A New Dynamic 2: Effective Systems in a Circular Economy

A New Dynamic 2: Effective Systems in a Circular Economy

A New Dynamic 2: Effective Systems in a Circular Economy

Editor and publisher: The Ellen MacArthurt Foundation

Price: £24

To further its aim of accelerating the transition to a circular economy,
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation
has launched a practical approach
to sustainability, which stresses the importance of ‘systems thinking’ over the traditional, linear method of decision making.

A New Dynamic 2: Effective Systems in a Circular Economy claims traditional thinking is insufficient for predicting outcomes in a ‘complex and evolving world’. It states that for profound transformation, we have to change our view of the world, and the authors seek to do just that with 11 chapters providing new perspectives on how to increase circularity.

Written by 18 specialists across a whole range of fields, from architecture and agriculture to energy analysis and city planning, the chapters highlight the ‘sophistication and hyper-connectivity’ of everyday systems and in doing so make it clear why systems thinking is important.

This article was taken from Issue 84

The concept of systems thinking is introduced using a number of scientific metaphors, which
work well to communicate the bigger picture. The industrial system is described as an ecosystem with a ‘flow of materials, energy and information through nodes, links and networks’ and the application of the systems thinking approach to industry as ‘industrial ecology’.

This ecological theme is continued by Michael Pawlyn, who describes how ecosystem models can be used to design systems or applied to existing businesses, and also by L. Hunter Lovins, who views biodiversity and soil as ‘natural capital’ that, if looked after, can help increase carbon capture, create jobs and stabilise weather patterns.

The book does indeed look at the bigger picture by examining flows within whole cities, not just businesses, in ‘Cities as flows in a circular economy’, and even gives insights into the transformation of an entire country’s energy sector in Patrick Graichen and Markus Steigenberger’s chapter on Germany’s Energiewende.

Methodologies, case studies and business opportunities to capture circular value are all provided to give the reader a good grasp of topics such as circularity indicators, sharing platforms and remanufacture. A New Dynamic 2: Effective Systems in a Circular Economy urges the reader to consider ‘the entire spectrum of issues’, including technology, policy, finance and business relationships, as equally important for the production of a successful circular economy.