Vir: časopis EUROPA INFO – APRIL 2018
MSc Ladeja Godina Košir, Founder & Executive Director, Circular Change
CIRCULAR CHANGE BASED ON A CIRCULAR ECONOMY, EMPOWERED BY CIRCULAR CULTURE
We are the people we have been waiting for
The world’s population is growing and resource use is increasing. We, as human beings, would like to survive. Beyond that want to live a quality life. It is apparent that the existing model of production and consumption doesn’t work. " As Albert Einstein once said, ”We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." It’s time to rethink our business models and welfare society based on the principles of the circular economy. Our current linear approach, where we extract raw materials, produce, consume and throw away, shall be replaced with a new, circular economic model, an economy in which we keep products and materials in circulation, utilizing their value for as long as possible. We must identify the drivers and pressures causing the primary problems and address them with appropriate responses. This requires a complete paradigm shift. It is on us to make change happen.
STEP 1: AWARNESS - Circular Economy as an opportunity
No one wants to change. Our first challenge – how to make people aware of the benefits of a circular economy? The Circular Economy Package was first presented by the European Commission in June 2014 and, in a revised version, finally adopted in December 2015. The Commission estimates that with this package businesses can save up to 600 billion EUR and that more than 580,000 new jobs can be created. For this purpose, the EU is giving out more than 650 million EUR from the Horizon 2020 programme and 5.5 billion EUR from the Cohesion Fund. Each of us plays an important role in this circular transition – let’s talk about it!
STEP 2: INSPIRATION - Circular Economy as a priority of the highest authorities
The ambition of Slovenia is to become a “Green reference country in digital Europe”. What does this mean in practice? Digitalisation should be used to enable the transition from linear to circular – in businesses, in education, in local communities, and on the national and international level. Without a top-down approach led by the government, existing good practices cannot get all the needed support and appropriate regulatory framework to raise their impact. The Prime Minister should be the first voice of the national “circular movement”.
STEP 3: COLLABORATION - Circular Economy as our shared goal
Mapping existing circular activities and projects, encouraging various interests to be shared and moderating the dialogue among stakeholders are all actions that make bottom-up activities visible and linked with the top-down approach. It is of great importance to break the silence –on the government side as well as the business side. Encouraging innovation and co-creation, the development of new value chains, the exchange of knowledge, sharing of “failures” and exploration of non-existing models will lead to the rethinking of values, and to a new mindset. Circular culture is emerging.
STEP 4: NETWORKING - Circular Economy as our common denominator
Slovenia is already recognised as the bridge between most circular European countries like the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark, and Central Eastern Europe, and as a leader of the circular transition. The international platform Circular Change is playing a significant role in this process. In collaboration with The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, The World Economic Forum, The European Circular Economy Stakeholders Platform, Circle Economy, SITRA, Circular Economy Club, Circular Valley and many other international circular frontrunners, the “testing playground” for circular solutions is growing, offering Slovenian circular pioneers opportunities to scale up their ideas, projects and businesses.
STEP 5: IMPLEMENTATION – Circular Economy in action
Due to the complexity and scale of existing global challenges, a space is needed that allows actors with responsibility for those environmental governance mechanisms to be able to consider and experiment with both new forms of collaboration, and more “systemic” approaches. Multi-stakeholder cooperation, more agile governance (including cities, states and provinces), the use of new technologies, and increased accountability and transparency is necessary. In Slovenia, the circular economy is included in all key strategic documents that envision the development of the nation; in the Smart Specialisation Programme, as well as in Vision 2050 and the Development Strategy 2030, which try to address the question of how to ensure a high quality of life for everyone. Circular Change, which leads a consortium of co-authors, is tasked with designing the Circular Economy Roadmap of Slovenia. This document will outline the pathway to transitioning to a circular economy, and has already engaged around 3,000 different stakeholders.
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