Making a transition is not an easy task from many different perspectives. If a person is going to go through a change it is quite likely she would ask for advice to her support network, to a professional or in desperate cases, to the crowd. Organisations that need or want to go through a transition also reach out to consultants, experts and them too, to the crowd. Transitioning towards a circular economy is a challenging process and as such it requires special skills and abilities that come through experience and training. Here I provide three key areas of study that can help the transition happen based on my own experience and curiosity.
As we know by now, design is a key element when changing our economic system and it not only applies to products, but also to processes (services) and systems. Here some examples of study programs in design that will train designers for a circular economy are.
Engineers are also key for a circular economy transition, they are the ones making the ideas developed by designers happen but they require a broader understanding of their field in order to come up with creative solutions. Programs such as Industrial Ecology aim at providing this broader perspective to students.
Although we speak of management, transitions require a different kind of direction or leadership that is not taught in regular MBA programs. Inspiration rather than manipulation, collaboration rather than competition, dialogue rather than arguments and intrinsic motivation rather than external motivation should be the result of a transitional approach to organisations. Some examples of MBA programs aiming at educating this type of leaders are:
These are examples of universities and education institutions in Europe that are providing future leaders with the skills required to transition towards a circular economy. There are many programs that are also contributing to this process as well as institutions committed to sustainability. If you have other examples please do not hesitate to share them here!