what I consider to be a fairly simple truth: we cannot rely on individuals to adopt good purchasing practices and change their purchasing. behaviour without the appropriate incentive in place. This does not mean that humans are inherently evil and selfish; I’m just saying that if we could just rely on the individuals of this world to shape a better future, we still wouldn’t be using styrofoam to keep our $ 1 coffee warm, even though we know how bad it is. is detrimental as a material ‘, says Kyle J. Ritchie who is also responsible for sustainable education design at CannonDesign. “From this platform of understanding, we can accept that the structures of our society must change to inspire individuals to make better decisions and to support circular management of products and materials. Only political and business leaders have the potential to adjust the transition from linear to circular by offering incentives to the individual. By accepting this, we then need to educate our political and corporate leaders on how to properly implement and deploy these incentives in a way that does not overly disrupt the current structures in place.
Partners from all over the world invited to join
All interested parties are now invited to join REVOLVE Circular and the Copernicus Institute to present the Global Opinion Poll to their university, city, country or industry. In Italy, Chile and India, several circular economy organizations are already starting to join forces to co-create their respective national versions of the survey. Imagine Circularity will go live on April 19; the early bird registration deadline is May 14, followed by the final deadline of November 30. Throughout 2021, the original English version will be extended to versions in several other languages such as German, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish and others, and the survey will end on January 15. 2021. A global report and several reports by country and by sector are planned for March 2022.
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