Circle Economy and eBay launch circular economy crowdsourcing platform

Dutch social enterprise Circle Economy has teamed up with the eBay Foundation to launch a new online crowdsourcing platform to pull together new circular solutions to global challenges.

Launched today (19 March) in Glasgow, Circle Lab hopes to bring together an international community of circular economy experts, entrepreneurs, businesses, citizens, cities and governments to encourage circular ideas in response to global challenges. Through collaboration, Circle Lab wants to bring these ideas to fruition, furthering the transition to a circular economy in which value within an economic system is created again and again while respecting the planet’s ecological boundaries.

It is hoped through the harnessing of the power of the crowd in a collaborative environment and sharing expertise, circular solutions can be accelerated and the best will have access to support from local incubators to ensure they see the light of day.Circle Economy and eBay launch circular economy crowdsourcing platform

The sourcing of circular solutions is all the more pressing since Circle Economy revealed in its Global Circularity Report that only 9.1 per cent of the world is circular, meaning some 90 per cent of the world’s raw materials do not find their way back into the economy once used.

The first challenge was issued at the Circle Hub launch today and will be hosted by Circular Glasgow, a circular economy initiative run by the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland, Scottish Event Campus, the Glasgow Convention Bureau and the Major Events team at Glasgow Life. The challenge will run from 19-28 March and will focus on how small to medium-sized businesses can improve the legacy of major city events and conferences and prolong the positive impacts that come with hosting such events.

The new online platform will also feature a Knowledge Hub that will bring together over 750 circular business case studies showing how Circle Economy has helped businesses, cities and entire regions refine and realise their circular ambitions. Following its launch in August 2017 – after the market validation phase of Circle Lab saw 14,000 people source reverse logistics solutions for the mobile phone industry – the Knowledge Hub has brought together nearly 2,000 individuals passionate about the circular economy.

Commenting on the launch, Harald Friedl, CEO of Circle Economy, said: “Circle Lab is an ideation platform that leverages and combines the power of crowdsourcing with circular economy expertise, in an open access environment, to create circular solutions. If you are a problem solver, circular enthusiast, policy maker or finance specialist - Circle Lab is the place to make a real impact.

"The launch of the Knowledge Hub and results of the market validation showed us that there is a high demand for a global community to engage and co-create circular solutions. The addition of a challenge environment is the next step.”

Amy Millington, President of Circle Lab collaborator the eBay Foundation, which was set up to extend eBay’s influence beyond its online marketplace and further the circular economy, added: “eBay has been at the heart of the circular economy since its founding over 20 years ago. The eBay Foundation believes that by using the power of technology to bring people together, the circular economy can help fuel the future of commerce. We are proud to support Circle Lab, a platform that accelerates creative problem-solving and entrepreneurial action towards a more circular economy.”

You can find out more about Circle Lab and its live challenges on its dedicated website.

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