Could a Circular Economy Change the World?
This year, I made it my New Year's resolution to adopt social media and all that it is.
Time is, of course, always the enemy. This endeavor has taken some discipline, but it’s also given me clarity of purpose and reminded me of my passion for learning.
So, there’s no turning back now; I am officially into the deep end of the pool.
And with that in mind, I’d like to promote two articles I read this weekend, one from @SteveCase about the “sharing economy," and the other from Symantec’s new CIO @stephengillett about the “circular economy”.
As I read these two (distinct) pieces, it occurred to me that they might represent a rather elegant evolution.
The “sharing economy” – which emphasizes sharing of assets over outright ownership of assets in order to reduce waste – is certainly nothing too foreign. In fact, it’s a concept we see in practice every day via companies like Case’s ZipCar.
The “circular economy” concept, however, seems to raise the stakes a bit further. In this model, re-manufacturing would eliminate the need for some waste altogether. In other words, we would be cyclically re-purchasing the same (re-manufactured) products, again and again.
That sounds great in theory, but will people really accept a shiny, new “used” product? No matter. I’m spreading the word anyway, because (as a Washingtonian) I’ve witnessed how nothing seems to change until popular sentiment (and then reactionary lawmakers) force the changes.
It reminds me of seatbelts (an overused but useful analogy). Seatbelt legislation, which remains enforced by the state, was introduced in the early 1960's, but it wasn't truly adopted until the 1970's when statistics showed how many lives were being saved, and car manufacturers were finally pressured to comply.
The point is, we all need to do our part to educate, promote, and share ideas that can positively impact the future. And this “circular economy” concept might truly be one of them.