Materials Circle



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Materials Theme


Shifting the paradigm from a linear to a nonlinear circular materials economy


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Discussion


Join the discussion on the circular economy in our Slack workspace.fusion-builder-column-37 .hover-type-liftup:before{border-radius:4px 4px 4px 4px;;}



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Members


See all individual and organizational members of this circle.fusion-builder-column-38 .hover-type-liftup:before{border-radius:4px 4px 4px 4px;;}



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Organizors


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The Linear Economy

The basic materials sector is a category of companies engaged in the discovery, development and processing of raw materials. These raw materials provide basic physical structure, they are the building blocks of manufacturing and construction of all kind. Today’s industrial age set of solutions for the extraction and provision of basic materials within a linear model is increasingly reaching its limits of operation, due to on the one hand the rapid expansion of the global middle class of consumers and on the other a finite limit of available resources. We currently extract an equivalent of 1.5 planets’ worth of resources every year including forests, land, metals, and minerals, while generating a vast amount of waste product. Following the current trajectory, it is estimated that we may need more than two planets’ worth of materials by 2050. We need a new model, one that is no longer linear.

New Approach

Achieving an effective circular economy means aligning the incentives of businesses, end-user needs and the environment, requiring a radical realignment of incentives and business models. Business models need to shift from selling materials as products to becoming networked platforms for the delivery of materials as a service facilitating the recycling and exchange of resources between users. Companies can leverage information technology to create two sided markets that enable the effective exchange of resources between third parties; where revenue is generated from cyclical processes instead of linear value chains. With a services business model the business retains ownership of the resource along its full life cycle allowing them to optimize its usage while avoiding the current problem of designing for obsolescence.

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