Proliferating circularity efforts: Coordinating multi-value creation in multi-actor context

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In this paper, we highlight the growing urgency of sustainability transitions in general and circularity
transitions in particular, which is hardly taking shape in practice. We explore new pathways to
accelerate such transition, focusing on a regional scale. We frame the lack of change as a multifaceted, wicked, problem or organisation. Two specific aspects of increasing complexity are
explored: extension of the value set taken into consideration by actors, and expansion of actor
types involved. Our value-actor matrix that illustrates this two-dimensional increase of complexity
and points to societal coordination as the main problem of circularity transitions. We define four
criteria for new coordination models: integration of top-down and bottom-up efforts, scalability
from local to global, diplomacy between ideological and sectoral coordination and intuitiveness for
rapid proliferation. We use these to analyse five cases, leading to the identification of a common
cause of the lack of change. Next, the concept of task democracy is explored, attempting to fix the
cause and customise it for a circular economy. The resulting framework takes shape in an opensource manifesto for product councils, on local and regional scales. This research takes large and
sometimes speculative steps and the result is largely untested. Yet it shows one pathway to
acceleration, which may inspire further research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th International Conference on New Business Models: Sustainable Business Model Challenges: Economic Recovery and Digital Transformation,
Place of PublicationRome
PublisherLumsa University
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)979-12-210-1188-3
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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