A circular economy has profound consequences for production, employment, education, money and finance but also induces a shift in public policy and taxation. The economic advantage of this model lies in designing out waste, enabling access over ownership and favouring radical resource productivity, with the prospect of rebuilding capital and resilience. The Circular Economy: A Wealth of Flows gives a stimulating overview of this emerging framework.
Since the first edition of this volume in 2015, the global economy has remained relatively subdued and the reduction of strain on resources, especially in terms of waste and carbon emissions, is certainly not yet in sight. However during the same period, the digital revolution has only accelerated, bringing in its train a myriad of opportunities to rethink the connection between people, resources and products. More than ever, the circular economy gives the direction of travel, and appears as a model for economic prosperity.
This revised volume contains one entirely new chapter, expanding on the role of digital; on how we see the world; how the economy really works and how we can act within it. The other major revision is in rewriting the final chapter, as it becomes obvious, argues the author, that current social tensions and the rise of populism mean that the evolution of an attractive economic model is no longer just a desirable development, but a matter of some urgency.
Ken Webster is Head of Innovation at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a leading organisation on the circular economy. This publication gathers contributions from Walter Stahel from the Product-Life Institute, Geneva and Jocelyn Blériot, Executive Officer at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
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