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Circular Economy and Age of Transformation in 2030

Director and Co-founder of Sustainable Innovation Lab; Vice-Chair of Judge Panel of Horizon 2020 call ; Advisory Board Expert of EC Horizon 2020: Industrial Leadership ( LEIT-NMBP) of European Commission, Ichin Cheng will be speaking on Industrial Design Innovation Summit scheduled on October 5-6, 2017 in Berlin, Germany.

Ichin has many years’ international environmental, climate change and sustainability related experience. She is a unique sustainable specialist with special knowledge of Greater China area and deep understanding EU standard. She worked many projects in the EU, Asia and the US and access to the policy makers, industry and supply chain contacts.

Ichin Cheng kindly send us an article to share with her experience and professional opinion about future trends and business opportunities in Design industry

This article is abstract of ‘Design for Sustainability in the 'Age of Transformation' , chapter of The Wiley Handbook of Design Future and Innovation: Trends, Scenarios and Recommendations for 2030 and beyond , 2018, Wiley.

Authors: Ichin Cheng (Sustainable Innovation Lab) and Martin Charter (The Centre of Sustainable Design, University for the Creative Arts (UCA)

Circular Economy and Age of Transformation in 2030

A number of key trends will be starting to impact on designers, entrepreneurs and innovators during 2020 - 2030.

  • Industry 4.0: there will be a transition from Industry 3.0 to 4.0. The mid 2010s saw a ‘technology transfer’ phase of a range of technologies - Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, Internet of Things (IOT), 'big data', 3D printing,
  • Circular Economy: there will further transition from a Linear Economy mindset (e.g. Take-Make-Waste) to a Circular Economy mindset focused on process, product and new business models. Companies will have developed more thought-through approaches to circularity and more specifically product circularity.
  • 'Tightrope management' - there will be countervailing pressures for centralisation and decentralisation.. 1) Centralisation - there will be an increasing concentration of population in cities and urban areas in the developed and developing world and growing linkages emerging between renewable energy generation and storage, and information communication technologies (ICT) enabled through new infrastructure. 2) Decentralisation – there will be a transition towards more decentralised energy systems linked to wind and solar – from smart grids, to micro grids to nano grids coupled with improvements in battery and other technologies – this will bring more local capacity building as power generation and storage is moved to rural areas. There will also be hybrid decentralisation e.g. models or islands within centralised activities will be created, with a shift to strengthening of the identities of communities in cities, regions and towns.

From Green industries to Industries greening and beyond

These trends will have major implications for 'designers of (eco)innovation', 'producers of (eco)innovation', 'consumers of (eco) innovation' and 'distributors of (eco)innovation'.

A foresight study completed by the EC's JRC Unit in 2015 developed long-term visions for eco-industries , identifying relevant trends and drivers, highlighting implications for policy development and describing possible futures. A systemic approach to eco-industries was taken by defining them as a stream of business activities across and within the entire industrial segment of society. Three groups were identified:

  • Green industries (environmental industries)
  • Industries greening (other industries adopting eco-innovations)
  • Eco-innovative solution providers (R&D, new business models, organisational/social innovation, integrators).

Moving towards to 2030, there will be growing product/service/technology design, development and innovation opportunities driven by increasing sustainability considerations that fall within the three groups above. These will include, for example: new policy initiatives focused on product circularity (e.g. repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing,) leading to opportunities for, for example, smarter materials that enable dis-assembly ("green industries"); implementation of climate change and air pollution policies driving the development of technologies to store solar power and new monitoring and control technologies related to air pollution ("green industries"); the re-utilisation of waste materials in new products .

Circular Economy will be one of driver and represent global opportunity in 2030 and beyond. Some example:

  • Using resources more efficiently will also bringnew growth and job opportunities. Better eco-design, waste prevention and reuse can bring net savings for EU businesses of up to EUR 600 billion, while also reducing total annual greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Additional measures to increase resource productivity by 30% by 2030 could boost GDP by nearly 1%, while creating 2 million additional jobs.
  • EU: 3.9% EU GDP (Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
  • World: global market for clean tech would grow from € 2.000 billion in 2012 to € 4.400 billion by 2025 (Roland Berger).

Find out more about Circular Economy: From Great Transition to Global Opportunities.

directly from the source on Summit in Berlin, scheduled on October 5-6, 2017

Ichin Cheng, Director and Co-founder of Sustainable Innovation Lab, will be speaking on Industrial Design Innovation Summit about Drivers and Trends in Industrial Strategy to Sustainable Innovation and Opportunities and Best Practice: Globally, EU and within the UK, Asia.

Find out more speakers and their topics on our website and in Event Programme please click here.