Join us on June 26 & 27 2013 for a 2-day certificate training focused on The Natural Step Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
The Flexible Platform and the Circular Economy
Many of us are familiar with the disturbing messages about the impact we as humans are having on the planet. The majority of our ecosystems are now in decline and in order to sustain human activity at our current rates, we will require the resources of three planets. When we look at our current economic system, we can see a similar, gloomy picture. Our economic system is increasingly failing to provide for current and future needs of people and the planet.
It is clear that a transformation of our current system towards a better economic system is necessary. We need an economy that is sustainable, a circular economy. In a circular economy there is an explicit focus on the investment in people, prosperity, and wellbeing as well as on the protection and restoration of our natural systems and biodiversity. This economy follows the laws of nature: it stimulates diversity and emphasizes the conversion of waste to food, therewith creating a circular system.
However, some crucial ingredients for a smooth transition to a circular economy are still lacking. At the moment, our society is far from being a breeding ground for sustainable economic change. For a transition to take place, we first of all need broad-based knowledge and understanding about sustainable economic development and strategies for transformation. Secondly, we will also need to create a tightly knit network of actors from all layers of society that focuses on the joint formulation of strategic plans, cooperation, and information sharing related to developing a circular economy. These actors will need to have a strong common drive to instigate and pursue economic change.
The aforementioned characteristics are a prerequisite for the economy to become and remain sustainable. It is therefore essential for these to be developed in our society. Being a network organization that aims to create links between societal actors and initiatives and to serve as a knowledge platform, this is where we as The Flexible Platform have a sense of vocation and see a very important challenge. We have chosen that we focus an important part of our energy on the creation of a fertile breeding ground for the transition to a circular economy. The coming weeks, months and years, we will develop initiatives in order to pursue this goal. These projects and initiatives will aim to raise awareness among key actors about the necessity of a transition to a sustainable economy and provide a platform for communication and joint learning about it. We will strive to build leadership capacity among the key actors, which can instigate a self-reinforcing process of transformation within Dutch society and beyond. The unifying Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, which is at the core of all our work, provides the backbone and shared language around which we will explore, together with others, the pathways that emerge toward a circular economy.
We are very excited to get started with this new challenge!
Some first steps have already been taken during the National Sustainability Congress. During our interactive workshop there, 200 participants shared their ideas and thoughts on a transition to a sustainable economy. The report on this workshop, the ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Circular Economy’ can be found here.