I was first introduced to the notion of a circular economy by Paul Polman at an Oxford SBS lecture last fall. The call for re-engineering our current linear economic model of production and consumption resonated with me right away. However, in order to become widely adopted as a viable, industry agnostic tool to drive change and innovation, I believe there needs to be recognition that waste is not the only meaningful output of a linear economy. Most of the academic literature and dialogue on circular economics and innovation references "take-make-dispose" which emphasizes consumption and waste. However, in industries such as travel, tourism & hospitality, adopting a circular mentality has significant potential to reduce negative outcomes on individuals, communities, population level mental health and wellbeing, cultural heritage and practices, to name a few. For anyone looking for a bit of insight into circular innovation and how it applies beyond the scope of consumer-based industries, I recommend this resource. I’d also be interested in dialogue with other travel industry peers and risk management practitioners on how circular innovation is coming into your daily practices.
By unleashing circular innovation, we can boost the global economy’s resilience, support people and communities around the world and help fulfill the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.