Circular Change is taking part in an exciting new research project that begun with the formation of research group “Circular Economy Systems”. Together with the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS) and csr & communication. The leaders of the research group are former speaker at the Circular Change Conference Karin Huber-Heim, Stefan Blachfellner and Ladeja Godina Košir. Together we are going to advance the knowledge on circular economy using a systems thinking perspective. We are looking forward to notifying you about further progress.

Read the full announcement published by BCSSS bellow. The original article is available here.

In cooperation with the BCSSS and csr & communication in Vienna, the Research Group Circular Economy Systems intends to explore and advance the interdisciplinary theoretical foundations of a Circular Economy in relation to systems research as well as the various applications of a pathway towards it, advancing the current status quo of Circular Economy research and applications, e.g. reuse, recycle, upcycle and downcycle.

The concept of a Circular Economy is grounded in the study of feedback-rich non-linear systems, particularly living systems. In this eco-systems framework the research group explores how our economic systems can work like organisms, processing “nutrients” that can be fed back into cycles—on a biological or technical level. The contemporary understanding of the Circular Economy and its applications to small- and large-scale economic systems evolved integrating diverse features and contributions from a variety of concepts sharing the idea of interrelated closed loops.

A Circular Economy is a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimized by slowing, closing, and narrowing energy and material loops, to achieve business as well as national economic models that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

Kenneth Boulding‘s essay “The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth” is often referred to as one origin of the concept of the “Circular Economy”. Boulding, who co-founded the Society for General Systems Research (today: ISSS) together with Ludwig von Bertalanffy, was one of the first in 1966 who raised awareness towards an “Open Economy” with unlimited input resources and output sinks as a contrast model to a “Closed Economy” with tied resources and sinks.

At the BCSSS the research group focuses on use-inspired basic research to translate the foundations of systems science into creating further value, in environmental and societal benefits, zero waste and highly productive innovations and Next Economy growth models, to contribute to the necessary systemic shift that builds long-term resilience and future oriented opportunities.