Circular Economy as an Opportunity for Innovation and Education
Published on: 23.06.2022
The current rate of resource consumption is not fair and equal. It impacts biodiversity and all present and future generations. Among the many possible scenarios, the circular one has emerged as a potential solution. It took significance as a strategy that tackles wrong and unsustainable economic models and their effects on the environment, climate change, waste, and pollution.
The circular economy model has gained a lot of traction. The discourse now focuses not on what will happen if the circular economy doesn’t happen. It focuses on its potential as a business opportunity. Governments and business leaders all over the world are looking into growth models other than the traditional ‘take-make-consume-waste’ approach. As long as life on another planet is not possible, they will look for a strategy for the long term. Even though there will always be people with a for-profit mindset on, a circular economy will make access to resources more equal and fairer, especially for local economies and communities.
Reading suggestion: The Difference Between Linear & Circular Economy
Circular jobs and skills
Existing labor markets are deep-seated on the ‘take-make-consume-waste’ linear model. They will have to switch to ‘the era of R’ and ‘the era of D’. The former includes processes such as reskilling, reuse, repair, and remanufacture, while the latter stands for decontaminating, deconstructing, decolorizing, etc.
The creation of the circular model will involve changes to the hay how businesses run. They will require a skilled and qualified workforce for complex processes. Moreover, new jobs will be created in all sectors and industries, especially in those that generate most of the waste and pollution namely agriculture, construction, energy, manufacturing, etc.
However, there is a gap between the skilled workers of today and what a circular economy will need in the future. So far, the COVID-19 pandemic has already planted the seed for more sustainable labor markets. They will rely on green skills for green economies, increased environmental awareness, innovation, STEM, and sustainable entrepreneurship skills.
The implementation of the circular model in the aforementioned industries could be enabled through ongoing education, training, and innovation. The ABC of an innovative mindset is to look at things from a different perspective. There’s always room for innovating what already exists. One can say that there are things that are perfectly designed and cannot be improved by innovation. For example, the spoon and fork are perfect in their function. However, from a circular point of view, there are endless possibilities for innovation in the life cycle of simple kitchen utensils and close the loop.
Of course that such skills and mindset require the inclusion of sustainability in schools, vocations education, and training programs, and of course in companies.
If you take a look around there are so many products or processes that can be improved through a more innovative approach. Anyone can start an innovative idea if there’s enough motivation and the need to make a change. Use knowledge to your advantage and if you need to learn more, take our free online training. All the content of our lessons is from Brains versus Capital.
Afterward, you can implement the acquired skills or teach them to other people that have no access to technology or internet connection. If you need to test yourself as an innovative thinker and maybe a future entrepreneur, join our Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition. Submit your innovative ideas and projects and get a taste of the entrepreneurial life. Keep in mind that with the right skills and a little creativity you can try to innovate everywhere.
Reading suggestion: Why Circular Economy Is the Future of Global Economy?