Systems innovation Circular Economy Toolkit

Systems innovation represents a new set of ideas on how to start to think about the design, development, and management of systems through a more holistic perspective. More than just changing our thinking it also offers new methods and tools on how to apply these ideas towards tackling wicked challenges through an innovation-centered approach.

This approach has particular relevance when dealing with complex interconnected challenges and is well suited to the development of circular economies as it helps us to see cyclical processes, understand decentralized networks, and focus on the kind of nonlinear transformational changes needed to realize a circular economy.

To shift to a sustainable economy requires a full systems change. This requires many parts to be contributing in a positive way but also the system-wide coordination of all those parts to shift to a new equilibrium of collaboration and integration - rather than silos and lack of integration.

This toolkit is designed as an open-source set of modules to assist people in applying systems innovation ideas and methods to the design, development, and management of circular material economies. The building blocks of this toolkit are the guides and canvases. The guides explain the ideas while the canvases can be used to support members in applying these ideas to the challenge they face. Each module deals with one key aspect of systems innovation. These building blocks can be used as individual modules or they can be strung together to form a process depending on the time horizon of the initiative.

Download the toolkit here