Circular Economy: An Interdisciplinary Approach
The transition towards a circular economy is one of the biggest challenges in order to create a more sustainable society. This transition requires circular thinking and an interdisciplinary approach, combining socio-technical, managerial, and environmental considerations.
Right now we design products from cradle to grave: from production to consumption to waste, which is a linear model. But we should design products from cradle to cradle: in a closed loop whereby they don't become waste, but valuable resources again. And when we start thinking in circles, we might as well try to reinvent not just supply chains, but entire systems. Because that's what we have been doing with sustainability: we have been departing from the status quo, while cradle to cradle and circular pushes us to think outside the box.
In the MOOC Circular Economy: An Interdisciplinary Approach, we therefore take a systems approach to the circular economy, considering different stakeholder perspectives, their incentive structures, and their impact on circular alternatives.
Our mission: ‘To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life’. The world is changing. The population is growing fast and prosperity is increasing in many regions. Around the world, land use for food production is reaching its limits. The climate is visibly changing while fossil fuels are becoming ever scarcer. Meanwhile, people are attaching more importance to healthy, safe and sufficient food. It is this changing world that is the real specialisation of Wageningen University & Research (since 1918); the domain of healthy food and living environment.