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IDEO and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation released the first design thinking guide for the circular economy in January 2017. Created to drive awareness of the circular economy, the practical guide encourages innovators, entrepreneurs and corporate change-makers to ask new questions about value creation and long-term business health, and apply circular principles to their own organisations.

The Circular Design Guide taps into an emerging business appetite for a restorative and regenerative approach that delivers sustained prosperity; an alternative to the increasing costs and risks associated with a 'take, make, dispose' linear economy. Such risks include price volatility, resource supply constraints and increased regulation. Organisations can also apply the methods in the guide to seize the opportunities of a connected citizen and digitised economy.

Though design is central in the transition to the circular economy, the shift is complex and cannot be achieved with traditional design methods alone. The Circular Design Guide delivers a new approach, introducing users to circular economy concepts as well as design thinking techniques updated for this new economic framework. It comprises 24 methods, as well as video interviews with designers, worksheets, case studies, and links to helpful technical tools.

Design is integral in the shift to the circular economy. There’s only so much we can do with products, services and systems based on the ‘take, make, dispose’ model. By re-thinking and re-designing, we can accelerate the transition to a new model that doesn’t just ’eke out resources a bit longer', but is restorative and regenerative by design. It’s a new driver for innovation, and across our Global Partners, CE100 network, New Plastics Economy initiative and beyond we’re seeing organisations eager to embrace this new vision. With the Circular Design Guide, it’s easier than ever to get started.

Courtesy, Ellen MacArthur, Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

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