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Ellen MacArthur Foundation

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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation aims to inspire and empower the next generation to solve global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. We do this by creating learning resources focused on the circular economy - a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. The circular economy is an interdisciplinary topic with strong connections across Design & Technology, Geography, Economics, Business Studies, and the Sciences.

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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation aims to inspire and empower the next generation to solve global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. We do this by creating learning resources focused on the circular economy - a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. The circular economy is an interdisciplinary topic with strong connections across Design & Technology, Geography, Economics, Business Studies, and the Sciences.
Circular Economy Lesson 2: Exploring the Circular Economy
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Circular Economy Lesson 2: Exploring the Circular Economy

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This lesson is part of a 5-part series introducing the circular economy and systems thinking. In the last activity, your students were asked to challenge some common ‘solutions’ to environmental problems. The argument is that most problems are connected so solutions to environmental problems affect the economy, and so on. Systems thinking approach is fundamental to understanding how our economy could work for economic, societal, and environmental gain. In this activity students will be able to compare living systems with man made systems, critique our materials economy, and begin to investigate an alternative model: the circular economy. The pack includes activities involving cut-outs, a powerpoint, videos, and discussion points. Subject: Economics, Geography, Environmental Systems, Biology, Sociology, Business, Citizenship, Design Technology Age range: 12-19 Total time: 60 minutes Learning outcomes: • to compare living systems with man-made systems • to critique our materials economy • to begin to investigate an alternative model: the circular economy About the Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
The Future of Cities - Course for Secondary Schools
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The Future of Cities - Course for Secondary Schools

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The course comprises several articles outlining some of the major innovations and trends associated with modern cities, both in terms of what is happening now and what is in store for the future. We recommend working through each of the articles and videos consecutively, either as part of a learning project relating to cities, technological innovation, or to the circular economy specifically. Topics covered include: the built environment, mobility, energy, food and wastewater, digital technology, and society. About The Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Create a Circular Fashion Brand - Creative Thinking for Secondary Schools
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Create a Circular Fashion Brand - Creative Thinking for Secondary Schools

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Using this Circular Brand presentation rethink how we use precious materials and work towards creating your own circular fashion brand. Included is an introduction to the circular economy, a focus on circular fashion and finally a challenge where participants create their own circular fashion brand. About the Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
The Circular Economy in Detail
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The Circular Economy in Detail

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This learning path explores the nuances of the concept of a circular economy, including the difference between biological and technical materials, the different opportunities that exist to keep materials and products in use, and the history of the idea. Finally, the benefits of shifting from a linear to a circular economy are highlighted. About the Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About the Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Fashion and the Circular Economy
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Fashion and the Circular Economy

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This learning path explores how the principles of the circular economy can be applied to the fashion industry, beginning by covering why the fashion industry of today is not fit for purpose. Following that, it examines the vision for a new textiles economy through three focus areas that are critical to realising this vision: New business models that increase clothing use Safe and renewable inputs Solutions so used clothes are turned into new clothes About the Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About the Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Circular Economy Lesson 1: Challenging Common Conceptions
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Circular Economy Lesson 1: Challenging Common Conceptions

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This lesson is part of a 5-part series introducing the circular economy and systems thinking. Education about improving the environment often comes to familiar conclusions such as ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ but what if those conclusions have detrimental effects in other areas, such as employment, standards of living, and the economy? In other words, what if these conclusions fail to see the bigger picture? In this activity, a series of videos is used as a stimulus for classroom discussion about how environmental goals could be aligned with economic goals. There are nine videos and each is no longer than 1 minute. The videos each end with a challenge for the viewer. We suggest you watch them in advance and read the notes below so you are prepared for the discussion. Subjects: Economics, Geography, Environmental Systems, Sociology, Business, Citizenship Age range: 12-19 Total time: 60 minutes Learning outcomes: • To understand that environmental issues can be intrinsically linked to economic issues • To critique the flaws inherent in some common approaches to environmental education • To begin to investigate a different way of approaching environmental, social, and economic issues About the Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
The Surprising Thing I Learned Sailing Around The World
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The Surprising Thing I Learned Sailing Around The World

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What do you learn when you sail around the world on your own? When solo sailor Ellen MacArthur circled the globe – carrying everything she needed with her – she came back with new insight into the way the world works, as a place of interlocking cycles and finite resources, where the decisions we make today affect what’s left for tomorrow. She proposes a bold new way to see the world’s economic systems: not as linear, but as circular, where everything comes around. About The Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Dame Ellen MacArthur Shares Her Vision of a Circular Economy
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Dame Ellen MacArthur Shares Her Vision of a Circular Economy

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World record-breaking sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur has spent a lot of time on the high seas. She reveals how these experiences sparked a revelation about how to manage finite resources on our planet. In this video, hear why she’s optimistic about transitioning to a circular economy, a system where we dramatically reduce waste and pollution. About The Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Explaining The Circular Economy and How Society Can Re-Think Progress
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Explaining The Circular Economy and How Society Can Re-Think Progress

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‘Re-Thinking Progress’ explores how through a change in perspective we can re-design the way our economy works - designing products that can be ‘made to be made again’ and powering the system with renewable energy. It questions whether we can build a restorative economy through creativity and innovation. This video explains the circular economy and how society can re-think progress. About the Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Circular Economy: System Reset
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Circular Economy: System Reset

