Software supports circular economy; at the same time the instruments of circular economy serve as tools for circular software development. This insight matured during a workshop. The discussion arose about the extent to which software itself can be considered circular. Up to now, I had seen digitization, Big Data and other software solutions mainly as enablers for circular economy, less as objects for the use of circular strategies themselves. In this blog I will discuss both how software supports circular economy and which analogies exist between software and circularity.
At the InnoDays, as at other hackathons, it is all about getting from an idea to a prototype in 48 hours. Companies bring their challenges and receive fresh solutions from teams of students and young innovators. Last year I was in Vienna when it was about Circular Economy. This year was the first online event in the USA, Asia and Europe about micromobility and social equity.
In the last few weeks I have been working intensively on the Economy for the common good. With every conversation I have with people from my surroundings, my conviction increases: An economy based on this way of thinking is the way forward. In order to be able to do business together, with joy and with consideration for the environment. This is exactly what distinguishes sustainability.
Since the start of proSense we have been concerned with bringing sustainable strategies to life. Many of these new ways of working and thinking mean a change for the organization. This is especially relevant for changes towards circular economy solutions. After all, the entire changeover does not happen overnight, but in several steps. Almost all areas of the company are affected and must be involved.
When we read about and deal with circular economy and circulation approaches in general, one point quickly becomes clear. A “closed loop” solution for a company that tries to recycle its own products and materials over and over again will hardly lead to success. After all, keeping the entire circular value creation under control is too much for the organisation. However, I often find that the need for intensive cooperation and collaboration with the partners within this value chain also overwhelms many companies.
Many companies are much more circular than they think. However, thinking in cycles is not common. For this reason, circular solutions are often not known within the company or are not consciously developed as a separate business model. The Circular Economy Workshop helps us to promote this thinking.
On Wednesday we held the workshop for the Circular Economy Club for the second time, this time together with the Experts Cluster Sustainable Design of Design Austria. And the mix of the group of designers, people from industry and NGOs, service providers and consultants brought many exciting insights. The aim was not only to learn about best practices, but also to deal with the various fields of circularity for concrete challenges and to discover possibilities for rethinking.