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Imagine if we created an economic system built on abundance rather than scarcity. Taking advantage of the latest digital tools, computational power, material science, biomimicry, and a somewhat older idea - the commons - this new system could have the power to transform how we live and work. System Reset is a feature-length documentary which explores this story of change in our economy. About The Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Girls Go Circular - Digital and Entrepreneurial Skills for the Circular Economy
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Girls Go Circular - Digital and Entrepreneurial Skills for the Circular Economy

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The Girls Go Circular Project aims to equip girls aged 14-18 across Europe with digital and entrepreneurial skills by 2027 through an online learning programme about the circular economy. The online learning platform developed in the framework of the project – the “Circular Learning Space” – offers students the option of choosing between different learning modules on topics like metals, plastics, sustainable fashion, or electronic devices. These modules are based on a learning-by-doing approach, transferring knowledge and skills through an interactive, challenge-based structure. About the Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About the Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Future Food Systems
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Future Food Systems

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In this video, Leontino Balbo Jr has developed an approach to organic sugar cane production with the potential to disrupt the whole agricultural sector itself. In 1986, Leontino began experimenting with “ecosystems revitalising agriculture”, a new approach that he believed could increase crop yields, reduce pest numbers, and restore natural capital, all while reducing reliance on natural resources. 29 years later, Leontino’s sugar cane farm, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has enjoyed unprecedented success with his work becoming a paragon of regenerative agriculture. About The Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Circular Economy: The Performance Economy
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Circular Economy: The Performance Economy

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Digital technologies and new business models are opening up the possibility of an economy based on the idea of stock optimisation. What if people or firms paid for the performance of goods and then handed them back when they no longer needed them? There is growing evidence that this is a smart route to take, generating positive returns for society, for the environment, and for the economy. About The Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Circular Economy: Rice Duck Farming
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Circular Economy: Rice Duck Farming

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Rice-duck farming is an eco-friendly farming system different from the intensive chemical based rice farming. In this farming system ducks are raised in the rice field which provides an opportunity to exploit the symbiotic relationship between rice and ducks for higher productivity and better net income with positive impact on ecology. This video explores “Rice Duck Farming” and how it is being piloted as an integrated farming system to challenge the problems of malnutrition. Currently it is being implemented in three different locations in Chitwan district covering approximately 1.5 hectare of land, including 30 farmers. About the Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Circular Economy: 3D Ocean Farming
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Circular Economy: 3D Ocean Farming

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How do we farm in a different way? How do we revive ecosystems through our farming methods? These are questions that Bren Smith, shellfish and seaweed farmer, asks himself. During 15 years of hard work, mistakes, and iteration, he created his business with 3D ocean farming. This video explores just what 3D ocean farming is. About The Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
The Circular Economy: A New Way to Design, Make, and Use Things
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The Circular Economy: A New Way to Design, Make, and Use Things

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This animation shows how the circular economy aims to eliminate waste, keep products in use, and regenerate nature by cycling materials. Nature never creates waste, everything is used again and again. What if we could do the same? About the Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
What is the Circular Economy?
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What is the Circular Economy?

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What will it take to transform our throwaway economy into one where waste is eliminated, resources are circulated, and nature is regenerated? The circular economy gives us the tools to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss together, while addressing important social needs. It gives us the power to grow prosperity, jobs, and resilience while cutting greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and pollution. About the Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Circular Economy: Two Cycles
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Circular Economy: Two Cycles

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The two cycles explore how both biological materials and technological materials can be designed to be reused to maximise productivity and minimise waste. Biological materials These are materials which can be safely returned to the biosphere to add value. Thus they don’t contain toxins. Technical materials Metals, polymers, alloys, etc which cannot be returned to the biosphere, but which should be designed in such a way to maximise their productivity - making use of them again and again with little or no reduction in quality. About the Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
Circular Design Guide
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Circular Design Guide

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The Circular Design Guide is a collaboration between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO, which is aimed at product and systems designers who want to understand how to design for a circular economy. The Guide contains, among other things, a selection of methods that designers could apply to their projects to support them to understand the circular economy and maximise its potential. About the Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About the Ellen MacArthur Foundation The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity.
Circular Economy: A Good Disruption
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Circular Economy: A Good Disruption

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Advances in artificial intelligence, 3D printing, biomaterials, quantum computing, and many other technologies have provided ways to disrupt the economy. A change is definitely coming to our economy, and it’s one that’s fuelled by technological development. We can now use these technologies to move away from a wasteful system to a restorative system. About The Circular Economy The circular economy is a new way to design, make, and use things within the limits of our planet. In the natural world, materials and nutrients cycle continuously, allowing the Earth’s biosphere to regenerate and for all lifeforms - humans included - to flourish. This insight lies at the heart of the circular economy. Instead of using things for a short time before throwing them away, in a circular economy everything is designed to fit within a cycle so it can be used again and again. The concept is based on three principles, driven by design, and underpinned by a transition to renewable energy: 1 - Eliminate waste and pollution 2 - Keep products and materials in use 3 - Regenerate natural systems Using these principles, we can create a system that restores biodiversity, addresses climate change, and makes the most of our planet’s limited resources. Such a system could work for the economy, society, and environment - making it a truly sustainable model for our future prosperity. About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. We work with, and aim to inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.